Millennials Plan to Work Past Retirement Age, Revamp Skills and Take More Time Off, Says Report
Posted By Terri Williams on June 15, 2016 at 9:09 am
While many Baby Boomers are counting the years, months, weeks, and days until they can stop working, most Millennials plan to work long after they reach the age of retirement. And that’s just one of the differences between this and previous generations.
According to U.S. Census Bureau data, Millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. And their numbers will only increase as millions of students graduate from college during the next three years. So it would be to everyone’s advantage to understand their collective perspective regarding the workplace.
“Millennial Careers 2020 Vision,” a recent report by the Manpower Group, provides a wealth of information regarding the Millennial mindset. Below are selected excerpts:
What do you plan on doing for the rest of your life?
As the years go by, millennials may have a change of heart, but for now, well over half are planning to work beyond today’s retirement age. This is how long American Millennials plan to work:
|66%||Past the age of 65|
|32%||Past the age of 70|
|12%||Until the day they die|
Traditional vs. non-traditional work
While 75% of Millennials with jobs are currently working full-time, half are open to non-traditional forms of employment in the future. Their responses were as follows when asked, “How would you consider working in the future?”
|18%||Portfolio (2+ jobs)|
|14%||Gig (e.g. Uber, Task Rabbit)|
When asked, “What does job security mean to you?” it’s obvious that the definition of this term is changing:
|39%||Secure job for the long-term|
|24%||Job skills that match market need|
|19%||Maintain standard of living|
|5%||Contacts to help me find employment|
|3%||Redundancy/Severance pay/Benefits if I’m let go|
Next level preparation
When asked what it takes to reach the next job level, most Millennials understand (perhaps better than previous generations) that “sticking around long enough” or “good fortune” won’t produce the desired results:
|47%||Perform well in current job|
|45%||Improve skills and qualifications|
|36%||More experience through new roles or assignments|
|22%||Strong relationship with a manager, mentor, sponsor|
|15%||Stay around long enough|
|11%||Meaningful career conversations with manager|
|2%||I see no prospect for advancement|
And 69% are willing to spend their own time and/or money to improve their skills.
Significant time off (more than 4 consecutive weeks)
Among Millennial respondents, women were more likely to take a career break to care for other people:
|Caring for others||Women||Men|
|Birth of my children||66%||32%|
|Care for parents/aging relatives||32%||19%|
|Support partner in their job||11%||13%|
|Volunteer or charity work||10%||8%|
Over a third of men were doubtful that they’d even take an extended break; among those who would, their reasons are very different:
|Caring for self||Women||Men|
|Pursue life dream or hobby||16%||18%|
|Return to school/gain new skills||19%||17%|
|I’m highly unlikely to take 4 weeks away||14%||34%|
Millennials in tune or out of touch with reality?
GoodCall spoke with Kristy Willis, senior vice president of Adecco Staffing USA about the survey results. She was not surprised by the responses and said they mirrored a recent Adecco staffing survey.
“Millennials (and Gen Z-ers) entering the workforce have financial stability top of mind; as such, it makes sense that they would be open to working past the age of 65 – or even beyond – to maintain that sense of security in their wallets.”
And that’s why Samantha Lambert, director of human resources for Blue Fountain Media, tells GoodCall that Millennials are absolutely in touch and have realistic expectations regarding their future. “I think a lot of it is related to how they watched their parents and where they were at that age, and the changes in society – like nearly everything increasing in price.” And Lambert says if Millennials observe their parents struggling financially and not able to retire anytime soon, this could reinforce the idea that they will also have to work longer before they can leave the workforce.
In addition, recent studies show that student loan debt is limiting careers, marriage, home-buying, and retirement, which could also explain why many Millennials – especially those with massive student loan debt – don’t plan to retire anytime soon. Their openness to part-time and temporary jobs may also be the result of the desire to earn extra income to pay all of their expenses.
And Willis says it’s important to note that the opportunity for growth is important to this generation of job seekers. “They’re eager to grow and learn and move up the ladder, and it’s not surprising that they would be willing to spend their own money for additional education and training.”
For Millennials, it seems to be more about the journey than about any particular job, which could indicate that they know there’s no such thing as job security. Recent news reports like the one stating that IBM is simultaneously laying off and hiring thousands of workers serve as a warning to workers to keep their skills sharp.