Millennials have a reputation for killing whole sectors of the economy based on how their buying habits differ from those of their parents’ generation. What about their working habits, though? It’s become increasingly apparent that millennials are bouncing from employer to employer faster and more often than their predecessors. Are they killing their own careers through job hopping?
The Nature of Job Hopping
Pinning down an entire generation has its risks, but in this case, it’s not a stereotype; it’s a statistic, as compiled by LinkedIn.
Millennial workers are more likely to stay in a job for less than two years. They’re also more likely to have worked for as many as five employers by the time they reach age 35.
What does it mean, though, and why are they doing this?
Money, Money, Money…?
The obvious conclusion is that they’re doing it for offers of better pay. It’s easy to come to that understanding, since it’s one of the primary reasons that any worker changes jobs, not just millennials.
Job hopping can be a lot more complex than simple economics, though. Millennials as a group place a premium on how well a job fits their preferred lifestyle and worldview. They want the activities they spend most of their waking hours doing to actually be healthy for them.
That means seeking out roles that respect their political values, for sure, but it also gets at more basic needs. Work-life balance is a key value, so millennials may be more likely to leave a role that interferes too much with their relationships and personal interests.
Similarly, millennials are more aware of the differences between healthy and toxic or abusive workplace cultures and other psychologically harmful environments, and will drop the latter kind like a hot potato.
RVW BOT can help you put your best foot forward. Every company has flaws, but we make it easier for your employees to share the positive and help you get the feedback you need to fix the rest. Either way, it helps you attract the talent you need.
It’s Not a Bad Thing
Job hopping has a reputation that has traditionally been looked down upon, and for good reason. The ability to commit to a project or a cause for the long term is an important skill that helps much good work get done in the world.
It’s not everything, though. Staying in a job that you genuinely despise, or that for whatever reason isn’t good for you hurts not only yourself, but everyone around you. Besides the inevitable emotional consequences, it causes decreased productivity and misallocation of resources.
By quickly making adjustments to their careers while they’re still in the early stages, job hopping millennials are making sure that they can work in a way that makes them happy. It’s not that different from a startup reevaluating the needs of the market and pivoting to match.
This means that millennials are more likely to turn out better work in the long run. It means that we’re moving towards having a society that’s more focused on doing work that is both useful and personally meaningful to each worker.
And that’s just good!