Have Work Ideals Been Rewritten?

Chris Allaire
Chris Allaire

There was a time when talent strived to secure title positions with reputable corporations. Having an impressive business card offered a certain degree of clout. The percentage of the skilled workforce with these types of goals has shrunk dramatically and been replaced with new ambitions. Gone are the days of competing for corner offices in brick-and-mortar locations. Candidates no longer want to toll away for decades at the same company with the hope of reaching senior roles. The modern ideal vision is remote, risky, flexible, and fun. How did work ideals get rewritten?

Millennial Mindset

Millennials grew up watching their parents work to the point of burnout. As they started their careers, their generation knew they had different priorities. They placed greater emphasis on vacation days vs. bonuses and focused on collaboration over competition. Then the pandemic hit and it was the match that lit the fire of the Great Resignation. During the lockdown, millennials reflected on how they were spending their time and if it aligned with their values. It prompted many to re-evaluate their jobs and shift to working for companies that provide the freedom to focus on their health and overall experiences.

Indeed, earlier generations tended to view work—and company loyalty—much differently, says Meredith Stoddard, vice president of life experiences at Fidelity. “Older generations had the idea of doing what’s expected of you,'” she explains. “One of the wonderful things about millennials is that they think, ‘I’m gonna do me.’ For many, freedom to be themselves is core to their values.”

Trendsetting startups catering to a creative mindset have become more desirable than ever before. Millennials are rejecting traditional work roles for more entrepreneurial opportunities. Simply put, if jobs aren’t making millennials happy, they’re resigning. 

Boomers & The Great Resignation  

According to the latest JOLTS report, the “Great Resignation” is still going on, as 4.2 million Americans left their jobs in November, bringing the total for 2022 to 46.6 million.

Although resignations have been highest amongst millennials, baby boomers are contributing to the statistic. They too had time to think during 2020 and many came to the realization that life is short and time could be running out. The key difference? Many boomers are not returning to work and are taking early retirement. They are choosing to spend the next phase of their lives traveling, engaging in recreational sports, and participating in rewarding hobbies. The model retirement has also been reimagined in recent years. Combine young retirees with a decline in immigration and there is a nationwide worker shortage that continues to affect the US economy. Harvard Business Review has called it “an unprecedented mass exit.”

The Reshuffle

For those who are not permanently exiting, we’re seeing a new term emerge…reshuffling. Basically, candidates change jobs within the same sector. Those who are making the move for higher pay to companies whose culture aligns with their own values. As some companies are returning back to the office and shunning a remote-only policy, this is prompting talent to make a change. The days of leaving due to a “valid” reason concluded with the pandemic. Candidates are making a shift based on work-life balance and have been empowered to do so. 

If you are evaluating making a transition, we invite you to peruse the opportunities on our job board. Consider if your current position still feels right and review what you could be worth if you put yourself back out there in the market. Still unsure? Speak to one of our specialists and they can add some color if your present situation remains blurry.

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Chris Allaire
Chris Allaire

Chris is an entrepreneur, pilot, avid golfer, pretty awesome cook, crab cake connoisseur, guitar player, and a proud husband and father. When Chris isn’t playing with his 2 daughters or traveling with his incredible wife, he is recruiting for Open Source Engineers in New York City. His love for recruiting stands just shy of his love for the Boston Red Sox. Chris has almost 20 years of recruiting and staffing experience on a National level with over 10 years in New York City, both contract and full time.