Career Expectations of the Generations


The new generation just coming into our workplaces will redefine ambition. They are significantly more likely to associate success with the ability to make a lot of money and make a positive impact on the lives of others.

The newest generation aspires to make more money

In fact, folks in the new generation are nearly three times more likely than current workers to say they need to make $200,000 or more to feel successful.

CareerBuilder study examines work-life beliefs

A new CareerBuilder survey looks at how the next generation of workers compare to the current workforce in terms of work-life beliefs and expectations.

All generations agree that learning and collaboration are important

While workplace expectations can vary widely among different generations, one thing they have in common is the desire to be successful in their positions. Introducing programs that promote learning and collaboration, including mentoring and other developmental opportunities, will help workers of all generations achieve that desire together.

Defining the ideal work environment

On office attire: the vast majority of both groups (74 percent of current workers and 70 percent of high school students) feel they should be able to dress casually at work. Interestingly, 45- to 54-year-old workers (79 percent) were more likely to agree than workers ages18-24 (67 percent) and 35-44 (72 percent).

On promotions: when it comes to earning promotions, high school students display more optimism than working professionals. Eighty-seven percent of high school students agree that one should be promoted every two to three years if one is doing a good job, compared to 73 percent of current workers.

On job hopping: only 16 percent of high school students believe one should only stay in a job for a year or two before moving on (on par with 15 percent of current workers). Not surprising to us, 25- to 34-year-old workers (22 percent) were more likely than their older counterparts to say a worker should move on after a year or two.

Wise employers will begin to adjust now

To be successful with the next generation of workers preparing to enter the workforce, companies will need to "adjust their recruitment and retention strategies to guarantee the success of all workers and strengthen [their] bottom line". They will study these findings and adjust their policies accordingly. Otherwise, they will find that it is impossible to recruit and retain the talent they need.

To read the entire CareerBuilder study, visit

Joyce Gioia


Joyce Gioia is a Strategic Business Futurist concentrating on workforce and workplace trends. Joyce is President and CEO of The Herman Group, a firm serving a wide range corporate, trade association and governmental clients on an international basis.

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