She’d done two internships already, including one summer at prestigious PR firm Burston Marsteller, and she had started her job search in the …

Before Julie Kane graduated from Syracuse University in 2009 with a degree in communications, she thought she’d find a job that would start as soon as she finished her degree. She’d done two internships already, including one summer at prestigious PR firm Burston Marsteller, and she had started her job search in the fall of her senior year. But after she turned her tassel in May, all she could find was a part-time internship back at Burston. It took her until November to finally land a full-time job at a Boston PR firm.

“I think my situation is very reflective of people my age,” she says. “We all thought that finding a job would be a breeze.” Kane and her classmates were arguably being naïve, given the fact that the world financial system nearly collapsed the year before she graduated. But she says that the economic crisis and its sobering effects on the job market wound up making her realize that financial security should be a priority. When she landed her first job, she immediately signed up for a 401(K). About financial security she says, “Young people in my generation are scared crapless right now.”

Kane, 28, is now doing PR for a Boston-based company called Bright Horizons, the parent of EdAssist, a firm that offers continuing education programs for companies like Pepsico and Comcast Comcast. EdAssist has just released a survey of 1,000 millennials (age 18-35) that shows that financial security is their No. 1 concern, with 71% saying they would prefer a retirement savings plan over other financial perks like company equity and cell phone reimbursements.

EdAssist also asked respondents if they had to choose between two similar jobs, would they pick the one with strong potential for professional development or one with regular pay raises. Fifty-nine percent picked professional development. Though EdAssist has a stake in that answer, it’s still an interesting finding since surveys routinely find that employees of all ages prioritize compensation over other job benefits. That’s apparently not so among millennials, who seem to see continuing education as a path to get ahead.

There has been conflicting research about whether millennials want to stay in one job or bounce around every year or so. The EdAssist survey shows that they prefer steady employment in one place. When asked to identify the benefits of staying with one job for a long time (though “long time” was not defined), 82% said it would make them happier, 80% said they believed it would help them make more money and 74% believed it would benefit their career more than moving around. I beg to differ with the wisdom of the last two answers. Young people shouldn’t change jobs every few months for the sake of change. But they are more likely to get a healthy compensation bump if they negotiate well when taking a new position than if they move up the compensation ladder at their first or second job. Employers understand that young people move around and it helps to show that you can thrive at a series of different jobs in the space of a few years. I’d say it’s a good idea to stay in a job at least a year but it doesn’t need to be three or four years.

What Millennials Want At Work

 

We’ve all heard about the pay gap. Now, let’s talk about the aspiration gap.

In a recent study by talent management firm Saba and WorkplaceTrends.com, just 36% of respondents who said they aspire to a C-level position at their company were women. Also disinterested in the top job: Millennials, who accounted for only 31% of those who said they wanted a spot in the C-Suite. That compares with 68% of older employees wanting top-level jobs.

What’s going on here? When it comes to women, there’s one obvious factor at work: A lack of role models. Just 20 CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are female. And while a story revealing that more big companies are run by men named John than are run by women sounds like it belongs in The Onion, it actually ran in The New York Times.

“You can’t be what you can’t see,” says Caroline Ghosn, founder of Levo League, an online community dedicated to helping women in the early stages of their careers. “If I look up the food chain in my company and I don’t want to be any of the people that I see, what’s my incentive to advance?”

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Millennial men make more than millennial women in all but one state — New York.

They came of age during tough economic times — student debt has reached an all-time high and the job market is more competitive than ever.

While this is bad news for the millennial generation as a whole, it is especially so for millennial women, who still face a gender wage gap.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research recently analyzed data from the US government and released a report that provides state-by-state comparisons of women’s earnings and several compelling charts.

One of the charts reveals the average income of millennials (defined as those aged 16 to 34). “In 2013, the median annual earnings for millennial women working full-time, year-round were $30,000,” states the report, “compared with $35,000 for their male counterparts.”

Ariane Hegewisch, the director of the study, elaborates on this stat: “Women are a third more likely to have a university degree than men in New York. That’s the big reason for the finding,” she explains to Business Insider. “You also have a lot of lower earning men in large cities, which makes a difference. It’s a mixture of a low wage labor market and the fact that young women are taking up the opportunity for professional work and going to New York to work in those sectors.”

Millennials aren’t earning as much money as their parents did when they were young.

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