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At Work, Generation 'I' Has High Expectations

generation y Credit: Young Professionals Image via Shutterstock

They may be card-carrying members of Generation Y, but this year’s crop of college graduates might be more accurately described as Generation "I" when it comes to career planning and work ethic, a new survey shows.  These grads have a secure understanding of entitlement—and they aren’t willing to compromise. For today's graduates, it seems to be all about them.

Recent grads expect a lot from a job, yet a majority (58 percent) feels their expectations are either low or just right, according to a survey of 507 recent college graduates ages 22 to 26 sponsored by Adecco, a staffing organization.

When given a list of 15 job-search-related factors such as good company culture, prestige in the industry and benefits, more than half of recent graduates said they expect to receive a majority of them once hired. Good health benefits (74 percent), job security (73 percent and opportunities for growth and development (68 percent) topped the list of expectations.

[Gen Y Making New Digital Demands on Employers]

There's also little chance that this cohort will produce sizeable numbers of corporate lifers. Over the next ten years, only 3 percent of recent grads said they'd expect to stay at any given job for more than five years, the survey found.  And nine out of 10 recent grads said they wouldn't stay at a job they didn't like more than a year, with 20 percent saying they would bail after three months.

Gen I has a whole laundry list of reasons why they'd choose to leave a job, the survey showed. Topping the list was a salary cut (67 percent), followed by benefits cut (44 percent) perks being cut (20 percent) and being assigned work that didn't fit their interests (18 percent).

They also want to stay connected to their personal lives even at work. Nearly two in five (38 percent) of recent graduates said they would not take a job they were otherwise interested in if they were not allowed to engage in activities such as taking or making personal phone calls (23 percent), checking personal emails (20 percent) and visiting social websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter (12 percent).

If all else fails, though, they feel that they can fall back on help from their parents. The survey showed that parents often provide new graduates with financial help, with more than half of recent grads relying on their parents to pay at least some of their living expenses, including cellphone bill payments (32 percent), food (21 percent) Internet (20 percent) and health insurance (20 percent).

Parents are also willing to lend a heavy hand with their child’s job search as well, the survey found. Nearly a third of graduates reported their parents are somewhat involved in their search, even if they’re not depending on their parents for financial support. One in 10 said they’re tapping their parents’ personal networks to help them find job opportunities, 8 percent said their parents would accompany them to a job interview, 5 percent said their parents would wait outside during the interview and 3 percent said their parents would actually sit in on the interviews.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.