This Study Smashes a Big Stereotype About Millennials and Work

Millennial job hopping
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Newsflash: Millennials are stressed about their financial future.

Okay, so maybe that’s not the most surprising fact to come out of Deloitte’s latest survey of nearly 8,000 20- and 30-somethings in 30 countries.  

After all, we’re saddled with student debt, we matured during the housing collapse and are constantly the target of articles decrying our work ethic and spending (think: avocado toast).

But here’s a fact that should turn your view of the millennial generation on its head: We want more stability in our jobs.

The Myth of Millennial Job-Hopping

Yes, the age group Gallup called “the job-hopping generation” — in a 2016 report that also called us “the least engaged generation in the workplace” — is increasingly looking for long-term careers, according to the Deloitte study.

Last year in the same survey, 44% of millennials said they plan to leave their job within two years. This year, the figure dipped to 38%.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, 27% of participants in the 2016 survey said they would stay longer than five years in their current job, while 31% answered the same in 2017.

A Pew Research Center study from earlier this year actually confirmed that millennials don’t job hop at a rate any higher than that of Generation X. Actually, they reported staying longer than their older cohort.

And one step further, in an era of the the gig economy, two-thirds of the members of Generation Y surveyed said they prefer full-time work.

Why Are Millennials Sticking Around Longer?

Indeed, the preferences of a generation accustomed to disappointing economic conditions is continually being shaped by those conditions.

“We have reported how millennials seem especially concerned about issues that directly impact the individual or which create an atmosphere of threat and uncertainty,” Deloitte notes in the analysis. “This anxiety might be why most would currently prefer a permanent, full-time job rather than working freelance or as a consultant on a flexible or short-term basis.”

But it’s not just the crummy global political economic conditions influencing millennials’ company loyalty — it’s firms themselves. Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed said their employers offer flexible time restraints — when to start and stop a project — and 67% said their boss gives them some amount of freedom where to work.

Hello, pajamas. Goodbye, frantic rush to pick up your dry cleaning. (Though working from home does have some hilarious side effects.)

So, listen up boomers and Generation X, we’re not the lazy, entitled generation jumping from firm to firm on the career carousel. We don’t have a different work ethic; we have a different work style.

“Flexible working arrangements support greater productivity and employee engagement while enhancing their personal well-being, health, and happiness,” according to the Deloitte survey.

The study further notes, “This, if nothing else, should encourage businesses to further explore what might follow from having more flexible approaches to working arrangements.”

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder. He spent more than five years at his last job, and plans to retire as a geriatric Penny Hoarder looking for the best deals on flying cars.

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