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More than half of Millennials plan to change jobs

More than half of Millennials (52%) plan to move jobs within the next two years and more than a third (34%) within the next 12 months, according to Tempo

Its poll of more than 2,000 UK workers found that 28% of people aged between 18 and 34 have already had more than five jobs. The average Millennial has already had 3.4 jobs, compared to 5.9 for those in the 55-plus age bracket.

Northern Ireland was the region where employees had the most job moves, with 16% of respondents reporting having had 10 jobs or more.

Millennials are not just seeking new jobs but multi-disciplined and diverse careers, the poll suggested. It found that two-thirds (64%) of under-35s want to move sectors, compared to just 39% of those aged between 35 and 55.

The research also shed light on generational and gender differences in motivations for choosing a role. While more than eight in 10 (83%) over-55s cited salary as one of their top motivations for choosing a new role, this figure fell to just 67% for Millennials.

Women were also far more likely to cite flexible working as a motivation (46%) than men; less than a third of whom said this was a priority (29%). Career progression, on the other hand, is almost twice as important to men (23% compared to 15%).

Ben Chatfield, CEO and co-founder of Tempo, said that employers have been struggling to connect with Millennials. “Employers have found it notoriously difficult to understand Millennials and their outlook on work. As a consequence they have struggled to meet their needs,” he said.

“This generation has a different appetite for learning and self-improvement. They don't see a portfolio career as 'job hopping' as older generations might. Instead a change of roles can provide an opportunity to develop key skills and try something new.”

But employers should be cautious of generational and age stereotyping, countered Ian MacRae, managing director at High Potential Psychology. "I asked a former director of employment and immigration a question: how did people perceive women at work in the '70s? She said that they were bitchy if they were assertive. They were scared if they were diligent, and unreliable if they had a family," he told HR magazine.

"Nobody wants to leave a good job, and leaving a good manager is particularly difficult. So the discussion about people who leave is the same [regardless of their age]."

He added: "Stereotypes are not helpful. Employers should think less about what people’s priorities are outside of work, and consider how good people are at their jobs. Don’t categorise people based on their age or gender or nationality. Some people make themselves indispensable, and your company should hold onto them. Forget demographics, focus on performance."

Chatfield added that those who have taken on a number of different roles are able to bring an adaptable mindset to their work. “There are multiple advantages to having a diverse job background. People who embrace variety are more adaptable, likely to have a range of soft skills, and a wider pool of professional contacts," he said.

"Employers must realise the opportunity they present and do more to attract them. This means creating a recruitment system that supports a flexible employment structure and enables them to hire at speed."

The study was developed by Tempo and conducted in December 2018 by independent research firm Opinion, polling 2,000 workers in the UK.