Millennials appear to be a puzzling collection. As the largest age group in the U.S. labor force now, the “children are the future” adage is a reality, and they are a decade away from being the leaders of our country.
This, however, is NOT why this generation is puzzling to older parties. Millennials seem to confuse members of the Baby Boomers and Generation X because they possess a different motivation for the work they do and where they do it.
Not a worse motivation — a different one.
As the tail end of this age group is finally entering the workforce, it’s important to understand what makes these young people tick. There are certain signs that you should identify when hiring, or trying to retain, a member of the millennial age group.
Here are three trends on millennial career paths and what they mean.
Digital Age Brings Easier Connections
The world is more connected now than it has ever been. Rather than mail a letter and wait a week for a reply, one can simply send an email and get an answer in minutes.
Breaking stories used to be mysteries until the evening news or the next day’s paper. But now, anyone who uses Twitter, Facebook or Snapchat will know everything everyone else knows — mere seconds after it happens.
The world hasn’t changed in size, but because our communication capabilities have grown at an astronomical rate, the avenues to everyone around the world have gotten much, much smaller. Business meetings don’t have to take place in a single conference room anymore. Ten brilliant minds can brainstorm with one another using a laptop and a reliable Wi-Fi connection.
Technology is how millennials get almost everything: news, entertainment, and even personal interactions. Banking, shopping, and working can all be done in seconds from wherever you are, as long as you have reasonable data coverage and at least one working finger.
Almost everyone is connected. This constant connection via endless technological advancements is why millennials are able to stay updated with all the latest happenings across all kinds of industries.
To use healthcare and medical establishments as an example, identifying trends that cut costs and boost revenue, as well as fluid industry trends, can be challenging. Millennials, however, adapt as the world around them changes. They’re quite good at following trends.
Naturally, everything associated with how millennials find and carry out the functions of their jobs is digital. Job hunting takes place on social media sites like LinkedIn, job portals like Indeed, or individual company websites. Through continuing improvement to email platforms and file sharing sites such as Google Drive and Dropbox, daily work tasks can be completed in the comfort of your own home.
Millennials are at the forefront of these changes.
With less paperwork, faster communication, and endless developments, they have made it possible to choose their own career paths – anytime, anywhere.
Connectivity Also Brings ‘Multi-Careerism’
Any Baby Boomer will tell you that “back in the day,” when you graduated high school, you would either go straight to the blue-collar workforce. Or if you were really smart, you would earn the privilege of going to college and landing a high-paying white-collar job.
No matter where you ended up, as long as you were treated fairly, you stuck with that company until the day you retired. Oh, how times change!
Back then, one wouldn’t typically work more than one job unless it was financially necessary. Now, it isn’t uncommon to encounter an individual under the age of 35 working at several jobs at a time. Countless millennials voluntarily work multiple jobs to challenge themselves and explore creative opportunities.
Of course, this rarely means sacrificing necessities for the sake of following one’s dreams. Usually, they are working one job to pay the bills, while expanding their career horizons during the other half of the day. Although it sounds as if millennials are the only ones to reap any reward from juggling multiple jobs, multi-careerism also benefits businesses that embrace the idea.
Smart business owners have begun to study their employees who wear many hats. And to their discovery, there are ways they can improve their own revenue stream. If a freelance podcast producer is a brilliant marketer for example, and he gains a huge following, how might a larger business learn how to do likewise?
Multi-careerism at its core allows the freedom to step off conventional career paths and into more dynamic, purpose-driven callings.
Millennials Seek Self-Fulfillment
Whether it is through multiple jobs or just one, all millennials want the same thing: to do work that really matters.
Living in a world that is more connected than ever before has given the nation’s youngest generation a new hunger to improve not only their neighborhoods and cities, but the whole world. Everyone wants to feel like they’re making a difference – simply working from paycheck to paycheck is NOT enough.
Millennials are defined as young adults ages 18 to 35, which places them in a very pivotal stage of life — the time they become the person they will be for the rest of their lives.
As such, most millennials view their first job, and maybe their second and third, as mere stepping stones on the path towards their true goal. They want to contribute to the world through their work, and they look for growth opportunities along the way, in whatever form they may take.
It is unlikely that a millennial will end up at the same place where he began. The desire that drives this particular generation doesn’t allow for complacency. Millennials are an age group constantly hunting for the greatest opportunity to learn, develop their talents, and make the world a better place.
Whatever career paths they choose then, they are bound to succeed as long as they put their mind to it.