How Millennials are Reinventing the Traditional Ideas of Employment

We’ve heard many things about the millennial generation over the past years, but one thing is for certain: the group makes up a large proportion of the US workforce. In fact, according to a Pew Research Center analysis, “More than one-in-three American labor force participants (35%) are Millennials, making them the largest generation in the U.S. labor force.”

This rising age group looks at employment very differently than the people who came before them. According to a survey by Deloitte that surveyed 10,455 millennials and 1,844 Gen Z respondents around the globe, younger workers are reinventing the conventional ideas of employment.

Let’s take a look at some of their most interesting findings.

Changing jobs is the norm

The research found that the majority of millennials will move for a better workplace experience. In fact, 43% of millennials expect to leave their current job within two years. Only 28% think they will stay at their current job beyond five years.

Among those willing to leave their job, 62% regard the gig economy as a viable alternative to full-time employment. And that’s not limited to junior positions—7 out of 10 millennials who are members of senior management or boards would consider taking a short-term contract or freelance jobs as an alternative to full-time employment.

The gig economy is a viable option

Many respondents view the gig economy as an attractive alternative or addition to their current job. In fact, the vast majority surveyed had already taken on some sort of freelance or short-term contract work, and only 17% outright rejected the idea of working in the gig economy.

62% of millennials who would consider gig employment cited “increased money/income” as the number one explanatory factor. Flexibility and freedom was a close second.

Diversity and flexibility are key

Good pay and a positive culture will attract millennials, but diversity and flexibility will keep them happy once in a job. 50% of millennials surveyed cited flexibility of hours and location as “very important” when choosing to work for an organization.

Business is about more than profit

According to Deloitte, a majority of millennials in every market agrees with the statement that corporations "have no ambition beyond wanting to make money.” This doesn’t seem to line up with millennial values, however.

Millennials want to work for companies that have a positive impact on society, care about the environment, create innovative ideas and products, help improve people’s lives and emphasize diversity.

Looking at the results, it seems as if more and more young people value their time, flexibility and the impact they have on society over how much they’ll get paid. And the numbers seem to check out. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 6 million people, 3.8% of workers, held “alternative work arrangements” in the US in May 2017. Another 10.6 million were working as independent contractors, on-call workers, temporary help agency workers and for contract firms.

As more millennials cross over to the gig economy, it will be interesting to watch how the market changes and evolves.

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