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Balkan region: What Millennials want from work

Balkan region: What Millennials want from work


Surveys around the globe often represent Millennials as restless, impatient and ambitious people who hardly see themselves working for one employer for more than five years. Surveys suggest that Millennials see themselves as special people and workers who deserve special treatment because, well, they are special. Their vision of career is much more than promotions and a big salary. In fact, these two are implied.  There’s so much going on in a startup scene but does it really mean that Millennials would not settle down for anything less than a CEO position or a career of a successful entrepreneur?   

Talking about Millennials, some survey results could be true, but it would be very wrong to think that the global financial crisis has not had any impact on Millennials’ career expectations whatsoever. Restless and easily bored as they may be, Millennials had the opportunity to see labor market crashing like the tower of cards in front of their eyes. Many of them know what it looks like to lose their job and search for another one – for years. Such experiences must have had an influence on them and their image of ‘a perfect job’. So, what does this image look like?  

The latest regional survey on similarities and differences of labor markets in three Balkan countries, Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, reveal some pretty interesting information in regard to this matter.  For example, the majority of participants would like to work for a foreign company or corporation (31%). One third of participants would prefer to be entrepreneurs but there is also a significant percentage of those who would like to ‘settle down’ in the public sector (18%).

Working in the public sector is especially popular among Croatian and Serbian Millennials (18% and 20%). The reason for this could be that the vast majority of participants (61%) have said that they are afraid of losing their job!

In Bosnia, however, there is a completely different situation: entrepreneurship is much more popular (40%) than the idea of working in the public sector (11%). What could be the reason? “In Bosnia, the situation is a little bit different”, says Dalila Zeljković, Digital Marketing Specialist at Posao.ba, the biggest Bosnian job site. “It is not that people don’t want to work in the public sector but they are just aware that public service doesn’t have any work positions to offer. Regarding this, entrepreneurship might be their only option.”  

In the Balkan region, entrepreneurship seems to be a necessity much more than a desire: only 24% of participants see the importance of the career in their life. On the other hand, the importance of job security is high on their list of priorities (56%), the same as the salary range and professional development.

So, next time when we talk about Millennials and their career expectations we should probably be less focused on their ‘restlessness’ and ‘impatience’ and much more on issues like ‘job security’, ‘competitive salary’ and ‘professional growth’

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