Salary Benchmarks: Digital natives jump jobs at their peril
November 04, 2013 | Ari Aronson | Comments
A growing number of marketers are under pressure to add digital expertise. Because of that, a lot of young digital talent is being lured away and bouncing around from company to company.
In the process they are losing sight of something very important: the value of staying in a job for more than six months and demonstrating the kind of employer loyalty that will help their careers.
We get a mixed message on the digitally savvy Generation Y. We hear about their difficulty finding jobs out of school, unpaid internships and entry-level positions that pay near the poverty line. On the other hand, there has been a growing trend of digital and social media hiring that has placed true digital natives on a lofty (and lucrative) pedestal.
So, companies find themselves in desperate situations to pay young whiz kids and they turn to the first Gen Y resume they can find and throw more money at them—very often to lure them away from their current job.
The result is a market that is often overpaying for young talent with limited experience.
Like young celebs, Millennials can be so convinced of their “superstar status” that they overlook the importance of sticking it out through tough times and challenging corporate environments before bolting to another job. Our Generation Y’ers have developed extremely high expectations of what a job should look like and once they get a sense that they are in demand—or could be worth more—they jump into opportunities without understanding the consequences until it’s too late.
Those consequences are damaged professional reputations. When I look at resumes from young people who can’t, or don’t, hold a job for more than six months, I see a lack of commitment and loyalty to an organization. That’s something employers look for along with skills and ability to do a job.
Lacking a history of loyalty can undermine these young professionals’ skill and expertise. At some point, if milliennials leap from company to company for more money, they will wind up in a position where they are overstating their salary and misrepresenting their skills relative to the market. At some point they just get too expensive.
So here is my advice for Generation Y: you don’t have to stay in a bank job for 10 years anymore (even though your parents may have). But how about committing to two or three years? Moving around shows signs that you don’t know what you’re looking for, or that all you care about is money. Agencies want to see that you are putting more thought into building your skills, expertise and profession. Sometimes slow and steady wins the race. I believe there is a fine balance between sticking it out and being bored to tears.
Ari Aronson is founder and executive recruiter of Ari Agency, a digital recruitment firm specializing in digital advertising, media and technology.
This column originally appeared in the Nov. 11 issue of Marketing (on newsstands and arriving in subscribing inboxes now) as part of its annual industry salary survey. Check out our comprehensive index of salary ranges across the industry, from the most junior art director to senior-level media strategists. Plus, see what recruitment professionals say about where the opportunities are in the coming years, and much more. Subscribe today, and check us out on your iPad Newsstand app.