Over a year and a half ago, I entered the “real world.”
On a humid June day, I was called to the bar and was ushered into the world as a full-fledged lawyer. The government agency that hired me as an articling student offered me a job as a lawyer, and I returned to work the very next day in a fancy new role with a fancy new salary.
It was a comfortable job with a great paycheque, wonderful colleagues, and even a coveted defined benefit pension.
But I was restless.
After having already been there for a year, I soon felt stuck and saw little opportunities for further growth.
Five months later, I took a job that paid $20,000 less, but challenged me in ways that I desperately sought.
The money didn’t matter.
The chance to improve my skills did.
Millennials, such as myself, are multi-faceted.
We have big hearts, ambitious dreams and a deep sense of responsibility to the world around us.
And for this reason, a paycheque is not enough for us to stick around at a job that doesn’t truly fulfill us. Of course money still matters to us, but it’s no longer the only thing that matters.
Here are four important factors that the ambitious Millennial finds imperative to a good workplace.
We, like you, want to be treated with respect.
This involves discretion from our managers. We take our work-ethic seriously, which is probably why you want to hire us, and in return we want to be given appropriate discretion when it comes to decision-making.
We don’t want to follow a manual. We don’t want to have ask you for permission to do something irrelevant.
We want to be prized for our reasoning, judgment and self-awareness.
If we need help in those areas, we hope you would coach us into how we can improve those traits — not reprimand us by forcing us to follow antiquated rules.
2. Flexible Work Environment
Related to what I mentioned above, we value our freedom.
Some of us may thrive in a stuffy cubicle, and some of us work best in a cafe. Unless we have specific client meetings, we don’t understand the need to be chained to our desk from 9am — 5pm, Monday to Friday.
We believe that when and where we are most focused, really depends on the individual.
We wish that companies recognized that too.
We are hungry to learn.
We are driven to develop as many skills as possible, as quickly as possible.
We want to push ourselves to our limits.
Companies who encourage us to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty are the best because it shows a recognition that opportunities are available if we want them.
Our ideal company is one who recognizes and encourages our ambitions.
Simply put, we care about the world around us.
We don’t just care about money, we care about the world around us. Over 51% of us do not support capitalism in its current form.
A huge enticement for us to join a company is whether or not the company has defined values, goals and a sense of social responsibility.
Conscious capitalism is something that attracts us. Companies that understand this are TOMS, Wealth Simple and Whole Foods — all of which Millennials patron on a regular basis.
Ultimately, we care about employers that treat us with respect and encourage us to be creative, work hard and smart and search for ways to disrupt antiquated processes.
Free lunches are nice, but opportunity is even better.
So, please: Stop calling us lazy, entitled or even naive.
We, more than any other generation, understand today’s market and how to modernize traditional industries that are clueless about the digital age.
It’s time to take us seriously in the workplace.
You’ll be glad you did.
Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this story, you should check out www.jenonmoney.com where I write about money, work, self-development, and more. — Jen
This originally appeared on Quora.