Millennials and Gen Z are well-known for transitioning through many different roles and navigating multiple career changes during their professional trajectories. According to a new poll by Zapier, Millennial and Gen Z professionals will transition through numerous jobs, especially in the early stages of their careers. The report found that for those who are between 18 and 39 years old, employees plan to stay at their current role for 6 to 10 years.
But, it’s important not to confuse Millennials’ and Gen Z ‘s embracing of professional transition with a lack of dedication to their work. In fact, these young employees can even develop “workaholic” characteristics. The same Zapier report found that Millennials and Gen Z place significant value in their professional identity. According to the poll, 65% of 18 to 23 year olds and 73% of 24 to 39 year olds root much of their personal identity in their work. They demonstrate this through their level of commitment to work even outside of the office. An overwhelming 71% of Gen Z and 69% of Millennials check their work messages even when they are off the clock and expect their colleagues to do the same. In another debunking of Millennial stereotypes, almost two in five Millennial workers reported checking their work email or messages more often than they check their own social media.
While young employees model dedication to their work and deep investment in their careers, they also place a high value on balancing that work with the quality of life they are looking for outside of work. For example, as Millennials and Gen Z face rapidly advancing automation, over 90% of both Millennial and Gen Z employees report that they would be willing to see aspects of their job become automated. However, the conditions of this would be that this automation would give them greater flexibility in their work hours, more opportunities to spend quality time with family and friends, and the chance to decrease the hours they work while maintaining their current income levels.
As we can see, Millennials and Gen Z are far more dedicated, resilient, and driven in their professional lives than many might give them credit for. They are learning how to navigate a new global economy while making smart career moves that secure the best future opportunities for themselves. And they are personally investing deeply in their work while expecting the same levels of dedication from their colleagues.