Jean Twenge

Dr. Jean Twenge, Author of “Generation Me”

Are millennials more or less financially savvy than other generations?

Compared to Boomers and GenX’ers at the same age, Millennials are more likely to say that “becoming very well-off financially” is an important life goal. At the same time, they are the least likely of the three generations to say that they are willing to work overtime. That suggests they have an unrealistic optimism about how personal finance works. In better news, Millennials may have learned something from the Great Recession and have increased their savings rates. What are the most common mistakes millennials make when starting their career? The most common mistake Millennials make in starting their career is assuming that they can start a lucrative career at 30 without much prior relevant experience. Compared to previous generations, Millennials are more likely to spend their 20s not working or working in jobs below their education level. For some this is not by choice, but others choose not to settle into a “real” career in their 20s. The most extreme example is those who are not working at all — University of Chicago economist Erik Hurst found that 22% of men in their 20s without a college degree did not work at all in 2015. In our study of generational differences in workplace attitudes, we found that the largest difference was in the desire for work-life balance. That suggests that the best way for organizations to attract and retain Millennials is to offer more flexible work schedules that focus on results rather than hours at the office. Millennials also desire more frequent feedback and faster tracks for promotions.

Article Link