The Washington Post featured a slideshow presentation earlier this week on the things 20-somethings expect from their employers.
In addition to wanting to do work that was meaningful and being employed by a socially responsible company, millennials like fewer meetings and more perks.
My Facebook news feed is a constant reminder of the trials and triumphs of my fellow 20-somethings in the workforce.
There were a lot of “likes” when a friend posted that the tech company she works for gave employees a choice of an iPad or an iPhone for Christmas. And there have been many well wishes as jobs have been landed and master’s degrees finally finished.
As we’ve weathered the bad economy, layoffs have been announced; part-time jobs have been sought out; and long hours, small salaries, and job descriptions have been lamented.
While our job requirements may be different — we’re journalists, accountants, teachers, engineers and government employees — we all seem to want the same things from our careers.
The Washington Post had its list; I have mine:
A fair workload. My first job out of college was at a much smaller newspaper. When we were down people or had special projects pop up, I regretted being one of two salaried editors who could lay out pages on staff. I also envied my peers, who were getting paid the same and could clock out after 40 hours. We learned all about fairness from Mr. Rogers and the Sesame Street gang as tots; we still expect it today.
A fair salary. Coming out of college, I was just happy to get a job (lounging in the pool and doing phone interviews for three months wasn’t cutting it with my mom). My negotiating skills were non-existent. A year later, the girl who replaced me haggled for almost $1 more an hour. In addition to paying off our massive student loan debt, we’d like to earn enough to someday buy a house and save for a rainy day.
Decent benefits. Health insurance is kind of an issue. Some of us have it; some of our parents are paying $500 a month for us to be on their plan. If our employer could pick up some or all of the tab, we’d be really thankful to not have to pay out-of-pocket for an MRI or forgo seeing a doctor when we’re really sick.
Some time off. During the holidays, this is more important than ever. Many 20-somethings moved far away from home to land a job in this economy; we’d like to see our families this time of year. Some jobs (like being a journalist), make it harder than others, but it’s always appreciated when we don’t have to work on Christmas … or a Saturday, for that matter.
Some decent coworkers. I’m not saying that your employer should screen for your new BFF in the hiring process, but it nice to actually get along with the people you sit next to 40-plus hours a week. It’s even nicer when they can give you a lift if your car breaks, grab a beer with you after a long day, or check on your cat when you’re vacation.
A little bit of joy. It’s rough to work only for the weekend or count down the hours to 5 p.m. every day. There will be bad days, stressful days, days you really would’ve rather just stayed in bed, but I think we’re all looking for a job where the good outweighs the bad and we actually like what we do to earn a paycheck.
Fellow, 20-somethings, what else would you add to this list? What things do you have to have in a job? What would make you like your job just a little bit more?