Millennials want time off to chase personal dream

THEY are unabashed during interviews about asking what your company has to offer in terms of career opportunities, promotion prospects and funding for further education.

Meet the millennials: people in a hurry, not necessarily because they are impatient, but because they know what they want and they set out to get it, sometimes changing jobs as they go along.

In a new study of 500 millennials in Singapore, one in two said they would stay with their current employer for the next few years or longer.

When asked what was the "right" amount of time to stay in a single role before being promoted or moving to another, about 69 per cent said less than two years and 24 per cent said less than 12 months.

They rank money (95 per cent) and promotion prospects (86 per cent) as their top two priorities.

But they also value holiday time, new skills and great people.

Singapore millennials were among 19,000 from 25 countries interviewed by global talent experts ManpowerGroup.

The findings from the survey, Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision, were released last month.

Given that millennials - people born in the early 1980s to mid-1990s - will form a third of the global workforce by 2020, how do employers' plans to draw and keep these workers stack up?

Here is a list of what the cohort aspires to achieve, and how employers can match their expectations.


Millennials have an appetite for new opportunities and variety.

They understand the need for continuous skill development and view jobs as stepping stones to self-improvement.

Among Singapore millennials, 86 per cent say the opportunity to learn new skills is a top consideration for a new job.

In fact, 65 per cent of millennials here are willing to spend their own time and money on further training.

Three in 10 intend to take a lengthy break of longer than four weeks from work to gain new skills and qualifications.

Employers should, therefore, provide sufficient internal mobility to avoid losing them to opportunities elsewhere.

Get millennials to work on different projects with different teams to build experience.

Highlight the value of progression and not just promotion.

Employers should show that staying with the company can lead to career enhancement.

Share examples of people who have progressed through training and on-the-job learning in your organisation.


Fifty-nine per cent of Singapore millennials will consider leaving their job if they perceive a lack of appreciation.

Employers need to go beyond the same old performance review.

Use career conversations instead.

Focus on near-term objectives and set in motion the plans to achieve them.

Discuss how their work today will enhance their career prospects and longer-term employability.

Maintain that face-to-face feedback and, yes, affirmation.

Find new channels that encourage recognition and sharing from managers and peers.

These do not cost anything and are effective ways to engage people in their roles.


Millennials know they will likely work well into their older years.

So, meaningful breaks in between are important to them.

Holidays, time off and flexible working arrangements are top priorities.

The breaks go beyond traditional births, honeymoons and even caring for relatives to carving out time for their personal well-being.

Eighty-seven per cent of millennials in Singapore foresee taking career breaks of longer than four weeks.

Women plan to take more time out to care for others, such as their children, older relatives and partners, or even to do volunteer work.

Men plan to take the long breaks for travel, marriage or honeymoon, and to pursue a life dream or hobby.

Bosses should recognise that lengthy careers mean that time to refuel is essential.

Make breaks an acceptable part of your company culture.

Be clear about the flexible exit strategies you can offer and ways to help them take off when they rejoin.

This article was contributed by Right Management, the global career experts within United States-listed HR consulting firm ManpowerGroup.

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