Millennials: Job Hopping or Advancing Careers?

While many HR professionals have seen the oil and gas industry’s downturn as an opportunity to acquire some highly-skilled workers, the industry is still challenged with a shortage of STEM-capable people in the pipeline. And once the industry is back on the uptick, oil and gas companies will have to rehire – probably rather quickly – to remain competitive.

So HR has some important decisions ahead.

And while one can never determine how long an individual will stay with a company, Chris Melillo, managing partner and energy practice leader for Kaye/Bassman International Corp., recently told Rigzone it was a very “realistic fear” for employers right now whether or not employees hired on during the downturn would remain loyal to their companies.   

But company loyalty has changed over the years and today, on average, an individual stays at their job for 4.6 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That is lower than in the past, but people now have different reasons for staying – or leaving – a company.

Results from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York May 2015 Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) reveal that bachelor’s degree graduates are more likely to voluntarily leave their jobs than their counterparts who have some college, a high school diploma or less. Additionally, the survey found that those under age 40 were more likely than their older counterparts to voluntarily leave their job.

Millennials have been known to switch jobs frequently, a term many have referred to as “job hopping.” But, their reasons for working are different than generations of the past. Millennials prefer meaningful work over a high salary and are motivated by career advancement.

In essence, some millennials switch jobs frequently, not because they are unhappy at their current company, but because they are constantly seeking out new opportunities. According to the same CSE survey, nearly 65 percent of those under age 40 believe they will find a job in the next three months if they were to lose it today; compared to about 52 percent of those aged 40 to 60 and nearly 31 percent over age 60. Many millennials see new job opportunities as a way to advance their careers.


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Valerie is an experienced writer and editor dedicated to providing useful and relevant career news about the oil and gas industry. Email Valerie at


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