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Millennials change workforce trends

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

With college graduations in full swing, many first-time grads are looking for that first-job.

But the workforce is steadily changing, with millennials moving in and baby boomers moving out. Now, employers have to make changes themselves.

The millennial generation is now the largest in the workforce with 53 million people working. But long-gone are the days of finding the perfect job and staying there for your entire career. Millennials are moving in and looking to move up, whether or not it's in the same company.

"It's a little different than the way my dad worked and he's been at the same company for 25 years," said Joda Thongnopnua, Director of Communications for The Lamp Post Group.

Thongnopnua says, in most cases those long-term jobs don't really exist anymore; but adds, millennials aren't really looking for them anyway. "I think there's an incentive for millennials to feel like they're furthering their career in a particular task they are doing, which is different that my parents did, which you were happy to have a salary and health insurance," said Thongnopnua.

Now, millennials are looking for more. "Having a great work/life balance, a great culture," said Thongnopnua. They're looking for the ability to advance their career, regardless of whether or not it's at the same company. "They're leaving a job for another job as a form of promotion for themselves whenever they feel they've moved past where they're at. They're going to start looking for new opportunities," said Thongnopnua.

They're bouncing around from one job to another every few years; but he says that doesn't make them bad employees. "I think millennials are focused on what they're contributing to the bottom line of a company as opposed to being part of a machine," said Thongnopnua.

They've got a risk-embracing approach in an ever-changing job market, so they can adapt to anything. As to where the workforce trend goes from here with future generations? Thongnopnua says it's hard to say. "One thing is for certain, we're not moving back to the idea where you'll go to a job for 20 or 30 years and collect the pension afterwards. That era of American employment just doesn't exist anymore," said Thongnopnua.

He says in order for Chattanooga to stay competitive in the job market, companies will want to make sure there is opportunity for advancement for their employees.

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