Considering that Baby Boomers are retiring by the thousands every day, and that Millennials are projected to make up approximately 75 percent of the workforce in less than 10 years, it makes sense to survey Millennials to learn about their plans for career longevity. According to the results of a new survey, most Millennials plan to work past the age of 65 while taking extended breaks along the way.


Indeed, 66 percent of the respondents taking part in a survey conducted by Reputation Leaders on behalf of ManpowerGroup indicated they expect to work past the age of 65. The survey polled an independent sample of 11,000 working Millennials equally balanced across age ranges and genders from 18 countries representing all regions. Also surveyed were more than 8,000 ManpowerGroup Millennial associate employees and 1,500 hiring managers across 25 countries. ManpowerGroup notes that speaking to both groups provides perspective from both employers and employees.


I was surprised to read that 32 percent of the respondents said they expect to work past the age of 70, and 12 percent said they will likely work until the day they die. They do, however, expect to take breaks. For example, 76 percent of the surveyed Millennials from the U.S. said they plan to take career breaks longer than four weeks. While women are likely to plan breaks to care for others—including children and older relatives—men and women prioritize leisure-related breaks for themselves equally, according to the survey results.


Globally, Millennials are happy to disrupt and be disrupted by new ways of working, the accompanying report notes. While almost three-quarters of working Millennials are in full-time jobs today, more than half say they’re open to new ways of working in the future—freelance, gig work or portfolio careers with multiple jobs.


I was also interested to see that 95 percent of the American respondents said they are willing to spend their own time and/or money to pursue additional training. The report explains that the respondents believe being more educated, better prepared for employment and higher paid is directly linked to what they term “learnability,” or the ability and desire to learn.


“Employers need to listen up and get creative; they simply cannot afford to not appeal to Millennials,” says Mara Swan, executive vice president, Global Strategy and Talent, ManpowerGroup and Global Brand Lead for Right Management. “Millennials want progression, but that doesn’t have to mean promotion. We need new ways to motivate and engage employees, like facilitating on-the-job learning and helping people move around the organization to gain experience more easily. And what works for Millennials works for the rest of the workforce too.”


Reading about Millennials’ expectations also reminds me of the results of Deloitte’s Global Millennials survey earlier this year, which found that as many as 63 percent of the respondents said their leadership skills are not being fully developed. What’s more, 71 percent of the respondents who said they are likely to leave their job within two years cited dissatisfaction with how their leadership skills are being developed as a key factor.


It’s noteworthy that Millennials place such a strong emphasis on education/training and developing and using leadership skills. If you are a Millennial, do these survey findings match your expectations? If you aren’t a Millennial, do you see these same attitudes among your colleagues?