Job Satisfaction for the Millennial Generation

January 23, 2013

……………………………The Millennial Generation has job-hopped more than past generations, which the media attributes to a variety of influences, but job dissatisfaction is at the core. Most of the factors influencing job satisfaction aren’t too surprising: working conditions, workload and stress, recognition and responsibility, promotion and financial rewards, co-worker respect and relationship with supervisors.

More thought provoking is a study by the University of Singapore, mentioned in the Wall Street Journal recently, which found that the tendency to hate your job could be genetic. The article states that “People with a certain type of dopamine receptor gene, which has been tied to risk-taking, weak impulse control and attention deficit disorder, tend to be less satisfied with their jobs.” My non-academic interpretation is a little different. Those are the people who should be day traders on the New York Stock Exchange, reality TV adventure seekers, or serial entrepreneurs. They’re just bored easily.

Which has been reported to be a characteristic of Millennials as well. Although there is always a lot to learn when you start a career, it’s hard to jump from a fast-moving, multi-digital, multi-tasking world to one where you’re assigned entry level tasks from a supervisor who possibly knows less than you about aspects of social marketing to your customers. Maybe it’s comforting to know that generations before you felt the same when they started their jobs. I took an investment banking analyst job directly out of college but left for business school shortly thereafter to change career directions. I was on Wall Street during a boom time for mergers, acquisitions and financings and I’m sure the work I was given was just about as challenging and exciting as it gets for recent college grads, but I got bored. After two years of business school, a consumer products marketing job, and a real estate-related job, I realized that I missed transaction-oriented business and just maybe investment banking would seem more interesting the second time around. I was older, more experienced, more educated and more mature. As a result, once I landed back in banking, my superiors gave me more responsibility and I began to love my job. A few years earlier, no one could have told me to hang in there- that it will get more interesting, but it did. So if you’re wavering on the edge of a job move, look at your boss. If you want her job, then maybe you should stick around a while.

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Terri Tierney Clark

Terri Tierney Clark


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