We’ve all heard people say that millennials don’t stay in a job for long, and even a casual look of our job climate today makes this feel true. But the question remains. What drives a millennial to switch jobs?
To answer this, we surveyed 51 millennials to discover their reasons to leave a job. About half of the employees polled have stayed in a job for more than a year.
The sample size is small, so this article serves more as points for thought about the millennial integration into the workforce, especially since we’ve been in need of a Malaysian perspective.
The poll is hardly scientific, but we were at least able to glean insights from players in a multitude of industries ranging from the more traditional accounting and sales, to the more ‘modern’ fields like Fintech and online publishing.
Millennials are loyal until something better comes along
Before we actually dive into this, it’s important to note that most millennials polled actually intend to stay with their job a year from now.
A few of the ‘Yes’es pointed out career advancement options as a caveat to them staying, but 60% said they’re keen on staying in a company a year from now.
When asked about why would they leave their current job, three different reasons stand out almost neck-to-neck with each other.
The most important thing to remember about millennials compared to the previous generations is that right now, they’re the youngest faces in the work force. Being young, even if they had plans for loyalty, millennials will and should try out different paths before they commit to one, if they have the financial means or opportunity to do so.
The second highest reason for leaving would be for a better gig. If another company is willing to offer more either in salary or position, an employee will leave.
“No opportunity for growth or advancement” does also tally with other research that shows personal growth as important for millennials.
We’re a generation hungry to learn, and we’re keen to rise up the ranks quick, even if, as noted above, we leave before the opportunity has even been presented to us.
Millennials will leave if they don’t see opportunity for growth
On one hand, shout-out to employers. This is apparently the main reason a millennial can increase your turnover rate here in Malaysia.
On the other hand, this tallies with the idea that millennials these days aren’t willing to “pay their dues” before they can actually rise through the ranks.
What employers perceive as someone needing to prove themselves before they are given more responsibility may, to the millennial, feel like they aren’t given any opportunities. And they’re less willing to stick around to find out if they ever will too.
Generally, an employee will also look into the overall company direction and the time it takes for them to grow if they’re considering leaving, because it’s a tried-and-true strategy that an employee can rise through the ranks (and salary) quickly by job-hopping.
This tallies with the data that showcases 7 out of the 24 people who checked “No opportunity for growth” also checked “I was offered a better gig”.
11 people checked “I was offered a better gig”, and out of that, 7 of them thought they left jobs with no opportunity for growth.
Of course, some millennials will still leave even if they are given unlimited potential for growth, and this refers to the 35.3% who left to pursue other interests.
They may have taken up the job either out of financial need and zero passion, or they may have picked up different interests along the way. For these employees, leaving is almost inevitable.
Millennials are a generation that believe in self-actualisation, which means that if given the right circumstances, they are the generation to leave stable jobs for a shot at their dreams.
It’s obvious from the results that millennials value opportunity, and they’re not shy to take actively hunt for them.
But as our results show, they’re not as flighty as often implied, and will stay if the company proves that it’s willing to invest in them.
To this end, millennials are definitely shifting the workforce tide. Now, the workforce is putting pressure into a company to give them a reason to be loyal. This movement can be good or bad depending on how you look at it, but this is simply a matter of change.
Feature Image Credit: English Online