Millennials and the Job Market
Updated: Jun 1
Regardless of when you were born, there’s no doubt that you’ll have heard of the word millennial. But with so many generational names creeping into everyday conversation, it can be confusing trying to remember whose who! So when we refer to millennials, who are we really talking about?
Millennials are anyone born between 1981 and 1996. So in 2021, this means anyone aged between 25 and 40. According to Indeed, Millenials have a ‘passion for learning’, have ‘an intuitive knowledge of technology’, and are ‘free-thinking and creative'. According to food website ‘The Recipe’, Millennials also particularly enjoy eating food out of bowls (?!), and eating avocado toast.
So where do millennials stand in the job market?
In the past, millennials have been described as the generation who jump from job to job without being satisfied. They work less hours a week than previous generations in their quest to try to maintain a better work/life balance, and expect to be promoted without putting the effort in.
On the other hand, millennials are also seen to be genuine, motivated and keen to collaborate. Often said to value continuing professional development and forming good relationships with their colleagues, being classed as a millennial has as many positive connotations as negative!
Millennials and Job Hopping
Unlike many news articles would suggest, millennials actually aren’t moving across a variety of jobs any more so than the generations that came before them. In fact, the decision to move on from one job and into another, is actually a positive sign that workers feel they will be able to successfully find a new job, without being jobless or needing to take a pay cut.
For many millennials, the decision to change jobs is simply because they are keen to feel valued within their role, and satisfied that they are undertaking meaningful work. A willingness to change and grow within their career is a sign of the ambitious nature of many millennials.
Millennials and Flexible Working
With many millennials now at an age where they are starting a family or already have a young family, the flexible working enforced by COVID-19 fits perfectly into this generation's desire to undertake worthwhile work, and still have a life outside of the office.
Remote working and flexible hours have become commonplace across a wide range of industries over the last few years, and WFH started to grow even before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. In fact, by 2025, it’s estimated that 70% of a workforce will work from home for at least 5 days a month.
Millennials and Communication in the Workplace
Feedback within the workplace is valued by all employees, but for millennials especially, regular feedback and good communication is incredibly valuable. Millennial employees prefer constructive feedback, reviews and a transparency between workers and management.
Instead of viewing the need for frequent communication as a cry for attention, open communication is seen by many organisations as key to a productive and happy workforce. Outside of the millennial label, a desire to communicate comfortably with various stakeholders within a business is a common statement found on a variety of job descriptions.
Millennials and Technology
As the first generation to grow up alongside technology, millennials know exactly how to find and source information quickly. Unlike older generations, solving complex issues is seen as a relatively small task, however, typically, millennials will turn to technology for solutions over and above any other option.
As far as employers are concerned, the ability to quickly pick up and adapt to new technologies is surely nothing more than a positive. In fact, a characteristic often associated with the millennial generation is also their instincts to help those around them, and share their skills with employees who may not be as comfortable using technology.
Finding Work as a Millennial
If you’re looking for work as a millennial, the chances are, that’s not the first word you’d use to describe yourself - and that’s perfectly okay. But if it’s because you’ve started to associate your generation with the more negative implications of being a millennial, please take our advice and just shake it off!
Surveys and content referenced in this article and on the internet in general do show genuine trends relating to the ambitions and goals of millennials, but it’s important to remember that not everyone in a generation can be ‘classified’ as being a certain way.
Ultimately, whether you’re a millennial looking for your next position, a gen Z looking for a grad role or a gen X chasing your next challenge, it’s about what YOU can offer to the role. Never feel as though you’re stuck with a stereotype. Your CV, cover letter and interview will tell hiring managers just how much you can bring to the position, and they won’t ever ask you whether you like eating avocado on toast.