There used to be a great stigma attached to the serial jobseeker, the job-hopper in search of the perfect position, who flitted from one job to the next in fewer than 12 to 18 months – leaving a string of confounded employers in their wake. If this sounds like you, rest assured, you’re not alone… and you’re probably a millennial (born between 1980 and 1995). But if you want to settle down into a job and turn it into a meaningful career, perhaps it’s time to proactively seek out that employer who knows how to tame you and other millennials into staying in one place for longer than a year.
Here are some sure-fire ways to identify a great match when it comes to finding a company to work for – the benefits on offer to keep you committed to your employer while meaningfully using your time to grow.
1. Flexi Time
Flexible working hours are the Holy Grail for employees working in South Africa’s larger cities. Instead of spending two to three hours in traffic every day, flexi time gives you the choice of more traffic-friendly working hours, or the choice to work from home for a day or two each week. Flexi time still represents treacherous waters for many managers who feel like they need to see their team members in order to trust that they’re being productive. However, if you find a company willing to offer you flexible hours, it’s definitely one to consider because it also shows that they’re more likely to be flexible in other areas – such as encouraging team members to provide creative solutions to company problems, and being open to strategic input from all levels.
2. Work/Life Balance
Argh – such a cliché, but a true one at that. A company that states outright that you “might be expected to work after hours, unpaid” doesn’t understand the meaning of work/life balance, and you should probably give it a wide berth if you value time outside of the office. There’s nothing wrong with a company that expects you to work hard and put in long hours, as long as those extra demands are countered with free healthy breakfasts in their well-stocked kitchen, all access to an onsite gym, and/or complimentary dinner when you do have to work late. A quarterly bonus won’t hurt, but sometimes a monetary reward is not enough of an indication to show that your employer understands – now – that you’re sacrificing family/social time for your job. An employer who insists that you leave at 17h00 and “carry on tomorrow”, or that you get free lunch for a week because you have to eat it at your desk while you work, is a rare find and not to be taken for granted.
3. Social purpose and making meaning
Baby Boomers and Generation X employees prioritised financial stability and long-term assurance over realising their dreams and experiencing and expressing purpose through their work or job. You – as a millennial – may feel frustrated with the day-to-day, work-eat-sleep routine of your job, and crave more meaning from the work you are doing. A company that is passionately involved in Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, growing their community, and working towards a higher purpose without it directly improving their bottom line may be something that you’re interested in. Giving back to society for the sake of feel-good (and not simply as a PR stunt) is very attractive in a company, so while you’re job hunting, that’s an important criterion to add to your “benefits” list.
4. Mentoring and coaching
A company that provides in-house mentoring, coaching, and training is special indeed. It shows that they value innovation, sharing, and skills transfer – it shows that they’re willing to invest a lot in their employees, that you’ll be valued when you work there. A company that encourages the seniors to mentor and coach the juniors is likely to also be an inclusive company – one characterised by its willingness to be transparent. Transparency means that, as a junior, you’ll be privy to information about expenditure and revenue… and your role in influencing it. Inclusion is important and points back to the idea that your company values you.
As a millennial, you probably value teamwork and a constant feedback loop that encourages you to take on more responsibility and consistently improve on the quality of your work. When you attend job interviews, be sure to ask the interviewers questions that will reveal whether the company is millennial-friendly, and whether it’s worth it to take the job.
If you are currently a job seeker and need some assistance in job hunting we can help. Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with specialist consultants that will assist you in finding an exciting new job, whether it’s jobs in the Finance, IT, Engineering, Freight, or Supply Chain industries. Check out our vacancy page and apply now.Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Signpost