If you’re trying to build a workplace and company that’s just as well suited for millennials as it is for baby boomers, it’s a good idea to look towards their collective career perceptions. One of the most essential components of this frame of thought is to determine what millennials and boomers view as just a job and what they see as as a genuine career. Jobs are a means to an end while careers are something that often come with more of an investment, one that benefits employee and employer.
Career vs. Job
While millennials are more likely than boomers to view their current work as just a job rather than a career, millennials are more likely to believe in the overall concept of having a career when compared to their older counterparts. What this means is that millennials are willing to give their work their all if it’s something they believe in, are passionate about and feel valued while doing. While there’s only so much you can control when it comes to overall career perception for millennials and boomers, you can most certainly make both groups feel valued and wanted in their positions.
Continuing on with the comparison between a job and career, more millennials than boomers feel a career provides a sense of accomplishment. More millennials also feel that a career provides them with lifelong earning potential. Boomers and millennials almost break even in their perceptions that a career is more likely to cause them to make personal sacrifices for their work, and the same is true of the perception that a career calls for specialized talents or skills.
Career Expectations and Goals
In regards to the goals and expectations millennials and boomers have regarding their careers, the perceptions are similar. Millennials desire leaders who inspire them, job security, financial security, promotions, recognition based on their performance and employers with thorough business strategies, just like older workers. While millennials might have different ideas about the work they do and how they perform that work, they still adhere to the fundamental cornerstones of what it means to have a career.
You might be under the impression that millennials demand constant validation and believe everyone should receive a trophy for their work. The truth is that millennials are more mature and realistic than this, and many of them would rather have a fair boss who is dependable and transparent when it comes to evaluating work performance. A boss who requests employee input and recognizes the accomplishments of employees is actually quite low on the scale of what millennials desire from their employers. It’s actually members of Generation X, people who were born between the early 1960s and the early 1980s, who are under the impression that every member of a team should receive recognition for their collective efforts. Imagine that.
While younger employees might use social media more, millennials are more likely than boomers to understand the boundaries that exist between their personal and professional lives, meaning they’re less likely to make public information about your company that they should keep to themselves. While millennials and boomers may share views on career expectations and goals, they don’t see eye-to-eye on what should be shared in the public sector. This could be because the boomer generation might not fully grasp how quickly and widely information spreads when shared online.
On a related note, you may be surprised to learn that younger employees enjoy learning new skills face-to-face rather than through a digital option, such as videoconferencing. In addition to training all of your employees face-to-face, you might also want to think about employing current technology with your training methods, which can prove beneficial for everyone involved.
In terms of reasons for changing jobs, the findings were similar for boomers and millennials. Among those reasons are:
To follow one’s ambitions and dreams
To make a difference in the world
For a higher position
Be sure to keep these reasons in mind as you’re structuring the future of your business and your current business practices. Something else to think about as you’re looking over the resumes of millennials and boomers is that their varied job history might have less to do with the above listed reasons for changing jobs and more to do with the demands of our post-recession economy.
For more tips on creating a workplace well suited for both older and younger employees and bringing out the best in your company, be sure to check out more of the professional advice here on Mighty Recruiter.