Reasons Why Millennials are Job Hopping

Thanks to digitization, life long employment with one company or one industry has become a thing of the past. By analyzing 7,000,000 work histories in the Canadian resumes in the Workopolis database, it was estimated that working aged Canadians will likely work roughly 15 jobs throughout their careers. And the younger you are, the more job changes you will probably have.

According to Statistics Canada, two-thirds of Canadian baby boomers entered their fifties holding down jobs they had been in for at least 12 years with the same employer. In fact, more than half had worked for the same firm or organization for far longer — often 20 years or more.

Unlike Gen X, Y or baby boomers, millennials (born between 1980 and 1996) have a reputation for job-hopping, have no loyalty and are unattached to organizations and institutions. A recent Gallup report on the millennial generation reveals that 21% of millennials say they’ve changed jobs within the past year and 60% of millennials say they are open to a different job opportunity.

Speaking about productivity, Gallup has also found that only 29% of millennials are engaged at work (emotionally and behaviourally). Another 16% of millennials are actively disengaged, meaning they are more or less out to do damage to their company. The majority of millennials (55%) are not engaged, leading all other generations in this category of worker engagement.

As you read this article, you may quickly recognize and may be ask, why are millennials job-hopping? Below are some parameters that I think are motivating job-hopping among millenials:

  1. Opportunities to learn and grow:

Millennials are less satisfied with mediocre jobs than their elders are. Since problem solving, design thinking and critical thinking are attributes of this generation, they are curious and absorb information like sponges. As such, meaningless repetitive tasks and non-lean processes won’t cut it as they will go extra miles including moving to a different state or country or even changing careers to obtain opportunities to learn and grow.

  1. Chances of advancement:

Millennials are seeking performance-based promotion instead of hierarchical and number-of-years-of-experience-dependent advancement opportunities. This may be linked to the fact that in countries like Canada and the US, millennials have high student loans and lower net worth. Therefore, clear-cut career advancement and good pay are extremely important.

  1. A sense of purpose and autonomy: 

With opportunities to connect with millions around the world, millennials are constantly evaluating their lives, careers and other goals and by this millennials are motivated by mission and purpose. In addition to purpose, millennials may seek autonomy of their work and if their jobs don’t give them purpose, they will leave.

  1. Excellent company’s culture: 

For millennials, their job is their life, so a bad manager, highly conventional and an environment with no spontaneity will drive them away while an environment that offers autonomy, flexibility and youthful and good management will drive high productivity. If they love their jobs, you can expect them to work for up to 70 hours per week.

  1. Invasion of digitization:

 As millennials are techy and technology-savvy, even very traditional companies must embrace digitization and change of thoughts and processes. Failure to do so may lead to lack of retention of millennials.

  1. Investing in employees’ growth: 

Since digitization skill acquisition or project or business management skills or expensive certifications may mean opportunity for promotion and chance of career advancement, offering professional development opportunities can increase job satisfaction of existing staff and attract in-demand candidates.

Although too many employment changes can raise red flags with hiring managers as you may be perceived as a flight risk, job-hopping can have proven to be beneficial as 75% of millennial employees view job-hopping as beneficial. In addition, 67% of professionals with a college degree or higher see the most benefit in changing jobs every few years.

If we would flip these wants, I would like you to think about the company you work for and evaluate the company using the 5 points highlighted above. Are you satisfied with your job? If your answer is no, could this be why you are disengaged or feel the need to job-hop? When choosing the next company you would work for, could you ensure to do your research about these points before “saying yes to the job”?

As we approach the end of the year and now recapping, are you thinking of changing a job or changing career all together? How many professional jobs have you held so far? Are you thinking about a new job or a new career or an entrepreneurial route? Please share your thoughts about this article with us and watch out for our next article on jobs of the future.


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