Millennial Job-Seekers Have Unique Expectations


Millennials in the workforce are the focus of many articles lately.  I deal a lot with post-boomer generations due to the fact that I teach for several different online universities.  Millennials have been singled-out as having different personality issues. In all three of my books, I address how personality issues affect our expectations and preferences. 

Tomorrow I will be delivering a talk at a local university’s annual forum.  The topic will be, “Obtaining Your Dream Job by Marketing YOU as the Product”.  I often give talks about how to find jobs and market talents. Tomorrow’s topic will be specifically focused on a younger generation.  Many in the audience will be millennials. When talking to post-boomer generations, it is important to realize they have unique expectations.

Many claim that millennials have entitlement issues.  Sixty Minutes did a nice job on a piece they did titled: The Millennials Are Coming.  In that article they stated: You now have a generation coming into the workplace that has grown up with the expectation that they will automatically win, and they’ll always be rewarded, even for just showing up.  

In another interesting article by, the following questions were actually asked by millennials in job interviews.  

  • If I don’t like my boss, how can I get that changed?
  • How many hours per day will I be expected to work?
  • Do you allow the use of Facebook?
  • If I don’t like my pay, who do I talk to about fixing that?
  • If we do reading for the job, can we do it at the gym during work hours?
  • Who will be my mentor and coach while I’m learning my new job?
  • What does the company do to make work fun?

For anyone that is older than the millennials, these questions may come across as humorous or brazen.  However, they are a good example of how different newer generations may be, in regard to their work expectations. 

In our book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, Toni Rothpletz and I explain how newer generations are often seen as the “me” generation.  Jean Twenge did a nice job of addressing this in her book, Generation Me

In my talk tomorrow, I will be discussing the importance that companies put on emotional intelligence when looking at potential new hires.  Part of having emotional intelligence is having the ability to have good interpersonal skills and empathy.  The interviewee must be able to “read” the interviewer and present themselves accordingly. 

Generational differences can be a big issue that many millennials need to be aware of.  Asking questions like the ones listed above may not endear you to the interviewer . . . unless, of course, that interviewer is a millennial with similar expectations as well.  My guess is, that probably won’t be the case. 

If you didn’t see anything wrong with the above list of questions, my suggestion to you is to do some research into proper interviewing etiquette.  I wrote about the mistakes people make in interviews in my book, How to Reinvent Your Career

For more reading, check out articles like:

You May be Looking for a Job . . . But it is Your Emotional Intelligence That Needs Work  

Millennial Workers – New Ways of Doing Things  

How is Your Job Satisfaction? It May Be Based on Your Personality Type