Millennial Job-Seekers Have Unique Expectations

Millennial Job-Seekers Have Unique Expectations

 

Millennials in the workforce are the focus of many articles lately.  I deal a lot with post-boomer generations due to the fact that I teach for several different online universities.  Millennials have been singled-out as having different personality issues. In all three of my books, I address how personality issues affect our expectations and preferences. 

Tomorrow I will be delivering a talk at a local university’s annual forum.  The topic will be, “Obtaining Your Dream Job by Marketing YOU as the Product”.  I often give talks about how to find jobs and market talents. Tomorrow’s topic will be specifically focused on a younger generation.  Many in the audience will be millennials. When talking to post-boomer generations, it is important to realize they have unique expectations.

Many claim that millennials have entitlement issues.  Sixty Minutes did a nice job on a piece they did titled: The Millennials Are Coming.  In that article they stated: You now have a generation coming into the workplace that has grown up with the expectation that they will automatically win, and they’ll always be rewarded, even for just showing up.  

In another interesting article by ere.net, the following questions were actually asked by millennials in job interviews.  

  • If I don’t like my boss, how can I get that changed?
  • How many hours per day will I be expected to work?
  • Do you allow the use of Facebook?
  • If I don’t like my pay, who do I talk to about fixing that?
  • If we do reading for the job, can we do it at the gym during work hours?
  • Who will be my mentor and coach while I’m learning my new job?
  • What does the company do to make work fun?

For anyone that is older than the millennials, these questions may come across as humorous or brazen.  However, they are a good example of how different newer generations may be, in regard to their work expectations. 

In our book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, Toni Rothpletz and I explain how newer generations are often seen as the “me” generation.  Jean Twenge did a nice job of addressing this in her book, Generation Me

In my talk tomorrow, I will be discussing the importance that companies put on emotional intelligence when looking at potential new hires.  Part of having emotional intelligence is having the ability to have good interpersonal skills and empathy.  The interviewee must be able to “read” the interviewer and present themselves accordingly. 

Generational differences can be a big issue that many millennials need to be aware of.  Asking questions like the ones listed above may not endear you to the interviewer . . . unless, of course, that interviewer is a millennial with similar expectations as well.  My guess is, that probably won’t be the case. 

If you didn’t see anything wrong with the above list of questions, my suggestion to you is to do some research into proper interviewing etiquette.  I wrote about the mistakes people make in interviews in my book, How to Reinvent Your Career

For more reading, check out articles like:

You May be Looking for a Job . . . But it is Your Emotional Intelligence That Needs Work  

Millennial Workers – New Ways of Doing Things  

How is Your Job Satisfaction? It May Be Based on Your Personality Type 

Our Kids’ Financial Futures Are At Stake

The sky is falling. We hear about it every day. The stock market is plunging, the housing bubble has exploded, and the list of doom and gloom goes on and on. How did we get here? We consider ourselves a bright nation. Why then, didn’t we see this coming? Did we get too greedy? Did we lose our common sense? Perhaps it was a little of both. What is important is what we have learned from our mistakes and the knowledge we pass down to our children to help them avoid a similar fate.

Unfortunately our children may end up sinking in our same boat. Even if they go to college, the personal finance education they will receive will be slim to none. While in college, our children are finding themselves more in debt than any past generations. Think about some of the financial statistics for our youth:

  • 76% of undergraduate students have credit cards, while carrying a balance of over $2000, according to Nellie Mae. 28% percent of students roll over their debt each month.
  • College graduates are finding that they are over $20,000 in debt, according to Creditcards.com.
  • Charles Schwab reported in a 2007 survey that 45% of teens have credit cards but only 26% know how to understand how their fees and interest payments.

Whether we are looking at Generation Y, Echo Boomers, Millenials or any of the other names given to those born after 1982, it is important to understand that they have been raised to expect immediate gratification. Sixty Minutes did a recent feature discussing how companies are even bending over backwards to meet the demands of this high-expectation generation.

If everybody is bending over backward to meet their needs, what is going to happen when they have to be financially responsible for themselves? Why aren’t we bending over backwards to help them learn to be financially independent? We have seen that past generations (their parents) have been poorly educated and are apparently in no position to teach them. If it is not to be taught by parents who are uneducated themselves, where will they get this knowledge?

Currently many colleges and universities are rethinking their position in including personal finance education. Unfortunately these classes are mostly electives or only required by business majors. It costs upward of $6000/year average to pay for a child’s college tuition. What are they getting out of that to prepare them for their adult life?

What can be done?

  • Colleges can create more course offerings to include personal finance education. Within the courses, texts need to be appropriate for all majors. Many colleges offer texts for these courses that are math-intensive, which can turn off the student who is not a math genius.
  • As parents we can help our children by sharing our mistakes and explaining what we ourselves have learned in the process.
  • K-12 Guidelines can be updated to include more specifics as to amount of “time” devoted to the financial literacy information our schools are supposed to be teaching.
  • Personal finance books for younger students could be created in a story-telling format that would allow for them to relate the importance of what they are learning to their own lives.

If future generations are not taught to become financially responsible, who is going to bail them out? Are we going to have to just keep relying on the government to come to the rescue? It certainly isn’t going to be their parents, as they have lost their retirement nest eggs. In fact, their parents may be looking at this generation to take care of them.

Guest post by Diane Hamilton, who has a BS, MA and Ph.D. in Business Management. Her experience includes working in several industries including pharmaceuticals, banking and real estate. She has trained corporations in areas such as time management, emotional intelligence and Myers Briggs. She currently works as an online professor, working for 5 different universities. She teaches mostly business-related courses to bachelor, master and doctoral level students as well as mentors doctoral learners. She is in the process of writing a personal finance book for the young adult. Diane can be reached through www.drdianehamilton.com