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Research highlights more and more millennials desire a ‘portfolio career’



Millennials are often seen as a mysterious bunch. A generation of workers sometimes perceived as lazier, more work shy and entitled who you never see without the latest phone firmly attached to their ear.

It is certainly true that they are a generation, born approximately after 1982 and before 2004, that have grown up in an era where the candidate is often seen as king

In many ways this has led them to be more confident than previous generations in their ability to always find a new job and as a consequence this confidence has allowed them to expect and demand more.

Millennials are a generation that are happy to move jobs more frequently to get what they want and build a ‘portfolio career’ where they have a number of jobs over a few years rather than stick with the view held by many from the older generation that moving jobs regularly is not a good thing and shows a lack of staying power.

The latest research of more than 2,000 UK workers, undertaken by Tempo, found that 28% of people aged between 18-34 have already had more than five jobs. 

Indeed, the average millennial, with the oldest being 34, has already had 3.4 jobs, compared to 5.9 for those in the 55+ age bracket. 

Of those millennials surveyed 52% said that they had plans to move jobs within the next two years and over a third (34%) within the next twelve months.

Millennials certainly demand more and have a well-defined set of expectations for both the role and the company they are willing to work for.

Significantly, they are not as highly motivated by salary as previous generations. The research highlighted that more than eight in ten (83%) of over-55s cited salary as one of their top three motivations for choosing a new role, however this figure fell to just 67% for millennials. 

Work for millennials has to have meaning and purpose and they want to learn and develop. They place a great deal of emphasis on self-improvement but above anything else they want a job that fits in with their life, offers them greater flexibility and autonomy and the ability to lead a better life.

Millennials are not just seeking new jobs either, they perceive a ‘portfolio career’ as a great opportunity to try and learn something new and achieve self-improvement all while developing new skills.

The research highlights that two-thirds of under-35s (64%) want to move sectors, compared to just 39% of those between 35-55.

Millennials see key benefits in having a more multi-disciplined and diverse career where they not only change jobs regularly but sectors and even careers too because they perceive that those who embrace change and diversity are more adaptable, have a great range of soft business skills and make more business and networking contacts.

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