While compensation is an important contributor to job satisfaction, what is more important to skilled candidates is the quality of life offered by the position they are considering. Can they make a difference within the organization without selling themselves to it, body and soul?

Making a Difference

A Poets & Quants article reports that a key consideration for young candidates is a company’s quantifiable impact on the world around it, and their potential to be company influencers. They don’t necessarily want to run the company; they want to be a part of the core team. The data points to their desire to be more than number crunchers sending spreadsheets to higher-ups (in fact, core financial industries like accounting and investment banking were among those that reported the least job satisfaction).

Since Millennials will account for nearly three-quarters of the workforce within the next decade, businesses are making concerted efforts to understand what will motivate these workers. They’re discovering it is no longer enough to dangle the possibility of a mostly meaningless promotion following years of drudgery. It’s not enough to have a job; it must be a job that has value and meaning beyond showing up to work.

As technological advances continue to create new opportunities and new markets worldwide, jobs that shape how we live, work and play hold great appeal for Millennials. The chance to be part of a world-changing initiative is one of the greatest lures a business can offer a prospective candidate; delivering on that promise can be the route to ultimate job satisfaction.

The Value of an Individual Contribution

As the world becomes increasingly complex — both in socioeconomic stratification and in the overwhelming flood of data — it is easy for a single person to feel like but one point in a database. After a significant investment of time and money in an education, most professionals desire an identity that holds value in the community. They want to do work that makes a difference.

And the industries where that difference is most widely realized are the arts, media and entertainment, followed by biotech, technology and healthcare. In short, job satisfaction is found in entertaining other people or in actively improving their quality of life.

While a fancy car and a penthouse apartment may be nice to have, a job that fosters self-improvement and personal development creates wealth that lasts a lifetime. Industries that value individual contributions are more likely to entice fresh graduates from advanced degree programs, as more and more candidates look for opportunities that enrich both their own inner lives and the lives of those around them.

Learn more about the TAMU-CC online MBA program.


Poets & Quants: Companies & Industries Where College Grads Are Most Satisfied

Business Insiders: What Millennials Hate and Love Most About Their Jobs

Gallup: Millennials: How They Live and Work

Investopedia: Measuring Job Satisfaction in the Millennial Age