I’ve been noticing a new tread in the attitudes with the younger people I work with which mirrors my own. I notice we have a new generation of mercenary employees. They are out there for themselves and don’t have much loyalty to their companies. Yet what is truly different about this group from previous mercenaries is they are not out there for the highest bidder of salary, but rather who has the best benefit package.
Perhaps in a backlash to watching many of our parents do years of unpaid overtime that never seemed to get compensated properly for. We now have a group of people determined to keep a home life in the face of the job. No more 60+ hour weeks, 24-hour cell phone answering or being abused by bosses. We have put our families first and we don’t have a problem leaving a job if we find a better offer of benefits or if we feel abused.
Salary is important to be base degree, but after that is all about the benefits. I don’t want a $5,000/year raise, I’ll take a extra week in vacation instead. We question: Do you offer any other non-taxable benefits? Overtime is only granted if a promise is made of time off later to compensate it. We have done the math and realized being paid out overtime is a bad idea. You lose too much to taxes when all you really want is that time back with your family. Flextime is required and you better be able to use your sick time to look after your sick kids.
So how has the come about? I believe the younger generation knows the baby boomer are retiring and despite all the changes to allow the older generation to work later companies suspect they are still going to be short bodies to do the work (in some cases they already are short bodies). So a company could try to overload their existing employees, but that isn’t working. We walk instead. We know our skill sets are in demand in the market and we are not afraid to shop around to get the best deal for us. So hence the new mercenary.
The above opinion is based solely on my own conversations with people under 30, but I’m curious to here other stories like these. Are you a new mercenary? If so, what’s your story?
This post is now part of the 139th Carnival of Personal Finance.