Millennials and Their Job Search

John Krautzel
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The millennial generation, or children born from 1980 to 2000, may comprise half of the American labor pool by 2020 and three-fourths by 2025 as baby boomers retire. Recruiters and hiring managers should pay attention to the work environment needs of this generation if they want to get ahead of the competition.

If you expand the millennial generation to people born from 1977 to 2000, these 80 million Americans have a greater population than baby boomers born after World War II. Millennials want their work environments and careers to count for something, so a job search may revolve around positions that engage co-workers, customers and clients in a human way.

This younger generation wants to collaborate and communicate. They don't want to just represent another warm body at the office. A viable work environment for millennials includes managers and executives who welcome feedback on vital issues that shape the future of the business, organization or company. These younger workers want to give instructions to top brass, not just receive more traditional ideas from the c-suite.

Millennials want frequent communication and constant feedback, since they cannot grow in their work environment without proper instruction from employees who have been there longer. Younger workers want to know why things work at the office, not just how. In short, millennials wish to be valued by employers.

Many companies have altered their benefits, strategies and perks to offer millennials a better work-life balance. Yoga classes, smoothie bars and telecommuting options all contribute to a contemporary work environment that meets the needs of a new generation. Technology helps make the lives of workers more efficient and more effective.

At the same time, executives and upper-level managers must rely on tried-and-true methods to make money. People who run the show receive higher pay because they know how to bring in revenue and profits. This means entry-level millennials, with little industry experience, may not have a say in the future direction of the company until they get more years behind them.

Businesses exist to make money, and they don't necessarily foster a sense of family or a social structure. The occasional picnic, business lunch or team-building outing helps improve group morale. However, younger employees should not count on the social aspects of an office to rescue them if a job situation turns for the worse. In the end, the company values you just as much as you work for the business. Make your time and effort worth what you earn in terms of salary versus skills. If you want a great job, create a fantastic work ethic that your bosses and co-workers admire.

Millennials may prefer a work environment that seems gentler, kinder and more communicative. However, young workers must realize that communication, perks and a work-life balance create a two-way street in which the employee and management must give and take constantly to achieve the better results.

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