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  • Understanding Millennials’ Idea of Career Success

    Are hiring managers seeing eye-to-eye with you?

    While the recession may have pushed Millennials to say they have more realistic expectations about career advancement, hiring managers don’t yet see a change, according to The Future of Millennial Careers, a new study released by the Career Advisory Board, presented by DeVry University.

    What Makes Millennials Different?

    When I was younger, it seemed like career success was often measured by the size of one’s pocketbook. If you worked hard, took pride in your education, led by example among your peers and carried yourself with integrity as a young professional, you would be rewarded with a well-paying job.

    Now, it’s a little different. The Career Advisory Board’s new research shows that young professionals are still working hard, just as hard as they were a generation or two prior, but they’re doing so not necessarily for the financial reward. Now, young professionals believe the merit of “success” is a career in which they do meaningful and personally fulfilling work, the kind of work that has a positive impact on others or on society – the high salary might just be the bonus – not the motivation.

    The co-authors of The Future of Millennial Careers suggest that the recession has played a role in Millennials’ perception of the workplace and, perhaps, their opinion on employee compensation levels. If such is the case, then it’s worth considering why almost 50% of hiring managers still rank high pay as the number one factor of career success for Millennials, while only 30% of actual Millennials rank high pay as the number one factor.

    They’re not quite seeing eye-to-eye. Yet.

    “Millennials need to overcome hiring managers’ expectations about what motivates young professionals’ career decisions,” said Alexandra Levit, business and workplace consultant and Career Advisory Board member. “Young professionals need to focus on developing soft skills such as relationship building and effective communication to get heard and get ahead.”

    Bridging the Divide

    I should note, though, that according to our research, hiring managers and Millennials aren’t in complete disagreement about the requisites of career success. In fact, they have quite a few important similarities:

    • 47% of hiring managers believe Millennials exhibit an inability to accept criticism from their managers with 54% of Millennials in agreement.
    • 55% of hiring managers believe Millennials lack patience with established processes and 47% of Millennials agree.
    • 47% of Millennials and 49% of hiring managers agree mentoring is the most helpful way for Millennials to overcome their weaknesses.

    The Perennial Millennials

    Millennials are poised to pursue career paths distinctly different than prior generations as they enter the workforce. Our most recent study suggests that Millennials believe they need to pursue higher education, obtain transferable skills, hold a variety of different jobs and, perhaps, even multiple career paths. In fact, 89% Millennials expect their work experiences to vary from those of their parents’ generation.

    In an effort to help Millennials and hiring managers find common ground, the Career Advisory Board developed some tips for each group:

    Top Three Tips for Millennials

    • Conduct an honest self-assessment on individual strengths and weaknesses.
    • Demonstrate you care about the work. Go beyond the assignment.
    • Ask for help and guidance.

    Top Three Tips for Hiring Managers

    • Give timely and constructive feedback.
    • Lead by your example to set expectations.
    • Keep an open mind and learn from young professionals.

    Guest Post:

    Dr. Claude Toland serves as the vice president of student and career services at DeVry University and is the chairman of the Career Advisory Board. Established in 2010 by DeVry University, the Career Advisory Board is a panel of leading career experts and authors from business and academia who provide actionable advice for job-seekers. Its members include executives from CareerBuilder, Cisco, DeVry University, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Microsoft Corporation as well as nationally recognized career experts.

    Posted in Career Development, gen-y, guest post, management, People, Personal Branding, Recruitment, Success Strategies
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