Money isn’t everything to Burlington millennials

Brad Smith

Burlington Post – By John Bkila

Three Burlington millennials are breaking preconceptions about their demographic cohort when it comes to what they look for in a dream job. The Burlington Post sat down with a sampling of the generation born between 1983-97 to talk about their work experiences and to get their take on the current marketplace and how they see it evolving.

A 2016 survey was done by Deloitte to find out what millennials really want from a job, and discovered pay and work perks, like benefits, were top of mind.

But that wasn’t the case for 33-year-old senior landscape architect Brad Smith, who took a pay decrease to land his latest job in Burlington. “I came out of school in 2010 and, I think at that point, organizations were just coming out of the 2008 recession. They were just starting to look at recruiting so, unfortunately, I missed the boat a little bit.” – Kayla van Zon

“When I switched jobs in 2012, I didn’t chase salary at all…. I did it more for an opportunity,” said Smith, who previously worked as a landscape architect for a company in Kitchener.

“I find in my job, I look for work that challenges me… how can I be the best landscape architect and then work to be a little bit better… we definitely look for projects and opportunities that push us architects to grow.”

Agreeing with the married father of one were Kayla van Zon, a 28-year-old marketing account director, and 26-year-old Christopher Reuse, who was recently let go from his job as a project co-ordinator for a Scarborough construction firm.

The three are also part of Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring’s volunteer Millennial Advisory Committee in Burlington.

“I think for me, it’s being challenged every day, doing something that truly makes me happy. You spend the majority of your life at work, the majority of hours, the people you see, the people you deal with,” said van Zon.

“I obviously think salary is important, but I don’t think it can be No. 1. If all you’re out for is (a high) salary, you’re never going to be happy.”