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RingCentral Team
June 5, 2013

Trend Report: Millennials in the Workforce

medium_6829510801RingCentral offers enterprise-class phone systems for any size business – phone systems that provide greater mobility and easier management than conventional on-premise solutions. On a higher level, what we’re doing is enabling a New World of Work, a world unbound by the trappings of business as usual.

With this in mind, we’ll be looking closely in the coming months at how the world of work is changing (and how RingCentral is making some of these changes possible). Over the next few weeks, we’re going to take a deep dive into one of the biggest trends in business: the rise of Millennials in the workforce.

What is a Millennial? Well, as a 25-year-old, I’m one. Anyone born between 1982 and 2000 is considered a Millennial, in fact. That means there are a lot of us – roughly 70 million in America alone.

And we’re coming of age at a tough time. Millions of us are starting (or looking to advance) our careers in the aftermath of the Great Recession, a hard truth that’s forcing certain compromises in our working lives. That’s the conclusion of consulting firm PwC – it found two years ago that close to three-quarters of Millennials feel they’re making trade-offs in their careers.

Interestingly, we’re OK with certain trade-offs. According to PwC, a large number of Millennials are interested in more than money: Personal growth and flexible work-life balance ranked as higher career priorities than compensation for the young people the company surveyed.

Supporting PwC’s findings is a much more recent survey conducted by online work marketplace oDesk. The company (a neighbor of RingCentral’s in Silicon Valley and a fellow DAG Ventures portfolio company) reported last month that about 90 percent of Millennials are interested in flexible work arrangements (as opposed to a conventional 9-to-5 office job). In addition, oDesk found, entrepreneurial attitudes are common among my age group. Sixty percent of the freelancing Millennials oDesk surveyed think of themselves as entrepreneurs.

So, right off the bat, we can define a few things about how my generation looks at work. We’re frustrated to be navigating the shoals of a cruddy economy, but we’re adopting an entrepreneurial mindset as we establish our careers. And even those of us in conventional jobs (lucky enough to have conventional jobs, perhaps) are eyeing the benefits of freelance work.

There’s a lot more that can be said about Millennials – TIME magazine, for one, explored what makes us unique in a recent, widely critiqued cover story. And Salon has a solid roundup of all the media coverage Millennials have gotten in the past several months. One item in Salon’s list, from a late-2012 Atlantic piece, describes us well (in my opinion):

Savvy with technology, impatient for progress and seeking reward beyond a paycheck, [Millennials] are often shaking up traditional ways of doing business.

That about sums it up – we’re demanding and idealistic in near-equal measure. And, importantly, we’re unlike every other generation now in the workforce. Given our sheer enormity (a little less than a quarter of the U.S. population), we’re going to be hard to ignore.

So pay close attention to our Millennial series – we’ll be posting fresh content regularly here on RingCentral Connect this month and next.

Featured photo courtesy of Victor1558 via photopin cc.