Lindsay Olson

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Gen Y After Graduation

Fact: The workplace is changing. I'm not sure why I was so surprised at the results of a recent survey at - we all know job hopping is common these days, especially with younger generations, but the fact that 60% of these young grads are actively looking for a new position although 57% are happy in their job just surprised me.

It's one thing to keep your options open to better career opportunities, but it's another to be actively looking for a new position. Where do these young grads find time to be actively seeking out opportunity and interviewing while they are just starting out in their careers and busy learning?

Here's the detailed findings of the survey:

genyaftergrad Gen Y After Graduation

  • 70% of young grads reported they left their first job within two years of their joining
  • 43% of Gen Y are not in the career they expected to be in after college, either because they couldn′t find a job, or another opportunity presented itself
  • 60% are currently looking for another job or career, despite the fact that 57% indicated that they are also happy at their current job
  • 74% of recent graduates are in a career that aligns with their college major

Most hiring companies I work with still seem uneasy about candidates who jump jobs every two years despite the changing times. Often these same employers doubt a candidate's ability to assimilate into a new work culture after ten years of employment at the same company. Is there a happy medium?

What are your thoughts?

Chuck Underwood: "Mils" In The Workplace: Re-Defining 20-Something

Boston Globe: Job hopping an option for young people

7 reasons my generation is more productive than yours

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3 Comments - Add yours!

JR Moreau (October 8th, 2008)

Speaking from personal experience, I work in a field slightly aligned with my major, yet my title and work load hardly is associated. I am happy with my job, mostly because of a great immediate manager and co-workers, but I am partially looking for work elsewhere.

At this point I am productive enough and valuable enough at my current employer that I won’t leave unless I get a much better salary (which isn’t likely right now) or a direct PR/Marketing role in Renewable Energy.

I’ve been at my current job for six months and was at my previous job for 9 months. Before my last job I was temping for about six months (through staffing agencies) before I found something for myself.

As of now, I consult and study a lot after work hours to advance my interests and skills for the next type of job I hope to hold. I stay where I am now because despite not being thrilled with the work load, the work environment is good and I am gaining skills and value through what I’m learning.

I know a lot of Gen Y’ers are in similar positions. The minority work in their field of choice. But then again, a lot of them haven’t given up and success stories keep popping up.

Some employers are going to be traditionalists who want more than 2 years of experience on a job and other traits that are secondary to what most Gen Y’ers value. This will keep a lot of people at a disadvantage, but then again the exceptions are usually what make for exceptional opportunities and exceptional jobs.

Andrew Dumais (October 8th, 2008)


I believe this is the case because a great many of them are looking for better paying jobs to combat student loan payments and the increased cost of living. The trouble is, the jobs that will be in demand are shifting quickly as a result of technology changes and our higher education system can’t catch up fast enough.

Great article!

Greg Paskill (October 18th, 2008)

Another big reason for all this job hopping among Gen Y is because everybody else is doing it. Or there’s the perception that everyone is.

If you stay too long at a job, you are marked as unambitious. You also are being evaluated by hiring managers and peers who have that same mentality. It’s happened to me, I find a great boss and 3 months later after telling me what’s so great about his company, he’s out the door to a greater company.

Add to this how many Gen Y and Gen X’ers know that downsizing is an ineviatbility. An employer loses no sleep about sending jobs offshore. Turnabout is fair play, and the people in the younger generations have decided loyalty is out. They’ll change brands of cell phones in a heartbeat, they’ll dump one downloadable artist for another, they’ll gladly divorce employers too.

Lastly, there’s all this skills, skills, skills nonsense. You are continuously told by those in the employment arena that you must keep your skills up to date. The idea of learning on the job is not welcome by 2008′s employers who insist you must know it all by yesterday. Professional development is a farce, and these Gen Y’ers know it. The only form of validation by keyword is to say you’ve done it already. So to further amass skills, they’ll gladly dump one employer for another to continue playing this game.

Employers have only themselves to blame, and it’s comical when the employer themselves is Gen X or Gen Y.

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