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Millennials want to become leaders (HRM Asia)

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They also seek work-life balance and personal development, says a new study. 

Being a leader is a key career driver for the millennial generation.

In a joint global study by the INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute (EMI) and Universum, 41% said that it was very important to them to become a leader or a manager.

The primary drivers for becoming a leader were money (35%), influence (31%) and the opportunity to have a strategic role (31%).

However, the impetus to become a leader was more inward-focused, and not related to the traditional leadership role of managing and coaching other employees.

Some 40% of respondents also said that their biggest fear was to get stuck in a job with no development opportunities.

The study also identified key differences between younger and older millennials. Young millennials were keen in coaching and mentoring as a part of a leadership role.

Work-life balance over high salaries

Although becoming a manager was important to millennials, only 24% strongly wanted a fast-track career with constant promotions.

Seventy-three per cent chose work-life balance over higher wages and 82% valued work-life balance over their position in a company.

Unlike generations before them, 42% said that they would rather have no job than one they hate.

Greater independence of thought

Contrary to popular belief, family and friends were not key career influences for millennials.

Only 5% said that their friends strongly influenced their choices and 10% believed that the opinions of their parents were important.

According to the study, this highlights a disconnect between the notion of “Helicopter Parents”, who hover over their children guiding their choices, and the impact they actually have on their children’s career decisions.

“The Millennial generation is more independent than first thought,” the study said.

The only exception was in Asia Pacific where the respondents said that they valued the opinion of their friends.

Future of the workforce

Millennials will constitute the majority of the workforce in just five to six years from now.

“From an employer branding perspective, companies that cater to the needs of Millennials will lead in attracting, recruiting and retaining them,” said Petter Nylander, CEO, Universum.

A total of 16,000 global respondents in 43 countries participated in the online survey, which was conducted from June to July this year.