Millennials could be making more money, but they aren’t

Millennials might need to switch jobs even more often if they want to take advantage of their full earning potential.

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WASHINGTON, June 13, 2017 – Millennials are a growing part of the workforce and are changing how many organizations operate. Although these employees born on or after 1980 have changed much of the workplace with their unique ideas and priorities, they might not be reaching their full potential. According to data compiled by the

According to data compiled by the Resolution Foundation, millennials could be making a lot more money if only they switched jobs more often.

The study looked at data for British millennials and found that just one in 25 millennials moved jobs before they turned 30. Compared to workers who were born just a decade before them, the number is drastically smaller, meaning that half of all millennials are potentially missing out double-digit pay raises that come from switching jobs.

Why are millennials wary of switching? It seems counterintuitive to a group that tends to take risks, but an unpredictable economic climate has made many millennials nervous to switch jobs. In many industries, newer employees are at the bottom of the food chain and can be the first to be let go if the economic climate changes. Changing jobs, especially if it involves moving to a new city, can be risky if the job security isn’t there. Instead of moving to new positions, millennials could also be taking the time get additional job training and certifications. Millennials also


Changing jobs, especially if it involves moving to a new city, can be risky if the job security isn’t there. Instead of moving to new positions, millennials could also be taking the time to obtain additional job training and certifications. Millennials also

Millennials also value loyalty, with a survey finding that 44% of millennial employees said they could see themselves working for their current company for the next 15 years, while only 29% of non-millennials agreed with the statement.

An increasing number of employees are taking in-person and online classes to gain additional skills, such as graphic design or ACLS certification, that make them more desirable to employers. Other millennials like to travel and take time off for personal development, but those personal days can be hard to come by for people who are constantly moving jobs.

News of the study comes contrary to many beliefs that millennials are changing jobs at a record pace. Although that has long been a common belief, the numbers often don’t back up the stigma. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Baby Boomers job-hopped at the beginning of their careers as much as millennials do now. Every month, around

Every month, around 3% of workers in their 20s change jobs, compared to 4% in the 1990s. Perhaps the only difference? Millennials are waiting a little longer to start their careers, so they aren’t switching jobs as often before they turn 30.

Switching jobs every few years can help millennials move up in their careers faster and lead to a greater salary. If every job move brings with it a raise, then Millennials are due to be making quite a bit of money, especially because salary increases from moving to a new job can come faster and more often than waiting for the annual review and in-house raise process. In a healthy economy, the average salary increase for moving to a new job is 8%-10%, with some studies showing increases of up to 20%. In fact, staying with the same employer for more than two years can actually cost you up to 50% in lifetime earnings. Younger workers are more likely to change jobs because they want to find one that fits them well and pays the most. However, like the UK survey suggests, in order to take advantage of that salary, millennials have to be willing to take the risks.

At one time, seeking a career with a company, complete with the ubiquitous 25-year gold watch, was the goal for both the employee and the employer who felt a long time employee was a return on their investment. However, where there was once a negative stigma to switching jobs every few years, most HR managers now agree that that has gone away.

Moving between positions provides additional training and insights and makes employees more agile and adaptable over staying with the same company. However, most hiring managers are looking for employees that stay with a company for one to three years before moving on, not one to three months.

A lot has been said about millennials and how much they change jobs, but the truth is they might need to switch jobs even more often if they want to take advantage of their full earning potential.

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