Why Do Millennials Change Jobs So Often?

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My parents met at the place where they worked.

They met at Sears Roebuck and Company in Memphis, TN in 1948. My father sold furniture and my mother ordered ladies shoes in the huge skyscraper of a building that was known for decades as Sears Crosstown.

They went on to eventually work for Sears for 20 years, until my mother took early retirement and my father was part of the generation which was asked to retire in the early 1980s, in order for the Powers-That-Be in Chicago to install a “new business model”, replacing full-time knowledgable employees who had profit-sharing with younger part-time employees.

How all that eventually worked out for Sears Roebuck and Company is another interesting story.

Every generation since my parents’ has been more transitory in their length of time at any one employer, until we find ourselves in 2018 watching this generation, known as the Millennials, seemingly switching jobs every couple of years or even more often than that.

As an older worker working alongside members of this generation, I have found myself wondering why they switch employers so often.

The wanderlust of youth, I understand. However, there has to be more than that.

Here are some plausible reasons for their job-hopping:

It’s Their First Full-time Job – Per an article found at fivethirtyeight.com

…Most people in their early 20s are fairly new to their jobs, but most of them are fairly new to the workforce, period.

A Lack of Engagement – According to an article posted on gallup.com on May 12, 2016…

…Only 29% of millennials are engaged at work, meaning only about three in 10 are emotionally and behaviorally connected to their job and company. 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.

But, why are they not engaged? I realize that it’s not the latest video game, but, come on…it’s a job!

Show Me The Money! – According to Forbes.com, in an article posted on November 30, 2013

Young workers are now 30 years old when they first earn a median-wage income of about $42,000, a marker of financial independence, up from 26 years old in 1980.

“Pension?” “What’s that?” – An article from May 6, 2015, found at attn.com, states that

Melissa Murray Bailey of consulting and research company Universum told The Washington Post last year that the workforce operated quite differently for Baby Boomers when they entered.

“In the Baby Boomer generation, everybody had pensions, and that really facilitated lifelong commitments to a company,” Murray Bailey said. “As companies have done less and less of that, there really is less of a mutual expectation that people will make that commitment.”

A point which was brought up in several of the articles which I read during my research for this post, is the fact that a lot of companies are new to the economy themselves, as is the company which I work for.

Millennials, in their quest to better their job situation, may not wish to share in the experience of the growing pains that a new company goes through, even though there may be opportunities for better jobs within the company if they stayed there.

In summary, I suppose the reason that Millennials change jobs so often in this brave new “flexible” economy…is simply because THEY CAN.

Never give up. Never surrender,

Allen

Allen Fitzhugh is a Team Leader with The Revenue Optimizations Companies at their Hernando Walmart location. He may be contacted at In-mail at linkedin.com.

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Job Search 2014: It’s a Brave New World

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40s businessAs I continue my quest for gainful employment, it has become very evident to me that America’s Job Market has drastically changed.

The impatience of a technology-driven society is very evident…even in a job search.

Employers nowadays want to know what you can do for them today, not a couple of years down the road. And, with the economy headed down the ol’ porcelain receptacle, they want you to be able to do it with a limited or non-existent budget. Additionally , if you are being interviewed by a smaller company, Health Insurance for you and your family may not be included, due to the launch of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

This ain’t our parents (or grandparents for you young whipper-snappers out there) Job Market.

My folks were members of America’s Greatest Generation. I was born when they were 40. That being said, I can remember my Mother and Father, going to work everyday, to their jobs with Sears and Roebuck.

That’s right. They both worked for the same company…for 20 years!

You see, boys and girls, back then, unlike our impatient present society, employers hired you for the long haul. These employers were adept, through face-to-face interviews, at recognizing future employes’ potential, and were willing to invest the time necessary to cultivate that employee in order to realize a Return on that Investment (ROI).

Beginning in the 1980’s, the employer/employee dynamic began to change, as older employees, seemingly overnight,  became viewed as liabilities, not assets.

Take Sears and Roebuck, for example. As I mentioned earlier, both my parents put in 20 years with Sears.  In the early 1980s, after the Corporate Offices moved into the Sears Tower in Chicago, the young, hungry executives up there decided that the old model of employment with Sears was no longer viable.

Sears Employees, at that time, had a very nice Benefit Package, which included profit sharing, paid vacations, health insurance…the whole deal.

In return, at the store level, the employees were very happy, hard-working, and loyal assets to the company.

For example, my Father managed the Suburban Shop in a Sears Store, here in Dixie. His department consisted of a combined Farm Store and the Garden Store. He sold fencing, storage rooms, chain saws, tractors, go-karts, Sakrete (concrete mix), fertilizer, flowers..you get the idea. I still remember him, in his 50s, loading bags of Sakrete onto a dolly.

The employees would also hold monthly management/recognition meetings before the store would open for the day. There would be skits, motivational speeches from management, and awards given. My Father, in fact, was Sales Manager of the Year, at least a couple of times.

The results of the way that Sears treated their employees, back in the day, showed up in their sales…and their reputation. When you walked in the door of a Sears Store, you were immediately greeted by the employees, and made to feel welcome. Their reputation ranked right up there with Macy’s Department Store in the Northern States and Goldsmith’s Department Store down here in the South. In other words, they were considered THE TOP OF THE LINE.

And then, it happened.

The bean counters and the young, hungry executives decided that taking care of their employees was interfering with their Revenue Stream. They began to “tighten the screws”, if you will, and started offering “Early Retirement” to their veteran, knowledgeable employees, so that they could replace them with part-time young employees, with reduced benefits, thereby increasing their corporate Revenue Stream.

So, how did that work out?

Not so well.

Sears had to close a lot of stores, before finally selling out to K-mart, which still finds itself in a precarious position, being trounced in the marketplace on a regular basis by Walmart.

So, you’re asking, what does that have to do with today’s Job market?

I’m glad you asked.

Nowadays, in our impatient society, powered by an universal quest for immediate results and gratification, employers and job-seekers alike have forgotten the old adage,

Good things come to those who wait.

Employers need to realize that there are skills you can teach employees and that the job seeker who is presently interviewing with you, can be cultivated into becoming a worthwhile ROI.

And, on the job seeker’s part, young seekers, just out of college, need to realize that, while universities can teach you knowledge, they can’t teach you experience. You may have to take a lower job than you had set your hopes on, in order to achieve greater success in the future.

To summarize, in today’s “microwave-version” of the job seeking/hiring process, perhaps both employers and potential employees need to slow down, move in a more deliberate fashion, and think a little more about what they want, in both an employer and in a job situation.

Prepare for the long haul.

Be Flexible. Be Adaptable. 

Never Give Up. Never Surrender.

 Allen