I’ve written in the past about how college kids are looking for one thing out of college, becoming rich. Many say that’s their career goal. At least according to quite a few studies I came across.
So, I was happy to read the results of a new survey that actually shows the opposite.
The study by accounting firm KPMG of nearly 2500 college students who were business majors found:
57 percent said that career opportunities would be their primary consideration when choosing an employer, followed by 22 percent who said work/life balance. Only 12 percent felt that the salary and benefits package would be their primary consideration.
And while many (53 percent) respondents only expect to stay at their first job for three to five years, the survey found that students largely have a ‘wait and see’ attitude. An overwhelming number (74 percent) responded “maybe” when asked if changing jobs is necessary for career opportunities.
“While there is no doubt that companies need to think of quality of life issues when trying to attract new recruits, ‘millennials’ want jobs that help them build a career and create opportunities for the future,” said Manny Fernandez, KPMG’s National Managing Partner – Campus Recruiting. “After accepting an offer, new recruits look at the career value proposition and employers must offer a rewarding career path to retain new hires.”
This idea is based on what was once a simple theory — paying dues in order to climb the ladder of success.
I know, the idea of paying dues is so old school. But folks, that’s typically the way a person rises in their career. It also gives you a chance to figure out if you really like your chosen career path, or if you really like the industry or organization you’ve found yourself in.
I include a whole chapter in my book about how many of the nation’s top CEOs paid their dues.
Here’s one story I thought was a great lesson learned:
William D. Novelli, CEO of the AARP
When Bill Novelli was in college he read a book by David Ogilvy called “Confessions of an Advertising Man”, a book he says basically espoused the theory that “if you want to sell gasoline, from a marketing standpoint, you have to go out and pump gas.” Understanding and accepting that concept served Novelli well when he was struggling to pay his dues.
“I was hired with a bunch of other Ivy Leaguers to go into the big detergent emporium, Unilever. In order to go into marketing, I had to go through sales training first. In those days, it was 1964, you had to pay your dues,” he explains.
The indignities he faced as a salesman sometimes made him question his resolve. At Grand Union supermarket in his territory, he had to deal with a store manager that had a reputation for being nasty. “He would throw salesmen out of the store at the drop of a hat. At one point, he told me I was persona non grata,” he recalls, angry with Novelli for reasons he still can’t explain. “This was a big store in my territory and I couldn’t be kicked out,” he says. “I told him I wasn’t really a salesman and he said, ‘oh yeah, what are you then.’ I told him, ‘I’m a marketing trainee and that I thought you’d make a great teacher.’ He said, ‘okay, I’ll teach you retail. The first think you can do is build a big end aisle display with 25 cases of Nabisco crackers.’ So there I am building it and I hear my boss come up behind me. He was a regional sales manager. He said, ‘what the hell are you doing?’ I explained the situation. He said, ‘are you aware that’s not our product?’ I told him I had a strategy and finished the display. My boss thought I was nuts but from then on I had the grudging acceptance of the store manager. It did teach me humility.”
Ah, humility. When was the last time you heard that word?