Millennials, those currently in their 20s and early 30s, are nearly the largest part of America’s workforce today. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that millennials will make up 75% of the US workforce within the next 15 years. Millennials are more likely to be entrepreneurs than their parents or grandparents, and they’re also more likely to have multiple jobs and even careers. Read on for eight things you should know about millennials and their role in today’s workforce.
Millennials Understand Technology
Millennials grew up with technology, and are used to adjusting and advancing along with it. They are far more likely than their parents to see its value and importance in the business world. Studies show that 9 out of 10 millennials believe that they can access information at any time, whenever and wherever they need it. They’ve grown up in the era of google searches and instant gratification, and they’re likely to carry these qualities and skills into the workplace. Millennials are a generation of “digital natives”, and they can be instrumental in helping organizations update their technology.
Millennials Will Work for Many Employers
Millennials are more likely to change jobs and careers at an unprecedented rate. They’re not likely to work for one company for an excess amount of time, as they are more open to changing jobs and careers than previous generations. This is notably different from the Baby Boomers, who often believe that they should stay with an employer for a substantial amount of time before searching for a new job.
Millennials Have an Entrepreneurial Spirit
Millennials are more likely to start their own businesses than elder generations. They’re also more likely to study majors that are related to entrepreneurialism, and to want to be their own boss. At the same time, the costs associated with starting a business have gone down drastically, allowing this surge in the number of millennial entrepreneurs.
Millennials Face High Rates of Underemployment
Millennials are not only unemployed, but they are also underemployed. Underemployment means that millennials are underpaid for their education; they’re taking jobs where their education isn’t needed, or they’re only able to find a part time job. In fact, they’re 8-9% more likely to be underemployed than their parents, regardless of their education level.
Millennials Want to Give Back
Millennials love to make a difference! They enjoy working for businesses and organizations that care about their community and give back to it. They appreciate community service days and philanthropy events, as well as corporate values. They want their work in a company to serve a greater purpose and meaning than just bringing in profit.
Millennials are the Most Educated Generation
Over 79% of Millennials hold at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to 69% of Generation X members and 62% of Baby Boomers. These millennials are brimming with talent and education, and are often excited to get started and take on the world. It’s worth noting, however, that these millennials also have more student debt than any generation before them. Overall, millennials are educated and ambitious to work, regardless of the need to pay off debt.
Millennials Value Flexibility
Millennials love jobs with flexibility, such as telecommuting options and the opportunity to get their work done at unconventional hours. They consider job flexibility when applying and interviewing for positions, and they sometimes decide to start their own business instead in order to get the flexibility that they’re looking for. They have to be technological savvy to accomplish this, but are likely to do whatever they can to hold a flexible job and schedule.
Millennials Seek Happiness
Above all, Millennials want to be happy and fulfilled. Approximately 2/3 of millennials say that they would rather make $40,000/year at a job they love than $100,000/year at a job they don’t. As a result, it’s important for millennials to find jobs that are rewarding to them. Millennials want to be satisfied and feel accomplished with their work, so it’s important for them to be challenged and excited by it.
If you’re a millennial, you probably identify with most, if not all, of these qualities. If not, you might see these qualities in your kids or your younger co-workers. As a small business owner or entrepreneur, it’s important to keep these millennial characteristics in mind. Challenge your millennial employees and nurture their entrepreneurial spirit. By doing so, you’ll be able to help millennials find happiness and feel fulfilled in the workplace.