08 May A Message to Millennials
I think I am tuned in to the job market for Millennials as my daughter is graduating with her Masters in Biomedical Science this month, and is “on the market.” She has a variety of career opportunities before her, and we have had a number of heartening conversations about her options.
I just read an article describing how the idealistic Millennials have been turned into “a generation of realists.” According to the latest survey of college students conducted by Universum USA, the top five “ideal” employers include Google, Disney, Apple, E&Y and the FBI. What?!
What about making a difference, and work-life balance, and money-is-not-everything? It turns out that a company’s past market success was a very important attribute for 30 percent of those surveyed. Yes – there will be opportunities for professional development, cool work environments and nifty products with those marquis firms. But what about taking a chance with a start-up with the opportunity to learn in an accelerated environment sans the bureaucracy and hierarchy? What about getting on the ground floor to create products and services for unmet needs? What about taking a risk before one is encumbered with mortgages, kids, and a myriad of responsibilities?
The survey also shows a ten-percentage point drop in the desire to join a firm with high ethical standards, and a nine-percentage point drop in the quest for inspirational management. If there is one thing I have learned about human motivation, it’s a deep desire to make a difference. And if there is one thing that I have learned about being fulfilled in an organization, it’s to have aligned values, assumptions, beliefs and expectations. Yes – money and stability are important, but as Robert Frost famously said, “I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”