With the millennial generation finally coming of age, the question of what they want will assume ever greater importance. Within a few years, as more and more millennials complete their formal education and take up jobs, they will come to make up over a third of the global workforce.
People wonder how the values, ideas and quirks of this generation will shape society, markets and companies. Also of interest are their attitudes to work and the implications these hold for firms, workplaces and economies.
The “gig economy,” where people work on short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs, is considered the preferred work environment of the millennial worker. The flexible hours, opportunity to gain wide experience and learn new skills is attracting troops of temp workers and consultants even in high skilled white-collar professions such as law, accounting and IT. Firms are encouraged to adapt to the desires of this new labor force.
Yet, when asked, a large majority of employed millennials show a longing for more traditional career paths. “It is a surprising result. Clearly millennials have different career aspirations than the way they are being portrayed,” says Dominik Hahn, Global Head of People Attraction at Allianz, about the results of the new Allianz survey ‘Millennials: Work, Life and Satisfaction’.
“Yes, millennials are ‘different.’ They do tend to have more tattoos than their parents, grab news more from Buzzfeed and Weibo rather than newspapers, and sleep with their cell phone next to their bed, but their wants and hopes aren’t really different from previous generations.”