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What makes a millennial

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PricewaterhouseCoopers, which in 2008 began partnering with other organizations to study millennials, released a report in late 2011 that tracked the generation’s interests. Here’s what PwC’s survey found:

  1. Dead-end dodging: Career progression is a top priority for millennials; they expect to not be stifled by traditional seniority promotions. More than half of them said a main attraction to an employer was advancement opportunities.
  2. Loyalty-lite: Though a 2013 global survey done by PwC and others found that this area is steadily improving, nearly half of millennial workers still expect to have upwards of five employers in their lifetime.
  3. Techno-generation: Born at the Internet’s dawning age, millennials’ lives have been so subsumed by it that almost half of those surveyed by PwC prefer to communicate via email at work than face to face.
  4. Reputation matters: The consumer culture that surrounds a millennial informs them as employees, too. How strong a company’s brand is — and what it stands for — are key.
  5. Development > cash: More than cash or benefits from employers, millennials are valuing a workplace that facilitates learning. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the most college-educated generation wants teachers.
  6. Giving back: Connected to reputation (see No. 4) are corporate efforts to maintain a strong social mission. Volunteerism is high on the priority list for millennials.
  7. Work/life balance: Millennials are looking for a good work/life balance but feel that their employers have failed to deliver on their expectations. Many insist on more flexible, work-from-home appointments and easy commutes.
  8. Diversity: Also disappointing to working millennials was corporations’ talk about diversity, which more than half believe never translated into concrete equal-for-all opportunities.
  9. Wanderlust: Millennials have a strong appetite for working overseas; more than 70 percent of those PwC surveyed expect to do an overseas assignment during their career.
  10. Generational tensions: Even with those nine other pointers, you still don’t understand them. Almost half of older senior management said they do not relate to younger workers; millennials pick up on that, and hope those barriers go away.

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