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Study: What Millennials Want

Millennials. Depending on who you ask, they’re either the hardest workers, the laziest workers, the neediest workers, or the most self-sufficient. Having been brought up in a globally connected digital world, their needs and desires are different than generations past. But how much do we know about their needs and desires, really?

Defined by the Census Bureau as the generation born between 1982 and 2000, millennials are now one year into being the predominant generation in the U.S. labor force. That’s why Comparably is taking a deep dive into the millennial experience at work.

The data, which comes from the responses of thousands of employees at small, mid-size, and large public and private companies was collected between March 2016 and August 2017.

Respondents were asked the following:

Do you think your job could be replaced by a robot in the next 10 years?

Do you feel that you’ve been held back in your career because of your gender?

Besides your salary, what’s most important to you about work?

Do you plan to start your own company in the next 5 years?

How much longer do you see yourself working at your current company?

How likely are you to share your compensation with co-workers?

How much work time per day do you spend using social media?

How often do you lie to your boss?

Check out the results and our methodology below.


Millennials are the most confident that robots will take over their jobs

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The robots are coming. 19% of workers 18 to 35 say they think their job will be replaced by a robot in the next 10 years.

Millennials are more convinced than any other worker. 11% of workers above 35 say they believe their job will be replaced by a robot in the next 10 years.

Young millennials are the biggest believers in the robot revolution. 24% of workers in the 18 to 25 group think their job will be replaced by a robot in the next 10 years.

 


 

1 in 4 millennials feel gender has held them back in their careers

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Measuring the glass ceiling. Overall, 23% of men and women aged 18 to 35 say they feel their gender has held them back in their careers. That’s a higher concentration than workers in the 36-45 age group (19%), and mostly in line with workers aged 46 and up (22%).

Half of all women feel their gender has held them back. 51% of women overall say their gender has held them back at work. The rate is slightly higher in the tech sector, where 54% of women say their gender has held them back. In industries outside of tech, 45% of women say their gender has held them back. These rates are for all age groups.

The three tech departments where women feel most held back. Women who work in the following departments at technology firms reported the highest rates of feeling held back in their careers: finance (68%), engineering (63%) and executive (63%). These rates are for all age groups.


Millennials rank career advancement just as high as work-life balance

Besides salary, what’s most important to you about work? Workers aged 18 to 35 rank career advancement opportunities and work-life balance at the top: 32% say career advancement and 34% say work-life balance.

Among millennials, older millennials say work-life balance is most important. Millennials aged 30 to 35 were more interested in work-life balance than career-advancement opportunities.

18 to 25

3

25 to 30

4

30 to 35

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Older than 35. For workers older than age 35, work-life balance was increasingly ranked the most important feature (41%).


 

Millennials are more transparent about their salary than anyone else

It’s still taboo for people to reveal how much they earn, though millennials are more open to it than most.28% of workers aged 18 to 35 said they were “somewhat” or “very” likely to share their salary with their coworkers. Only 12% of workers above 40 said the same.

Millennials also answered “it depends” more than any other age group.27% of millennial workers aged 18 to 35 said their decision to discuss their salary with their coworkers is dependent on the situation.

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Older millennials (those aged 31 to 35) were slightly more reticent than younger millennials. 22% said they were “somewhat” or “very” likely to reveal their salary to their coworkers.

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The results show that compensation is still a highly sensitive subject across all age groups. 32% of respondents across all age groups said they were not likely to share their compensation details, and 22% said they would never do it. (The 41-45 age group was most against it, with 29% answering “never.” Only 17% of workers aged 18-35 said the same.)

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Nearly 40% of millennials think they’ll start their own company in 5 years

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— Millennials are smitten with entrepreneurship. 38% of millennials aged 18 to 35 say they plan to start their own company in the next five years. Of course most of them won’t: young people (20-34) have been shown to have the lowest rates of starting new businesses, according to the Kauffman Index.

Desire to start a business declines with age. The desire to start a new business dropped off after age 30, falling to a low of 24% among 46 to 50 year olds. (Responses above age 55 were eliminated due to small sample size.)

 


Millennials spend the most time on social media during the workday – though not as much time as you might guess

Over an hour a day. 21% of workers aged 18 to 35 say they spend a minimum of an hour using social media during the workday – the most of any age group. Just 16% of workers over age 35 say the same.

15 minutes or less. 31% of workers aged 18 to 35 spend 15 minutes or less on social media during the workday – the least of any age group. 40% of workers over age 35 say they spend 15 minutes or less on social media during the work day.

— The youngest spend the most time connected. 23% of workers aged 18 to 25 spend an hour or more on social media during the workday.

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Millennials aren’t quite as eager to switch jobs as often perceived

Ready to hop and to stay put. 32% of workers aged 18 to 35 say they can see themselves leaving their job within a year. That’s not much higher than the 28% who say they can see themselves staying on for at least another two years.

 

18 to 25

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26 to 30

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31 to 35

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More willing to leave than older workers.
24% of workers over 35 say they can see themselves leaving their job within a year compared to 32% of millennials.


Millennials are most likely to admit that they lie to their boss

The most honest about lying?
65% of workers aged 18 to 35 say they “never” lie to their boss compared with 80% of workers aged 36 and up.

Highlight:

Workers 26 to 30

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Workers 50 to 55

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Nearly 3 out of 4 workers across all age groups say they never lie to their boss.
Overall, 71% of workers say they never lie to their bosses; 10% say they lied “once ever”; 10% say they lie “once a quarter”; 5% say they lie “once a month” and 4% say they lie “once a week.”

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Methodology

–Questions were in Yes/No, True/False, 1-10 scale, and multiple choice format.

 

–Results are based on 36,000+ responses from workers across the technology sector.

 

–Employees hail from small, mid-size, and large companies, predominantly at tech companies.
–Data was collected between March 2016 and August 2017.

 

 

Comparably

Comparably monitors the job market for the best Careers, Compensation, & Companies to make work more Rewarding & Transparent.

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