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Mini-Me No More: Millennials Replace Boomers as “Me” Generation in the Workplace

Monster-GfK Survey Shows Millennials Are More Optimistic, More Self-Involved Than Baby Boomers When It Comes to Careers

MAYNARD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 29, 2013-- Monster.com, the worldwide leader in successfully connecting people to job opportunities and flagship brand of Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:MWW), and GfK, an independent global market research company, today released new survey data shedding light on millennial-aged Americans’ sentiment toward work and how they differ from their older colleagues in the workplace. While one may think careers would be valued most by Generation X or baby boomers, they are surprisingly valued most by America’s youngest generation. When it comes to having a Career vs. a Job, millennials aged 18-30 are the most positive (62%) that having a career is very much a reality in today’s work environment, even for America’s youngest workers.

Less than half (48%) of the original “Me” generation, baby boomers aged 51+, express confidence in the idea of a career being a reality. The data suggests an understanding of work that is defined by age and experience, highlighting the contrast of millennials’ hopeful, optimism-oriented point of view with baby boomers’ “been around the block” attitude.

Millennials also diverge from the more seasoned majority in how they approach the definition of the characteristics of a career versus a job. When asked to rate a series of attributes within the workplace to determine if it describes a career, a job or both equally, a majority of Americans indicated both jobs and careers equally provide a sense of personal accomplishment, lifelong earning potential, opportunities to make new contributions, and for alternate employment opportunities in the case of current job loss. However, the responses varied quite significantly in the context of careers and jobs exclusively. In the context of only careers, more than one third (37%) of millennials compared to only a quarter (26%) of baby boomers believe that a career provides a sense of accomplishment. In stark comparison, in the context of only jobs, virtually zero millennials, just 2%, believe a job can provide a sense of accomplishment. Here too the boomers indicate a different perspective, with nearly one tenth (9%) who attribute a sense of accomplishment to a job.

Millennials also indicate a career provides them with a sense of financial security, more so than a job. More than half of millennials (57%) and over a third (38%) of the older generation agree that a career provides them with lifelong earning potential. A job, on the other hand, left both generations concerned for their earning potential with less than a tenth responding positively (5% for millennials and 8% for baby boomers).

Show ME The Money

If money were not an issue, a good portion of Americans would “love to have” a profession that allowed them to help others:

If money were not an issue, which of the following careers would you love to have? – (Adult Americans)

   

Helping others (Nurse, Social Work, Human Rights, Philanthropy)

        42%

Teacher

15%

Artist (Sculptor, Painter, Musician)

13%

No thanks, show me the money

13%

Inventor

9%

Don’t Know

5%

Athlete

4%
 

Within these results we see hints of some of the highly individualistic traits often associated with the millennial generation in the broader population. Looking at the generational breakdown, the different attitudes also come across in this monetarily utopian hypothetical scenario:

   

16% of millennials would be artists, such as sculptors, painters or musicians and 7% selected athletes, while 11% of baby boomers opted to be artists and only 2% athletes.

10% of millennials would be teachers compared to 18% of baby boomers

11% of millennials and 13% of baby boomers would still choose money over any other career

 

“The question often is what are the baby boomers leaving for the next generation, when really the question we should ask is what can we expect from millennials as they settle in as our nation's future workforce,” said Joan Ruge, employment industry advisor and Senior Vice President of Monster. “The millennial generation has endured a turbulent economy and today’s workplace remains an especially challenging environment for those early in career. This new Monster-GfK data suggest that millennials have a strong desire for a defined and safe career, all while they remain optimistic that things will get better whereas for baby boomers it is significantly less so.”

About the Survey

This survey was conducted using GfK’s OMNITEL, a weekly national telephone omnibus. This survey combined traditional landline telephone sample with a cell phone sampling frame, forming a dual-frame sample. The main purpose behind including a cell phone sample is to ensure better representation of younger and cell dominant adults who have become increasingly more difficult to reach via traditional landline telephone samples.

This study was conducted using a random digit dialing (RDD) probability sample of all telephone households in the continental United States. The total sample size for this study is 1,008. For questions only asked of working Americans, the weighted subsample size is 511.

About GfK

GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with around 13,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2012, GfK’s sales amounted to €1.51 billion. GfK Public Affairs & Corporate Communications is a division of GfK Custom Research North America. The division specializes in customized public opinion polling and Communications research, and corporate reputation measurement -- in the US and globally.

To find out more, visit www.gfk.com/us or follow GfK on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GfK_en.

About Monster Worldwide

Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:MWW), is the global leader in successfully connecting job opportunities and people. Monster uses the world's most advanced technology to help people Find Better, matching job seekers to opportunities via digital, social and mobile solutions including monster.com®, our flagship website, and employers to the best talent using a vast array of products and services. As an Internet pioneer, more than 200 million people have registered on the Monster Worldwide network. Today, with operations in more than 40 countries, Monster provides the broadest, most sophisticated job seeking, career management, recruitment and talent management capabilities globally. For more information visit about-monster.com.

Source: Monster Worldwide, Inc.

Monster Worldwide
Kristen Andrews, 978-461-8089
kristen.andrews@monster.com