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Here’s Why Millennials Want to Work Part-Time

Topics: Current Events
New studies show that millennials are choosing to stay out of Corporate America and opting for smaller companies that value employees and offer more flexibility. We'll take a look at why millennials prefer freedom and purpose (over money) in their careers, and figure out how the heck they're still able to afford pretty enviable lifestyles.

New studies show that millennials are choosing to stay out of Corporate America and opting for smaller companies that value employees and offer more flexibility. We’ll take a look at why millennials prefer freedom and purpose (over money) in their careers, and figure out how the heck they’re still able to afford pretty enviable lifestyles.

A recent study conducted by Accenture found that a mere 15 percent of 2015 college graduates want to work for large corporations, and “they would prefer to work at a company with a positive social atmosphere and receive a lower salary, than receive higher pay at a company that is less fun.” If you haven’t noticed already, millennials like their freedom and flexibility, especially when it comes to their careers.

The tech boom gave way to a new wave of companies that were created for the people, by the people, and employers began focusing much more attention on making their employees happy, and not the other way around. Therefore, millennials have grown up in an era where employees are provided rights (or perks) that were unheard of in previous generations.

A Different Definition of Success

Do You Know What You're Worth?

It’s not that millennials don’t care about being wildly successful in their careers, it’s that they are doing it on their own terms and in less conventional ways. It’s no surprise, then, that this generation seeks out professions that offer them fulfillment and the freedom to express themselves as individuals, even if it costs them that six-figure salary.

FlexJobs conducted a study on millennials to figure out why they want to work part-time, and, based on the findings, they’re doing it for some pretty logical reasons. The study surveyed “211 respondents all aged 35 or under that want (don’t need) part-time work” and found that the number one reason for wanting to work part-time is to spend quality time with a loved one (55 percent), while pursuing a creative passion (39 percent) and travel (38 percent) trailed closely behind. Of these 211 participants, a whopping 57 percent are currently full-time employees, 80 percent of them have college degrees or higher, and only 32 percent are parents. I guess being childless helps out a bit with that travel part. Right?

The Perfect Job Looks Like This

What was deemed the ideal work situation? Having a flexible work schedule (67 percent) and having the option to work remotely full-time (60 percent) ranked highest amongst respondents, however, there wasn’t much of a preference on whether they wanted to be classified as employees versus freelancers. These findings go along with what I said earlier, that millennials want their freedom and flexibility … and they want it now!

You’re probably wondering how these people are surviving on part-time work. As it turns out, only 32 percent of respondents admit that part-time work covers their bills, while many (49 percent) rely on their spouse’s income to make ends meet. Millennials prove to be confident, optimistic people because 65 percent feel that their part-time work can pay all their bills. However, amongst the younger millennials (i.e. recent college graduates) surveyed in the Accenture study, 70 percent admit that mommy and daddy still pay at least half of their living expenses – so, there’s that.

Whatever the case may be, millennials are surely changing the norms of life in and out of the office. This generation is more career-centric than others prior, and they are even going so far as to put marriage and starting a family on the back burner to focus predominately on establishing their careers first.

Millennials get a bad wrap for their avant-garde ways, labeled “entitled” and “lazy.” However, they are making changes and doing it for important reasons: to find more meaning in their work/life, to spend more quality time with loved ones, and to do things in due time, not when it’s expected of them. Maybe other generations could learn a thing or two from the youngsters who are trying to stop and smell the roses in this lifetime, rather than wasting it away trying to climb the corporate ladder, like generations before.

Tell Us What You Think

Are you a millennial who works part-time by choice? We’d love to hear your story and why you chose this for your career. Share your experience with our community on Twitter or in the comments section below. 

Leah Arnold-Smeets
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I am finishing an MBA(3.5GPA) and have a double major liberal arts undergrad degree from a top 50 university and trying to find full time work. I have received almost no call backs to dozens of internet based applications, except from sales type commission jobs. Where are the good old fashioned corporate training programs for a twenty something seeking full time employment in a marketing/finance/research type management development program?

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