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Study shows Millennials seek meaning over money from jobs

Chamber study tells employers to focus on purpose
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Posted at 8:07 AM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 11:07:32-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A new study says that Millennials are leaving their jobs mainly because they're looking for more meaning in what they do.

The study, by the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, found that 51.9% of Millennials say they're thinking of leaving their job in the next six months.

Of the ones who felt that way, their main reason for wanting to leave is a lack of meaning or purpose in their current job.

"They want to understand exactly what product or service their company provides and how it makes their community better," says Chamber VP of Research Sean Kerafin, who wrote the study.

"They can't find all of their value in a job simply from a paycheck," Kerafin says. "They have to understand the bigger picture."

Kerafin says that's an essential lesson for local employers to know since Millennials make up 39.7% of the workforce. That's more than any other generation.

Kerafin says companies need to emphasize a culture that is "Purpose-Driven" over one that prioritizes profit if they want to attract and retain Millennials.

Other findings in the study, which is based on interviews with 400 Millennials in San Diego, show that they want to work for a company where there is an opportunity to grow from within.

The survey found that 22% of Millennials cite professional development as a top driver of satisfaction, compared to just 5.8% who cite office perks.

"They come from a generation of participation trophies and being told they can do anything they put their mind to, and they believe it," Kerafin says. "The truth is they can if they're supported."

Kerafin says companies that have excellent mentoring and development programs are more likely to keep Millennials around longer.

The study also found that 65.3% of Millennials are satisfied with their job. But even that may not be enough to keep them in San Diego.

According to the survey, 44% of Millennials are "very likely" to leave San Diego in the next two years. They say a lack of affordable housing is the main reason.

The Chamber says local government leaders can help businesses by incentivizing more housing.