A new study says older generations and Millennials are more on the same page than we realize when it comes to job satisfaction. In particular, the research implies both generations say a top priority is having a job that lets them make a positive impact on the world. However, as a career coach who works with a lot of older workers, I'm not sure this is totally accurate. Here's why...
The Law of Supply & Demand is Making Job Search Tougher on Seasoned Workers
Now that Millennials make up over half the working population (and, they've got some experience under their belts), they've shifted the candidate pool in their favor. Employers are realizing they can hire two Millennials for the price of one seasoned pro. Some call it ageism, I call it experience discrimination. Regardless, it's put a lot of older workers in a state of long-term unemployment. These folks want a job that will let them work until retirement. However, saying that to an employer doesn't sound all that attractive, does it? It sounds desperate and uninspired - and who wants to hire desperation?
Millennials Were Raised to be Philanthropic - Older Workers Need to Go Along With Them
The media has made it clear Millennials are the most philanthropic-minded generation in our history. They believe every company needs to give back in some way. This has made companies rethink their alignment with philanthropy. In order to attract Millennials, lots of businesses have made the shift towards being more philanthropic. And, they want all their employees to do the same.
Thus, older workers are shifting gears and realizing the right response to compete with Millennial talent is to focus less on the stable paycheck and more on the ability to make a difference. And, given they don't necessarily need to make as much as they did before, they can justify the paycut better by declaring a passion for having an impact.
P.S. - Experience Discrimination Can Be Beat
Besides focusing on making a difference in the world, older workers need to update their entire approach to job search if they want to beat experience discrimination. It's not just the resume and cover letter that need a makeover. LinkedIn profiles, interview prep, and networking techniques all need to be reviewed and improved to reflect a more up-to-date professional persona.