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This Is What Millennials’ Dream Job Looks Like


What makes a good job great? Well, excellent pay, for one thing. PayScale’s various data packages show that money almost always wins, when it comes to workers’ priorities — or, at least, their stated values. Beyond pay, however, there are other job attributes that appeal to workers. Gen Y on the Job looks at what Millennials want most at work, and what they’re prepared to compromise on, in order to get it.

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(Photo Credit: Death to the Stock Photo)

Respondents to PayScale’s employee survey were asked the multiple-answer question “Besides pay, what do you most value in a job?” These are the most valued job attributes for Gen Y workers, and how they compare to previous generations’ wish lists for the perfect job:

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1. Good Work/Life Balance

Gen Y: 76 percent

Gen X: 76 percent

Baby Boomers: 71 percent

2. Team/People You Work With

Gen Y: 73 percent

Gen X: 71 percent

Baby Boomers: 72 percent

3. Opportunity to Learn New Skills

Gen Y: 72 percent

Gen X: 64 percent

Baby Boomers: 58 percent

4. Opportunities for Career Advancement

Gen Y: 72 percent

Gen X: 62 percent

Baby Boomers: 48 percent

5. Good Benefits/Perks

Gen Y: 62 percent

Gen X: 61 percent

Baby Boomers: 63 percent

What stands out in these answers? Millennials are ambitious, with 72 percent selecting opportunities for advancement as important factor, compared to 52 percent and 64 percent of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. In addition, 72 percent of Millennials said they valued the opportunity to develop new skills, compared to 48 percent of Baby Boomers and 62 percent of Gen Xers.

It’s also worth looking at the attributes that were least selected: although every generation put a high value on work-life balance, flexible schedule and vacation time came in third-to-last and second-to-last for Millennials, and close to the bottom for other generations as well. (Flexible schedule was selected by 55 percent of Gen Y and Gen X, and 49 percent of Baby Boomers; vacation time was selected by 36 percent of Gen Y and Gen X, and 37 percent of Baby Boomers.)

We could draw a variety of conclusions from these responses. One is that although most people want work-life balance, they’re not quite sure what that looks like, or how to achieve it. Another possible conclusion: workers would be happy to scrape by with less vacation, and work in an office, if they were guaranteed that the boss wouldn’t be calling them on their day off, or expecting them to answer emails on the beach.

Tell Us What You Think

What do you look for in a dream job? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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