Millennials can never seem to get it right. They invent pumpkin spice lattes, but get shot down when they post an Instagram of their morning’s brew. They are staying in college for longer, but their fields of study are not deemed practical like the previous generation. Oh, and their contributions to the economy are dividing the nation.
On one side of the spectrum, Americans believe Millennials are innovators and courageous in their career paths. Even presidential candidate Hilary Clinton described Millennials as “the most open, diverse and entrepreneurial generation in our country’s history.”
However, others feel that this lazy generation is far from entrepreneurial and poses a troubling threat to the U.S. economy.
Worst of all, Millennials themselves don’t even know where they stand.
The Wall Street Journal reports a finding that shows how Millennials are getting up off the couch and taking unique career paths across the pond. In 2014, the Boston Consulting Group and The Network, an alliance of global recruiting websites, surveyed 200,000 workers in 189 countries and found that 59% of American respondents between ages 21 and 30 are more willing to go abroad for work.
This is a change that is different from the generations that have come before as the Millennial generation covers anyone born in the early 1980s to 2000.
Typically, the average American will move about 12 times in their life and will only move domestically. However, the Millennial generation is starting to increase that number, as 43% of expats in the Millennial age group said they moved abroad because they were motivated by finding a new challenge.
These world travelers were most likely to be found in Singapore, a country known for its exorbitant costs. However, the young expats had a good reason: higher incomes. In Singapore, expats earn $139,000 per year on average, while the global average earnings come out to $97,000 a year. They are also gaining more health benefits, help with housing costs, and impressive options for retirement savings accounts.
Work culture is also a important factor for Millennials. A full 37% of expats moved to Singapore exclusively for the great work culture communities on offer.
This craving for a unique work culture is exactly what some believe has the potential to start a troublesome economic future for the country.
For some, they see a lack of entrepreneurial motivation and a craving for a work culture that is impossible to obtain simply because they are living with their parents. Some Millennials are still teenagers, and when they are not moving abroad, the majority of them are living with their parents. In fact, 67% of American teenagers report that they would actually spend more time with their parents, which can potentially explain why more and more Millennials are staying home with their high expectations.
These critics back up their opinions with facts. In a survey of 1,200 Millennials, 44% said they think the best way to advance their career is to stay with one company, but only one-fourth think changing jobs every few years is beneficial.
Problem is, there have been many recent studies completed that show the benefits of moving jobs regularly. Not only is this method an easier way to move up the corporate ladder, staying in one, stagnant job can shrink the economy, as there will be no growth.
John Lettieri, co-founder and senior director for policy and strategy at EIG, explains this phenomena to the Washington Post by saying, “When you’re pessimistic and distrustful as a generation, you tend to do things that make you poorer as an economy. Choosing those risk-averse paths, because they’re the ones with potentially the least downside, also caps your ability to grow.”
So where does this leave Millennials?
Sipping pumpkin spiced lattes and checking their Instagrams, that’s where.