Friday, January 27, 2012

Generation Y: A Click Away From the Next Move

For today’s young adults, fresh out of college and with hard skills and technological savvy, and for those who employ them, relocation has taken on a whole new meaning.

Most graduates these days know they need experience first and foremost in order to get the most desirable jobs. But they don’t want to start up with just any company to get that experience. They want to work where they’ll be valued, where they’ll learn something, where they’ll be able to interact with more knowledgeable co-workers, where they will find flexibility in dress and work schedules, and, maybe most significantly, where they will make a difference.

For these young adults, the old paradigm of the workplace—where company loyalty generally doesn’t always extend beyond its financial gain and suit and ties are the norm—doesn’t mean much. And because this generation is nearly one-quarter of the workforce, and will be the fastest growing segment for the next five years, it doesn’t have to.

This generation, the most ethnically diverse ever, grew up with limitless options and an increasingly open-minded and connected world. Subsequently, they feel like they have the world at their fingertips, and they want to do something with their knowledge and skills. As graduates, they don’t consider monetary gain alone. They want to enjoy where they work, and they plan on making a difference in the world or at least within the company.

According to a 10/23/2006 USA Today article, “Millennials are the most socially conscious consumers to date.” Nearly two-thirds of 13- to 25-year-olds feel personally responsible for making a difference in the world; most have volunteered; and 69% consider a company’s social and environmental commitment when deciding where to shop.

However, while they care about community, they equally value their own personal fulfillment and happiness, and they often find these things in the place that they live. According to, Gen Yers believe “people should first choose where they want to live and then choose their employer.” In fact,’s member demographics illustrate this trend perfectly. About one-third of’s million members are young adults either graduating or getting ready to graduate looking for a new city or town in which to live. Of course, the job search is a significant component of their visits to, but they first come to the site to find a place that will fulfill a variety of their needs, from recreational to cultural opportunities.

Plus, according to NAS Insights, more than half of college graduates don’t expect to get job offers just out of school, 56% of plan to relocate after school, and most believe they won’t be in the same location for extended periods of time. Companies that are not aware of this, but that want to cater to younger generations as their baby boomer employees gradually begin to retire, need to consider these factors if they want to attract and retain their talented, young employees. Not only should they have an inviting and flexible workplace, but they ought to be about to tout their city’s recreational, educational, and cultural opportunities And, they shouldn’t be surprised if their new hires are more concerned about vacation time than salary. (Think Google here. Google offers great benefits, in-house weight rooms, healthy cafeteria lunches, and even dog-friendly offices).

This sort of forced change—in the form of more vacation time, more flexibility with work schedules, and the possibility of telecommuniting—is good for the corporate world. “Lighten up,” is the message of the Y Generation. Europeans get just as much done with their average of 30 days of vacation per year. Plus, until recent legislation passed by the newly-elected US House of Representatives, elected reps in this country worked an average of three days per week, and they still got plenty done (right?). Besides, if companies don’t adjust, Gen Y’ers will likely just head out of town.

With the attitude of “My career is not my whole world; It’s just my job,” (, and with access to unlimited relocation resources on the web, including, this new, quirky generation’s next move is just a click away.

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