Millennials or the generation born between 1980 and 2000 have a bad rap. They are often stereotyped as entitled, self-centered, or lazy at work. The truth is, most millennials are as hard-working and motivated as any other person who entered the workplace before them. What’s different is their expectations, ambitions, and their fears. If you as a millennial can recognize your concerns, and learn to tackle them, it will be a more comfortable journey to professional success.
1. What Are Millennials Afraid Of? A Lack of Upward Mobility Opportunity
One of the biggest fears of millennials is working a job that doesn’t afford development opportunities beyond what they're already doing. Most millennials are adventurous and curious lifelong learners, who want their career to be an opportunity for them to develop new talents, explore uncharted territory, develop new passions, and make a difference not only in the workplace but also in the world. In fact, millennials’ career expectations are so different from those of previous generations that they're willing to take, on average, a pay cut of $7,600 in exchange for:
- Career development
- Company culture
- Purposeful work
- Work-life balance
In other words, when you're talking about how millennials want to work, the answer comes down to quality over quantity (including money).
2. What Do Millennials Fear? Unmet Career Goals
Careers are important to millennials—though not just as a source of income and financial stability—and many millennials have well-defined professional goals that they want to meet. A major source of millennials’ anxiety, therefore, comes from not being able to find a job or workplace that allows them to achieve those goals. For most workers this age, these goals are closely tied to their desire for career development, collaboration, and work-life balance, because what millennials want from their career is an opportunity to grow as people, on both professional and personal levels.
3. Millennial Stress Source: Working a Job that Doesn’t Have the Right Workplace Culture
Your personality is an important factor in who your friends are, the hobbies you enjoy, the activities you participate in, and many other aspects of your life. However, one place where personality is paramount but often ignored is in the workplace, and it is possible for workplace culture and environment to clash with your personality.
For instance, not everyone can imagine working in an office that has a strict formal wear dress code or where you had to be seated at your desk and working by 9 a.m. In many workplaces, socializing or collaborating with coworkers isn’t encouraged. And if your boss did not value you for the talent and opinions you have to offer, it would be pretty terrible, right? That’s because the answer to what do millennials want at work is flexibility, freedom, collaboration, and a more laid-back atmosphere.
The fact is that work culture and how it matches your personality is critical. Unfortunately, you may not be able to change the culture at your current workplace, but you can keep this in mind when you decide it’s time to pursue different career goals.
The best way to tackle your work-related fears as a millennial is to focus on companies that have goals and cultures that are in line with your own, and not to be satisfied until you find an employer that truly understands the answer to what do millennials value? The good news is that even though you may not have found that opportunity yet, there are many employers out there who understand the importance of what millennials value, and who strive to offer things like career development opportunities, work-life balance, and a chance to make the world a better place.
If you're one such millennial, looking for an opportunity to be a successful entrepreneur and businessperson, we invite you to check out what we have to offer you.