What Young People Want From Work

What Young People Want From Work

By Catherine Clifford

Friends and purpose. That’s what young people want from their jobs.

For the majority of millennial workers (those born after 1979), the boundaries that used to exist between home, office, passion-projects, co-workers and friends aren’t relevant anymore. And in workplaces where those formal barriers do exist, many younger employees will be turned off and discouraged.

These findings come from the fifth annual Millennial Impact Report, released today by the Case Foundation in partnership with market-research agency Achieve.

Of the more than 1,500 millennials surveyed, about 9 out of 10 said they were contributing to a company that is making a positive impact on the world. “The millennials have a work-life blend -- blending of work, blending of life-interest, blending of value, blending of passion and interest,” says Derrick Feldmann, president and lead researcher of Achieve and the Millennial Impact Project.

When asked to describe the qualities they seek in an employer, millennials look first and foremost at what a company does, makes or sells. Second on the list was work culture, and third was a company’s participation in supporting particular causes. What that means is that millennials look for meaning in the core function of what a company does, not in subsidiary charity chapters, says Feldmann.

Having a company’s social benefit embedded in its main mission allows a millennial employee to give of his or her talents, skills and assets on a daily basis, beyond donating money. 

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