Let’s say that you are a recent graduate and are looking for your first job. You are determined to put that degree to use and climb the career mountain. You’ve even followed “The Five Things You Need to Do to Get a Job” and have successfully done the following things:

  • Identified your career goals
  • Optimized your resume to fit your employer’s needs
  • Positioned yourself as an expert
  • Networked generously
  • Strategically communicated your value to the workplace

Everything worked. You received the phone call that will save your phone bills, car payments, student loans and allow you to eat more than a bowl of macaroni and cheese every night for dinner in your small apartment complex. Fast forward one month later. Why do you already feel dissatisfied?

Statistically, this is not an uncommon feeling for the young adult living in the 21st century. Many questions are being asked by many Millennials concerning the satisfaction level at their first jobs they obtain after graduation:

“Will I be stuck here forever?” or “Is this what I always wanted to do? Am I settling for less?”

In her most recent article, Diane Stafford wrote in the Kansas City news “Why Young Achievers Don’t Stick Around”, which discusses main reasons why Millennials become dissatisfied with their first jobs.


“Hirers often complain that their young workers jump ship quickly. A study published this summer in the Harvard Business Review confirmed that young top performers—the workers that organizations would most like to stick around—are leaving in droves.”

The article confirms that the biggest reason Millennials are leaving is because they are not learning enough. It is safe to say the blood, sweat and tears are not being utilized at the fullest capacity in most first jobs and are leaving Millennials with feelings of purposelessness and restlessness behind a computer in a suffocating, corporate cubicle. Millennials want to feel valued and worthwhile in the workplace.

When I got in personal contact with Diane Stafford, she revealed that, in general, when she hears from Baby Boomer types, they complain about the millennial generation’s “here today gone tomorrow” stereotype. Unfortunately, the Millennials aren’t doing anything substantial to come out of that categorical label.


Dissatisfaction with first jobs is also due to imbalanced pay in comparison to the high level of education invested in by the Millennial. Tiffany Hsu, a regular contributor to the Los Angelos Times, reveals that this dislike for the pay received has created a pattern for restless young employers. The average Millennial will leave their job after 2 years, if that. Baby boomers are said to stay at a job for an average of 7 years, while Gen X employees are said to stay for 5.


In a Huffington Post article titled, “Survey Says, Young Workers Like Their Jobs, But Not Enough to Stay”, Rieva Lesonsky sheds light on the fact there is a good percentage of young workers that are satisfied. However, the other half wants change:


But if you’ve got young workers on your team, don’t get too complacent. Mercer also found that nearly half (46 percent) of employees aged 16 to 24, and 40 percent of those aged 25 to 34, are ‘seriously considering’ leaving their employers.”

She continues  with why their is a general consensus that leaving is better than staying:

“What gives? Mercer notes younger workers have grown up in a shifting world where employees no longer stay with the same company all their lives, so they perceive there are a lot of opportunities for them, despite today’s economic challenges. Globalization is also a factor, with younger workers more open to the idea of moving to other countries to work.”


A provocative article from the Build Network also asked the question “Why Young Stars Leave (And What You Can Do About It)“, and Beth Carvin–the author–found that of a study of 1200 young employees, most were pondering there next moves.She put some numbers together and came up with these three interesting realities about the Millennials in the workplace:


• Of this group, 75 percent sent out resumes, contacted search firms, and interviewed for jobs at least once a year during their first employment stint.

• Nearly 95 percent regularly engaged in related activities, such as updating resumes and seeking information on prospective employers.

• They left their companies, on average, after 28 months.

So where do we go from here? Every employer wants to maximize the numbers for employee retention. But how? How does this satisfaction rate for Millennials increase when so many opportunities for transition tempt anyone between the ages 16-24? The article ends with a helpful suggestion for employers–especially in the context of a small business whose doors are wide open to younger employees: Simply stay in communication with the Millennials.

Talking about expectations for the Millennial is key for a successful retention rate at any business. The Millennials want to know that what they are doing is worth while and will maximize their strengths. They want to know how they can improve and be able to be shown proper skills to excel at whatever they do. Millennials want to know that their higher education is being put to good use. Don’t let them jump ship too quickly.