I’ve been thinking about four high-performing newly-minted workers and the choices they’ve made. It’s a telling picture – and may be a harbinger of what companies need to do to hold onto their best.
- The Ivy League Grad: Works for a consulting company, but her heart is in non-profits. Makes the leap, taking a big pay cut and side-shifts her fast-track career. Believes it’s worth it because she can go home at 7 p.m. – and not spend weeks on the road. And is in that tiny fortunate minority without student loans to repay.
- The Finance Grad: Works in finance, and caught in the downdraft. “Earns” more than most of us, but no where near what he thought he was promised. Knows he needs to get up-or-out by age 30, because, he says, “I have no marketable skills.”
- The Start-Up Grad: Works at a young, privately held company, with no venture money. Happily worked 12-hour days for the first year, now shrinking it down to 10. Has seen ample pay raises, but wonders if he’s getting a fare share. Thinks he wants to launch his own venture.
- The Soon-to-Be-Grad: Landed her job at a non-profit, with passion. Could have a hard time making ends meet, but believes she’s found her place.
Are these kids spoiled and entitled? Perhaps. Do they have options? Absolutely. These are not the 8.3% unemployed Americans.
They represent a certain slide of the future, and future candidates. Why don’t they want to work for ‘standard’ companies? And what do we need to do to attract people like them – or do we?