The “Me Generation” – why contracting works

If you were born between the early 80’ and early 2000’s you are part of what’s known as the millennial generation or the “Me” generation. Dubbed the most educated, tech-savvy and connected generations to have lived, you have also been labelled as being disloyal to your employers. You have a thirst for diversity. You feel entitled to rapid promotion up the corporate ladder. And you are less likely to conform to restrictions than older generations…It’s these stereotyped traits that make Millennials the perfect candidates to join the contingent workforce.

Millennials represent one third of the world’s population. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Millennials are the largest generation in Australia, representing 30 percent of the country’s population. With statistics like these, coupled with the qualities that make up this generation, it comes as no surprise that Millennials are shaking things up in the workplace in a way that suits their needs.

Millennials are said to be job hoppers. Unlike older generations who favour retiring in the same workplace that gave them their big break, Me Gen’s are not afraid of walking away from a job to pursue bigger, better things. They also have the tendency to feel entitled to promotion based on performance rather than tenure or seniority. The very nature of contracting gives workers the opportunity to grow their skills, experience new workplaces and company cultures and offers variety in work assignments and responsibilities. It also satisfies the expectations Millennial have; that is to do their job, be rewarded and move on to something else.

The contracting world attracts many Millennials due to the freedom and mobility it offers. This generation does not like to be tied to a desk. Flexible work arrangements and virtual offices appeal to them, giving them the opportunity to utilise the many social applications available, while on the job. A freedom commonly taken away by traditional employers, who discourage such use. These types of restrictions in the workplace are another key factor in Millennials choosing a contracting career rather than fulltime employment. They do not conform well to restrictions; especially when it comes to technology.

The Millennial generation has grown up alongside emerging technologies that are shaping the way we work today. The younger half of this generation doesn’t know life without the Internet. So it’s no wonder that Millennials are the most tech-savvy and connected of all generations and that they want a workplace that encourages the use of technology and social applications. The ever increasing adoption and use of technologies in the workplace has definitely provided many jobs in this space. Many of which are contracting roles. Another perfect fit between this generation and the opportunities out there for contingent workers.

Like most things in life, contracting is not for everyone. But it does seem that this latest generation to be joining the workforce poses a list of behaviours and personality traits that are well suited to this increasingly growing workforce. Change is inevitable, particularly in business. Millennials are resilient to change and in many cases thrive on it. The urge by organisations, lead by the older generation, to resist the demands being made by Millennials and the workforce they are shaping in their favour, is soon going to have to give…because Millennials are not going to hang around long enough to put up with it.