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Is a Dream Job Really Millennials’ Top Career Priority?

You’ve probably heard at some point or another that young generations (i.e. millennials and generation z - both born during or after 1980) were more into following their dreams instead of being money-hungry go-getters in the career world. However, recent research done by Adecco USA has proven that young generations are much more interested in making money. The current economic atmosphere has millennials and generation z (let’s call them “gen-z” for short) on edge, especially in regards to their feeling of financial security.   

The Proof Is In The Pudding

The Adecco USA study indicated that the top aspiration for 31 per cent of students and recent graduates (between ages 18 and 24) is to become financially stable within the next 10 years. You might be wondering what that translates into, as millennials and gen-z seem to be more interested in a high-paying job than a fulfilling career path. Yet financial stability was a top-three choice for 69 per cent of the respondents. Aspiration to score a dream job was next; it was a top interest for 28 per cent of respondents. More specifically, 32 per cent of gen-z respondents and 24 per cent of millennial respondents expressed that desire.

A portion of the respondents demonstrated high expectations about landing steady employment. For 32 respondents finding a job is the most important concern. Moreover, 79 per cent of them believe they will have a job within five months of graduation, while 42 per cent is a bit more ambitious as they expect to have a job within three months of graduation.

The Most Influential Reason Behind The Stats

The Great Recession made a huge impact on how young people prioritize their money and career goals. This downturn of the U.S. economy (and the global economy to some extent), which officially started in 2007, has become a big learning experience for millennials and gen-z. The life lesson taken away from it is that time is money, and that dream jobs will have to wait. As for the waiting time, it will probably take longer than we’d like, as younger generations are hit harder economically.

Further statistical data showed that 36 per cent of respondents have noted career growth as their top priority when deciding on a first job. Compare that to the 19 per cent that favor fulfilling work and stability. 73 per cent expect to earn up to $55,000 annually on their first job. Money is clearly doing the talking here.

"A trend we’re seeing emerge is that students -particularly the older ones- who felt or witnessed the impact of the recession are more likely to prioritize career growth and stability in their job search," said Joyce Russell the president of Adecco Staffing, USA, in a press release.

What’s Their Plan Of Action?

Unfortunately, achieving financial stability is easier said than done for young folks. It’s expected that, during spring break, 42 per cent will spend five or more hours on social media. Also, 64 per cent are expected to spend the same amount of time streaming videos for entertainment. As a millennial myself and an avid user of YouTube, I sometimes get carried away with those silly cat and dog videos.

Only 16 per cent plan on spending five or more hours on finding a job. As to how they’ll go about doing that, 31 per cent responded that that they depend on online job boards, while 29 per cent rely on their school’s career center.

The Gender Divide

Differences in how men and women prioritize their lifestyle goals in relation to career advancement are to be expected. 38 per cent of women indicated travel as a top-three desire, while only 26 per cent of men indicated the same. Surprisingly, 28 per cent of men have starting a family as a top priority, compared to only 20 per cent of women. However, 36 per cent of all the respondents had marriage as a top-three goal.

See Also: Money Myths About Millennial Employees

So, there you have it! Passionate pursuits have taken the backseat to building a more financially secure future for young people. Yet the facts do not imply that millennials and gen-z as are just being selfish. Many of us just want to have our finances well-established before we take on other big engagements, like raising kids or trying to travel around the world in 80 days. We tend to generate less money than generation x (also known as “Baby Boomers”). There is more of an urgency to get our hands on money, especially for matters like dealing with college debt.

Should millennials and generation z prioritize financial stability over a dream job?
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