Millennial Careers Vision 2020: When Do they Expect to Retire?

May 30, 20168:25 am2193 views

By 2020 Millennials will make up over a third of the global workforce. That’s one reason so many reports about them exist. Some say they are disloyal, self-absorbed and lazy, while others claim they’re a generation of digital entrepreneurs and innovators. Some aim to dispel the myths others have created.

Millennials are set to run career ultramarathons and anticipate taking breaks along the way, according to a ManpowerGroup report titled ‘Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision’. They prioritize job security and the opportunity for new challenges and types of work. The time is ripe for employers to take a fresh look at their people strategies.Millennials Career Vision 2020

Based on a global study of 1,000 Millennials from across the United States, the report provides practical advice to help employers rethink their people practices for attracting, retaining and developing Millennial workers.

  • Millennials are preparing to run career ultramarathons. Sixty-six percent expect to work past age 65. Thirty-two percent expect to work over the age of 70, and 12% say they will likely work until the day they die. In Japan, that figure is more than a third. Still, a significant number remain optimistic that they will retire before 65. Only time will tell if this minority are the realists, optimists or just downright naive.
  • Millennials are working longer and harder than previous generations. Seventy-six percent of American Millennials foresee taking career breaks longer than four weeks. Though women are likely to plan breaks to care for others — children, older relatives, etc. — men and women prioritize leisure-related breaks for themselves equally.
  • Overall, Millennials in Mexico, China, Switzerland and Germany are the most positive, while those in Japan, Greece and Italy are the least positive—a reflection of economic, political and cultural factors in these countries. The majority of Millennials globally see a promising future and successful careers ahead.
  • Globally, Millennials are happy to disrupt and be disrupted by new ways of working. While almost three-quarters of working Millennials are in full-time jobs today, over half say they’re open to new ways of working in the future – freelance, gig work or portfolio careers with multiple jobs. Thirty-four percent globally are considering self-employment.
  • Ninety-five percent of Millennials are willing to spend their own time and/or money on further training. The report highlights the positive correlation between people’s career success—being more educated, better prepared for employment and higher paid—and their “learnability,” or ability and desire to learn.
  • Millennials are working as hard, if not harder, than other generations. Seventy-three percent report working more than 40 hours a week, and nearly a quarter work over 50 hours. Indian Millennials claim the longest working week and Australians the shortest – on average 52 and 41 hours a week respectively. Twenty-six percent globally are working two or more paid jobs.

See: 8 Startling Facts You Must Know to Hire and Work with Millennials

  • Job security is critical for Millennials, but they define it differently. They are not the job hoppers some would have us believe. Given the chance, they will move on and move up, but more often than not they expect to advance with the same employer. Like the Traditionalists before them, they want the security of full-time work to ensure they can maintain their standard of living.

Rather than one long job for life, Millennials understand the need for continuous skills development to remain employable. Ninety-three percent want lifelong learning and are willing to spend their own time and/or money on further training. Four out of five say the opportunity to learn new skills is a top factor when considering a new job, and 22% intend to take an extended break from work to gain new skills and qualifications.

“Employers need to listen up and get creative. They simply cannot afford not to appeal to Millennials,” said Mara Swan, Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Talent, ManpowerGroup and Global Brand Lead for Right Management.

Where Millennials are more equal is in caring for themselves. Both genders aim to prioritize “me-me-me time” and leisure-related breaks. Regardless of gender, four in 10 Millennials are planning to take significant breaks for relaxation, travel or vacations. Taking time off to support a partner in their job ranks close to last place for both, reinforcing the trend towards dual-income households.

Millennials prioritize three things when choosing where and how they work: money, security and time off. They want to be rewarded for their effort, feel secure in their employment and still have the freedom to stop and refuel once in a while. They also value working with great people and enjoying the time they spend on the job, together with the opportunity to work flexibly and develop new skills as priorities.Millennials Career Vision 2020_1

“Millennials want progression, but that doesn’t have to mean promotion. We need new ways to motivate and engage employees, like facilitating on-the-job learning and helping people move around the organization to gain experience more easily. And what works for Millennials works for the rest of the workforce too.”

Workforce of the Future

Millennials are happy to disrupt and be disrupted however. Though they favor full-time work, over half say they are open to non-traditional forms of employment in the future—freelance, gig work or portfolio careers with multiple jobs. Self-employment is also a tempting future option.

Their comfort with disruption and openness to new ways of working may put pressure on employers to adopt more of the flexibility and varied work offered by alternative employment models.

It’s time for companies to reimagine their people practices. Progression doesn’t always have to mean promotion. Career enhancement doesn’t need to mean advancement. If the only way for Millennials to gain new skills or move up is to be promoted or leave the company, is job-hopping their fault or our problem?

Millennials know they need to upskill regularly to stay employable over longer working lives. They’ll even spend their own time and cash to do so. Employers need to listen up. Investing in training and creating ways to learn on the job and move around the organization is a sure way to make companies more attractive places to work.

Loyalty today is a two-way street. Once Millennials see what’s in it for them long-term they’ll be at least as committed and productive as generations before them. And no spoiler alert needed, what works for Millennials works for the rest of the workforce too, and you don’t need 2020 vision for that to be clear.

Also read: While Millennials are happy at work, they keep looking for another Job: Survey Finds

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