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New generation, new career model? Not entirely. Our Millennials are definitely not the job hoppers people often consider them to be. Only 1 in 5 wish to regularly switch employers during the course of their career. Apart from this, expectations are very high despite the difficult economic climate. Young people mainly dream of becoming autonomous, opportunities for further training and education and a good work/life balance. By contrast, they are not prepared to be particularly flexible themselves and they expect a high salary, as well as overtime pay. Last but not least, they are taking control of their own careers but, at the same time, they also want their employers to offer them promotion prospects right from the start.

This is apparent from a trend study into the expectations of young people entering the labour market. For the ninth time, the Centre for Excellence in Career Management at Vlerick Business School has charted the career prospects of ‘Millennials’. 880 final-year students at Flemish universities of applied sciences and research universities took part in the survey which was conducted in the spring of 2014. The students taking part in the survey were mainly enrolled in courses of study to prepare them for corporate life, such as economics.


The image of young people as job hoppers is not correct. Only 22% stated that they would regularly like to switch employers during their career. However, the majority (60%) do tend to regard their first employer as a step-up to a better job at a different company:

46% intend to stay with their first employer for 1 to 3 years
27% wish to stay from 3 to 5 years

High expectations

‘Unlike previous generations, young people today wish to see the values and standards they consider important reflected in their job,’ says Dirk Buyens, professor of Human Resources Management at Vlerick Business School. ‘They are keen to work for a company with a vision that can be reconciled with their own convictions and values. However, from a broader perspective, the job and company must also fit in with their personality, interests and family situation. Authenticity is very important to them: they want their job to be an extension of who they are and what they stand for. For this reason, it is important for companies to give young people sufficient freedom to make their own mark on their job.’

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