Millennials are changing the workforce

Millennials often get a bad reputation. A few people characterize them as being lazy, not loyal, and addicted to technology. But a recent study shows those same employees are actually changing the workforce for the better.

It boils down to millennials' desire for more flexibility and a better work-life balance. And they are willing to change jobs to find it. That makes employers take a closer look at what they are doing to keep and attract employees.

29-year-old Christina Pinto finds herself fitting that mold. "Growing up you see your parents working 9 to 5 and being in the same job," she says.

So when her first job in the travel industry wasn't exactly the right fit, she says, "it was hard quitting because I'm not a quitter but I knew if I wanted to be happy in the long run it was the right move."

Given her generation, it's not uncommon.

A new study shows millennials are more likely than Gen Xers and baby boomers to change jobs for a particular benefit or perk. Things like paid maternity leave and vacation, and flexible working times and locations are more likely to drive millennials to change jobs. But once they find what they are looking for, this poll shows they want the stability to stay there.

In Pinto's case, it was flexibility and feeling like she was making an impact.

As president of Keiser University's West Palm Beach Campus, Kimberly Lea works with millennials every day. She sees a shift in their mindset, forcing a shift in the workforce as a whole.

"When they talk about the millennial it's 'ugh they are not loyal,' but I don't think that's a bad thing. I think they are discerning and they want a quality relationship and quality experience. And if the experience is not a good one, they are not going to stay just because they are supposed to be loyal. That doesn't work for them," she says. 

The Gallup Poll conducted recently also showed millennials want benefits and perks that directly impact their lives and the lives of their family members.

Lea says seeing those desires even led her to reexamine her own. 

"Because of the information available to millennials, they are not afraid to ask for what they want. I think it took me into maybe the last 5-10 years to say, 'Oh, I could ask for something different, I'm not going to just take what's offered to me,' " she says

"It makes me reflect a little bit on my own philosophy, you don't have to stay someplace just because you've been there before or you've agreed to do that. You need to be discerning and you need to make decisions whether it is the right thing for you, whether it matches your values and I think that's very good. It makes us more reflective and makes it a better experience than going in and not being engaged," she added.

Now working for Expedia Cruiseship Centers in Boca Raton, Pinto says she is happier than ever. She says, "it's really what I want. There's days when I'm busy at home, I have appointments at home so I can work from home and there are days I have clients that might be coming in so I come into work." She adds, "now I see the difference in my happiness and the benefit of being here." 

The poll also shows millennials are more likely than both Gen Xers and baby boomers to say a job that accelerates their professional or career development is "very important" to them.

To take a look at the complete poll results, click here.

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