4 Reasons Why Generation Y Job Hops

This post isn’t justifying why you should job hop. Instead the intent is to explore some reasons why Generation Y bounces from job to job early in their career.

1.) Gen Y is inherently entitled.

If you’re in the tiny subset of rockstars in our little social media bubble, chances are you’re doing what you can to separate yourself from your peers. I know you are tired of hearing it, but you shouldn’t care because this doesn’t apply to most of you.

The truth is our generation IS totally entitled. People ask me all the time to connect them with X or give them a recommendation IF the salary is good. I have an idea. Get A job first, and then seek out that perfect fit with the fat paycheck and comfy benefits. Unless Mommy and Daddy are super rich this is the approach you should try.

Part of being a young worker, particularly in this economy, is grinding it out for a bit. You’ll be glad you did one day.

2.) Gen Y genuinely does want to make an impact, be challenged, etc.

Maybe it’s the entitlement talking, but Millennials really do yearn to make a difference. If their current employer is not providing this they’ll look to jump ship.

This young generation of workers are very educated and they want the chance to show what they can do. Running copies, fetching coffee and only doing grunt work that adds little to no value to the company is one of the fastest ways to frustrate a hungry young worker.

If you want to keep someone, give them work that matters.

3.) Companies are significantly less loyal than they used to be.

Too many Gen Y employees watched their parents get canned after years of loyal service to the same company. We’re witnessing big companies let great people go just because they can get cheaper labor to do work that is “good enough.” If they don’t take good care of employees after a decent amount of time (a year perhaps?), they SHOULD seek to hop around a bit.

If you work your tail off for a year, teach yourself lots of new things, assume more responsibility and bring in new business you would like to think your superiors would acknowledge that. And yes, that’s what you’re supposed to do, but is a pat on the back too much to ask? A little extra flexibility? A small bonus?

Positive reinforcement does wonders for loyalty.

4.) Younger employees don’t know what they want or how to get it.

I think this might be the most common of the four reasons. Younger employees aren’t yet seasoned at the job search/interview experience, nor do they really know what they want to do often times. They often get in situations that are terrible fits because A.) they didn’t get a good sense of the culture/work, etc. or B.) they were terrified of this economy and took a job to pay the bills while they found the ideal fit.

I see it happen everyday. I get e-mails about it from people who’ve fallen into the trap. They go, they interview, they didn’t ask the right questions. They got excited because the company wanted them, and they forgot to ask themselves if they wanted the company. (Which doesn’t always matter. See #1)

This invariably leads to, “Hey I better take this job even though it’s not a good fit, because it will pay the bills until I find something that IS a good fit.” And I’m not sure there’s anything necessarily wrong with that. Who knows? It could turn out to be a great fit. You could make it a great fit.

I always thought employers would scoff at a job hopper, but I’ve actually found the opposite to be true with respect to young workers. Often times, a good hiring manager/HR person understands, and even experienced a similar path themselves.

What do you think? Are these valid reasons for the Generation Y job hopping epidemic? What are other reasons you’ve switched jobs?


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