Millennials want a better quality of life at work

A new Fidelity survey shows that Millennials are willing to take a pay cut to have a higher quality of life at work.

In fact, 41 percent of Millennials expect to start a new job in the next two years, and 49 percent are actively looking or open to starting a new job.

The reasons? According to the survey, Millennials want more purpose at work. They would take a $7,600 pay cut, on average, for a better quality of life at work, which includes purpose, development and a better work/life balance. Driving the point home, 58 percent of Millennials say quality of life at work is more important than financial benefits.

This is typically cited as a reason Millennials opt against working at big corporations, which are perceived to put their interests far ahead of employee interests and wellness. Past data has shown that Millennials care deeply about how they’re treated by others and seek respect and personal development, and so they’re constantly seeking opportunities that have aligned values.

Interestingly, the Fidelity survey also shows that only 39 percent of Millennials consider retirement benefits as part of a total financial compensation of a job offer. Fewer Millennials consider health insurance (28 percent), paid time off (27 percent) and stock options (4 percent).

This doesn’t mean Millennials are careless or don’t understand finances. Surely a portion of the segment doesn’t understand finances and won’t even consider these options when seeking a new job, but the truth is most Millennials are not yet in the phase of life that traditionally includes considering and devising long-term financial strategy.

To wit, in this response a recruitment firm COO says it’s smart to consider that nearly half of Millennials are in that second-phase stage of life (Early Millennials, age 28-34), while other Millennials are still in entry-level and pre-work (Late Millennials, age 15-27). Again, the Millennial split is important.

Think about it: A Millennial at age 22, just out of college, is probably thinking more about a job opportunity in a location close to like-minded people – where nightlife and other personal activities are abundant – that also pays well enough to have a fun single life.

Meanwhile a Millennial 10 years older is thinking much more about financial stability and a location that likely includes good schools, safety and access to essential services.

This is another survey that captures a generation in transition. That said, Millennials across the board are looking for a little more respect from employers, and really, from all people. And that isn’t crazy at all.