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News release


Millennial Career Myths: What Gen Y Wants in a Career Will Surprise You (And Delight Your Boss)

CHICAGO, Aug. 19, 2014 – As the nation faces a Baby Boomer retirement wave, many industries are looking to the Millennial generation to fill the anticipated talent gap. So, industries are fighting for top young talent—and according to a new JLL study, Millennials are making surprising and thoughtful choices. 

This year, global real estate firm JLL commissioned a survey aimed at determining what Millennials want from their careers, looking in particular at the commercial real estate sector. But the surprising findings could help any company determine what Millennials want and challenge many widely-held beliefs about their career choices, including the following surprising revelations:

  • Myth: Millennials despise big corporations.
  • Reality: Maybe not as much as we thought.  More than half (52 percent) of the Millennials surveyed work for a multi-national or national corporation, despite widespread perception that Millennials prefer smaller enterprises. 60 percent of those surveyed want to work for an industry leader. Millennials surveyed were said
  • to be more loyal when working for a larger organization. 


  • Myth: It’s difficult to attract ‘self-involved’ Millennials to math and science.                                                            
  • Reality: STEM fields are attractive to this tech-savvy generation.  Around one-third of the survey respondents were studying a STEM field.  Additionally, a substantial number of survey respondents already hold jobs related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as well as project management and architecture. This is being shown to be an innovative and self-motivated group, with 87 percent of those surveyed saying that they would like to be challenged and learn new things every day.
  • Myth: All Millennials plan to change the world by age 25.                                                          
  • Reality: Making a difference in the world matters — but Millennials are realistic about it.  Many young people want to make a difference, but little things matter. Helping a company become more sustainable, for example, is something Millennials value, and many are happy to make a difference by taking small steps.
  • Myth: Millennials ‘live for today’ and live in their parents’ basements.        
  • Reality: Not short-sighted, Millennials thoughtfully plan their career paths.  According to the survey, Millennials value jobs that offer constant learning opportunities, a clear career path and an enjoyable, rewarding workplace. 92 percent of those surveyed said they would like to work for an organization that offers personal and professional growth. Furthermore, they are open minded: more than 71 percent of Millennials are open to learning about new careers—a positive sign for both corporations needing talent and Millennials looking for rewarding careers. While there is a perception that Millennials are not loyal, Millennials are shown to be very loyal when they feel they are at relevant and reputable companies.
  • Myth: It is either a traditional four-year college, or a high school diploma only for this generation.                                                                                               
  • Reality: Not all Millennials go to a four-year college, but technical training is popular regardless. The study points to facility management as a good career for associate degree candidates studying HVAC and other technical programs. Millennials are born technologists. Even those that do not pursue higher education are interested in developing skills for operating highly technical operating systems and machinery. This is particularly true for vocational programs that lead to higher paying jobs.

The research reveals a critical disconnect: many industries offering meaningful careers are virtually unknown to young people seeking jobs. Facility management is just one of the options that Millennials are beginning to discover. 

“This generation is still defining itself but they know what they know want from their careers,” observes  Chris Pesek, Director of JLL’s Integrated Facilities Management (IFM) group overseeing three billion square feet of corporate real estate facilities in 74 countries. “There are many non-traditional career options that are a perfect fit to the digital-native generation. As facility management becomes more and more technologically advanced and the talent gap is widening, Millennials have an open opportunity to dive in.”

JLL’s The Future of Facility Management: Attracting Millennial Talent tracks demographic shifts in Millennial career plans, as well as how they relate specifically to the facility management industry. The complete findings of the report are available here.

A leader in the real estate outsourcing field, JLL’s Corporate Solutions business helps corporations improve productivity in the cost, efficiency and performance of their national, regional or global real estate portfolios by creating outsourcing partnerships to manage and execute a range of corporate real estate services. This service delivery capability helps corporations improve business performance, particularly as companies turn to the outsourcing of their real estate activity as a way to manage expenses and enhance profitability.
For more news, videos and research resources on JLL, please visit the firm’s U.S. media center webpage. Bookmark it here:

About JLL
JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. With annual fee revenue of $4.0 billion and gross revenue of $4.5 billion, JLL has more than 200 corporate offices, operates in 75 countries and has a global workforce of approximately 53,000. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 3.0 billion square feet, or 280.0 million square meters, and completed $99.0 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2013. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $50.0 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit​