“Good News, Bad News In Generation Y Workplace Trends”

Gen Yers who hold a Ph.D. report being underemployed at a rate of 34 percent, compared to 27 percent for Gen Xers and 25 percent for Boomers. And, Millennial M.D.s are underemployed at a rate of 30 percent, compared to 22 percent of Gen Xers and 21 percent of Boomers – Gen Y On The Job

This is one of the findings from Gen Y On The Job, a new survey compiled by Payscale and Millenial Branding, incorporating results from hundreds of thousands of Gen Y (Millennials), Gen X and Boomers surveyed over a two-year period, 2012-2014. For the job seeker thinking about graduate school as a career advantage, these statistics might give you pause. At the very least, you can enroll with eyes wide open, knowing that the degree itself does not ensure a career benefit. The numbers for Gen X and Boomers are better but not by much, so job seekers from all generations should pay heed.

Other key findings of the Gen Y On The Job survey and implications for your career:

Gen Y On The Job: The gender wage gap is shrinking with the millennial generation. When corrected for job choice, experience and hours worked, the gender wage gap is smaller for members of Generation Y at all job levels than either Gen Xers or Baby Boomers. However, the gap still widens for Gen Y (as it does for all other generations) as responsibility level increases. So, female executives across all generations see a greater disparity in pay than individual contributors.

For professionals at all levels, this provides hope that progress is being made on pay equity. However, the widening gap at the executive level is also a wake-up call for women that you still need to know how to advocate and negotiate and for men that you still need to support, mentor and sponsor the women on your teams.


Gen Y On The Job: Many millennials don’t think workers should be expected to stay with their employer more than a year. Twenty-six percent of Millennials surveyed said that workers should only be expected to stay in a job a year or less before looking for a new position. Alternatively, 41 percent of Baby Boomers say workers should stay with an employer at least five years before looking for a new job. Only 13 percent of Millennials agree.

The generations may disagree, but given that senior decision-makers are likely to be Boomers or Gen Y, longer tenure on the job still matters. Before you leave, consider length of your current job, as well as tenure on your other jobs. If you’re a woman with eyes on a CEO spot, a Harvard Business Review study shows that over 20% of female Fortune 500 CEO’s didn’t job hop at all – they had their first job at a company they now run.

Gen Y On The Job:Millennials are fast learners who bring expertise in emerging skills to the workforce, including mastery of new technologies like Sketchbook Pro, Google Analytics, Social Media Optimization and more.

For all professionals, this is a wake-up call to step up your technology game and invest in learning and staying updated. For Gen X and Boomers who want to break into fields where the latest tech skills are valued, know that employers might presume you don’t have these skills. You will need to showcase these on your resume and in your networking activity.

Gen Y On The Job: Millennials are ambitious and eager for their careers to take off – when describing their ideal job, they are more likely to value opportunities for career advancement and the chance to learn new skills than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers.

If you are trying to recruit and retain Millennials, you want to highlight training, mentorship, tuition reimbursement and other professional development benefits. If you are managing a predominately Millennial team, think about incorporating professional development in the weekly meeting, help your Millennial direct reports make critical networking connections, and budget more time for performance feedback.



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