“I loved working at Google,” says Jenny Blake, who managed career-development programs for the large tech company until 2011. “In many ways, it was my dream job,” she admits. In the end, that wasn’t enough to keep her there. Blake, now 28, left her spot on the ladder—and the free yoga classes—at the exalted employer to start out on her own as an author and career coach in New York.
While Google is still widely regarded as one of the best places to work, the corporate lifestyle and promises of a lifelong career may no longer seduce young workers as in the past. A new survey by the salary website PayScale and Millienial Branding, a Generation Y research and consulting firm in Boston, shows that Gen Y workers thirst for autonomy. They are more likely than the average worker to study to be entrepreneurs and to work at small ventures, posing challenges to large companies that are looking to hire young candidates.