Younger Millennials Value Meaning over Money

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 is 14.8%, which is more than twice national rate, according to Department of Labor statistics.

Also See: Unemployment Boosts Entrepreneurship

"Millennials tend to want to have it all, including their expectations of finding a good job," said Maryellen Valaitis, senior vice president of human resources with McGraw-Hill Education.

A study commissioned by McGraw Hill Education called "The Grad Gap: College Millennials' Career Aspirations and Readiness" found that 90% are optimistic about their ability to find a good job when they graduate.

"This generation challenges the notion that experience is the best predictor of the future," Valaitis told MainStreet. "They are more focused on the outcomes of their current work or project and less on their past experiences."

Also See: When Do Millennials Feel Like Adults??

Some percent of students said they'd prefer a job that has a beneficial impact on society, while only 27% said they'd prefer a job that pays well but had no impact.

"Today's college students have career aspirations that are markedly different perhaps even more nobler than those of previous generations, which is exciting," said Brian Kibby, president of the higher ed division with McGraw-Hill Education. "But at the same time, we need to be doing more to help students prepare for the very real challenges they will face as they enter the workforce."

Just being proficient with social media strategies isn't enough.

"It's the ability to use social media as a productivity or business tool that is going to help them get ahead," said Valaitis. "Technology is rapidly revolutionizing the business landscape and students who truly understand how to leverage technology to achieve business outcomes will have a leg up on others."

In addition to technology, skills involving engineering and math are in demand by employers.

Also See: The Millennials -- A Dire Generation on Its Own and Stuck

"Millennials are attracted to mission driven organizations and companies with world class workplace technology and environments," Valaitis said. "It's about the outcomes they can generate and the creative license they are given to achieve those outcomes."

In addition to being optimistic, 73% said it's more important to do what they love versus 20% who chose being paid well.

"The experience of being involved with a meaningful initiative is more important than financial reward for younger Millennials," said Valaitis. "They tend to avoid organizations that have a time clock mentality or where projects are given to someone who has been around a long time and paid their dues. Instead, they prefer employers focused on the end result, which gives them flexibility and choice."

Because their loyalty is to the cause or project and not the organization, Millennials are expected to change jobs every few years but when it comes to money, the Facebook generation is willing to be patient.

About 30% favor slow and steady as their financial planning approach, according to a Northwestern Mutual 2014 Planning and Progress Study.

"While not quite putting money in the mattress, they definitely take a more retro approach to how they handle their finances," said Greg Oberland, executive vice president with Northwestern Mutual.

They are also more disciplined than their grandparents. Largely, 62% say they are highly disciplined or disciplined financial planners compared to 54% for adults over the age of 60 years old.

--Written by Juliette Fairley for MainStreet

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