Are the expectations of new graduates changing as they enter the new world of work?
Gone are the days when graduates are settling for mediocre jobs and jobs that are outside their field. Rather the new graduates of 2014 are thinking more boldly and taking a courageous step forward to defining their own unique career brand. This means that they are seeking jobs that are reflective of the lifestyle they want to live and the values they want to emulate, which often entails a generous work-life balance. New graduates are even exploring flexible telecommuting jobs which give them the leisure to work and save on commuting costs. Many new graduates that I have encountered in my line of work are eager to start their own companies in order to leave a legacy behind and their own uniquely defined trademark. The idea of accumulating debt in starting up a business does not consciously faze them, but marks an inherent part of pioneering their own business and something that they will learn to manage.
In fact, attaining a work-life balance is one of the most favoured values that new graduates are seeking despite the challenges undergirded by a competitive economy and volatile job market. But what does this mean for prospective employers? Employers may need to recognize that in order to recruit qualified talent that aligns with the values and mission of their organization and today's lifestyle, they may need to restructure their organizational culture and/or meet young graduates halfway.
This simply means that for some graduates, having some flexibility in their career spells career satisfaction. This can mean more vacation time, flexible hours, and project positions or independent contractor options where young employees have the opportunity to have some control over their positions and their responsibilities.
There is a trend underlying the new graduates of 2014. They have clearly identified higher expectations along with confidently being able to find a lucrative position in their field and are determined to do so. What this also means is that new graduates have definitely investigated the qualities that they want and do not want in working for an employer or organization. These graduates are not necessarily then just looking for leadership opportunities, status or prestige but a way to foster a tangible difference in the community while leveraging technology and other innovative means to accommodate a modern way of working that fits their lifestyle and needs. They are also not afraid to ask for what they want in a position in the interview which may likely result in employers meeting their needs.
After all, the world of work is changing but these new graduates are emulating a more expansive vision. They are versatile, confident, and simply optimistic feeling they have a right to strive for their authentic desires and needs in a career. And they have left a mindset behind that if you are not passionate about what you are doing, then you are not fulfilling your innate purpose.