A lot has been said about millennials in Singapore, mostly in the form of snide remarks from the older generation about the “strawberry generation”. But don’t think that all millennials here are like their counterparts in the US, where everyone wants to save the world or create their own startup.
A recent UBS study on top-earning millennials in several countries threw up some surprising results. Over 200 high-earning Singaporean millennials making more than $100,000 a year were surveyed, making them the top 20% of earners in their age group.
Here are three reasons high-earning millennials have more in common with their parents than they might like to admit:
1. They want the security of a stable job
Singaporean bosses are pulling out their hair over the unreliability and capriciousness of their millennials hires, who crave flexibility and seem to be about to run away any second to join some start-up.
But it turns out that baby boomers need not worry so much about their kids. All that talk about the slowing economy has made millennials worry that their incomes and careers will suffer, and as such they are actually quite attached to traditional ways of working. That means that high-earning Singaporean millennials tend to prefer a stable job with a steady paycheck compared to their counterparts worldwide.
This indicates that despite the idealism that their generation has becoming notorious for displaying, the highest earning Singaporean millennials are still fairly pragmatic.
2. They aren’t as likely to dream of starting their own businesses or moving overseas for work
A recent report stating that 75% of Singaporean millennials want to be their own boss might have alarmed some baby boomer parents.
But guess what, compared to their peers in other countries, high-earning Singaporean millennials aren’t really that likely to dream of starting their own businesses, or to want to move overseas for work.
In fact, 30% of the millennials who responded to the survey thought they were less entrepreneurial than their own parents.
This is actually in line with the trend of Singapore’s highest academic performers entering “safe” careers in medicine, law, banking and the civil service. While there are increasing numbers of young Singaporeans freelancing, entering the start-up scene or dreaming of going overseas to work, they are but a small minority. And the highest earners in Singapore are actually quite happy to stay where they are.
3. They are feeling pessimistic about the future
We’ve all read the bad news about the Singapore economy. We’re holding our breaths to see if we’re officially in a technical recession at the end of the year, but even if we’re not, there’s no doubt that things won’t be easy as before.
And this is something millennials are acutely aware of. In fact, of the millennials in the 10 markets surveyed by UBS, Singaporean millennials showed the least confidence about achieving their financial goals. That’s pretty alarming, given that these were the top earners in their generation, each earning a minimum of $100,000 annually.
37% also felt their financial aspirations were thwarted by limited social networks, which was significantly lower than the 28% global average. Perhaps all those long hours spent at the office have been taking a toll on their social lives?
As a millennials, do you think the above describes you? Tell us why or why not in the comments!