Scoop: Millennials love work and money
Last week I still saw an article passing by talking about millennials or I don’t know what new generation that was going to transform the codes of the company. I stopped at the end of the extract which was enough for me to understand that I was only dealing with the umpteenth edition of a running joke a little worn out but which has been making its way for at least 12 years, j I named the new generation which will break everything and which does not break anything until the arrival of the next generation which does not break anything either.
I will not come back to my many posts on the subject but will just like to mention a few facts and figures that everyone will put their feet on the ground once and for all.
I will start with a Manpower study dating from 2016.
Millennials love work and money
We are often told of a generation disenchanted by the company and the crises they have known more than others. Obviously they are not doing that badly because 2/3 of them are very positive about their career.
This does not prevent a form of realism: 60% of can think of working until at least 65 years, 27% until over 70 years. We don’t really know if it makes them happy or not, but they have integrated the reality of today’s world and made do with it. Not the progressive idealists that are described to us.
As for seeing the generation which balks at work and does not want to kill itself there… they work at least as hard or even more than the preceding generations. 25% work more than 50 hours per week.
However, they have a different approach to their career. They understood that no company could make them a long-term promise so they abandoned the notion of career and think in “waves”. A strong investment in a company, a long break to travel, recharge your batteries, learn, before setting out on a new project elsewhere and so on.
But millennials are looking for something else in life than their elders. Meaning, flexibility, the possibility of changing the world, of having an impact. Are you so sure?
Materialist the millennial? No. Just pragmatic.
When evaluating a career opportunity the first priority is money (92%), the second is safety (87%), then vacations (86%). The possibility of working with interesting people follows with 80% and the flexibility of work 79%. One more proof that in spite of having a more “rock n roll” approach to life, there are realities that apply to everyone when it comes to paying the rent and financing the expansion of the family. They are pragmatic, as their predecessors were before them. And this is further proof that‘do not confuse generation and stages of a life.
But, in fact, they have a new approach to the notion of career and position. Between 12 and 24 months before a promotion or a change, no more. More than a job they think of “portfolio” and therefore multidisciplinary. But if given a good work-life balance or a well-defined career they can be patient.
In short, I advise you to read the details of the study but as I have already shown, they are not that different from the generations before. These are the X’s who adapted to their time, just as the X’s were baby boomers who had adapted to theirs. More a question of context than of intrinsic expectations or deep aspirations.
Let’s continue with a study of Comet Financial intelligence.
This is a little more to be taken with a grain of salt because unlike the Manpower study which is global, this one only concerns young Americans and therefore has by definition a cultural bias.
Ready to part ways for $ 37K?
First of all, it shows that for millennials a good career opportunity cannot be denied. Even if that means postponing a marriage, a birth, moving. 59% would end a relationship if it put their careers at risk. For an annual increase of $ 37K they would end a relationship, they need $ 64K to delay the arrival of a child. Ultimately not that rowdy after all: it’s not like they’re ready to drop everything for $ 5,000 more. But still it does mean something. Not having the figures for the other generations at the same age, we lack elements to really understand what that means. The fact remains that 40% of them prefer to stay single to focus on their career.
Here again, I suggest you go into the details of the study. The love vs money prism is relatively new, if not surprising. But I’m not sure you can say anything other than “for millennials money and career matter” because, again, you can’t compare with other generations at the same age.
What sets Xs apart from millennials isn’t what they expect, but maybe why they expect it
Anyway, for a lazy generation, disinterested in money and eager to change the world and give meaning to their lives, they have a materialist and careerist side that we like to blame, for example, on young people. executives from the 80s. But in fact we do not have the answer to the question which would make sense: the same behavior can have different causes. Love for the external signs of wealth for some, instinct for pragmatic survival in a hard and uncertain world for others? We will never know and it’s a shame because that’s what would have given meaning to all these figures.
Conclusion: make a mountain of millennials if you will. But for me the big risk is above all to take them for what they are not.
Bertrand Duperrin is Digital Transformation Practice Leader in Emakina. He was previously Consulting Director at Nextmodernity, a firm in the field of business transformation and management through social business and the use of social technologies.