The Myth of the Millennial Job Changer

I read this article last week, another in a long list that talks about declining employee tenure. The article reminded me of dozens of articles I’ve read that peg the millennial generation (people born in the 1980s and 1990s) as perpetual job changers. I don’t know where this dirty little rumor comes from, but when I look at people my age I do not see many job changers.

I played golf with some friends a week ago. One has been an attorney at the same law firm since he graduated law school five years ago. Another is a pharmaceutical representative with the same firm since college – eight years. Two were on the police force for eight years. I’ve been with my employer for 7 years and I don’t plan on going anywhere. It’s plausible that each of us could stay with the same employers for the next twenty or so years before retiring or settling down. In fact all of the people I’ve kept in touch with from high school and college have similar stories. Where are all of these young job changers everyone is talking about?

If anything I suspect the economic times we Millennials have cut our career teeth on have made us overly afraid of job change. Maybe the days of retiring from a company after thirty or so years of loyal service have been brought back by a period of rampant joblessness and economic uncertainty. Or maybe employers are figuring out that growing and retaining talented young up-and-comers is a profitable policy. Whatever the reason, if you ask me, those who think the young change jobs just for the sport of it are mistaken.