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When I was a high school senior, I barely thought about what I’d be doing the next day, let alone what to expect when I officially became an adult and entered the workforce full time. Yet, today’s high school students are especially tuned in to the future world of work that awaits them.

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, high school seniors have already formed solid opinions around life in the working world, and their views often differ from what current workers expect out of their career experiences.

Here’s a comparison of future and current workers’ attitudes when it comes to areas such as success, money and workplace culture:

1. High salary hopes for high schoolers: When asked what salary they would need to earn to feel successful, more high school seniors needed that extra zero to reach their definition of success. Twenty-one percent of high school students cited $100,000-$149,999, compared with 15 percent of current workers. Future workers were also nearly three times as likely as current workers to say they need to make $200,000 or more to feel successful (13 percent versus 5 percent).

2. High school students dream of making a difference: Perhaps us current workers become more cynical as we add more working years on to our lives, but high school students tend to have loftier goals when it comes to non-monetary definitions of success. They were more than twice as likely as current workers to define success as “making a mark on this world” (54 percent versus 22 percent). The gap was also wide when it came to the ability to make a positive impact on people’s lives (78 percent of future workers versus 47 percent of current workers).

3. The feeling’s mutual on office attire: High school students don’t have plans to swap their jeans for suits anytime soon. More informal dress codes are favored by both future and current workers. The majority of both groups (74 percent of current workers and 70 percent of high school students) feel one should be able to dress casually at work.

4. Positive outlook on promotions: Future workers seem to be a bit more optimistic about career advancement potential once they’re in the workforce. The study found that 87 percent of high school students believe a worker should be promoted every two to three years if he or she is doing a good job. Seventy-three percent of current workers agree.

5. Work-life balance already in question: Unfortunately, high school students consider it standard practice to have to check work email during personal time. Sixty-six percent of these future workers say it’s OK to check one’s mobile device for work during a family activity, compared with 52 percent of current workers.

6. Job hopping habits: While job hopping has become more of the norm, high school students tend to see themselves staying put longer than one might expect. Just 16 percent of high school students believe someone should only stay in a job for a year or two before moving on to better things, similar to 15 percent of current workers. Yet their long game reveals a different story: When it comes down to the number of companies they think they’ll work for in their career, 32 percent expect they will work for 10 or more companies, similar to 28 percent of current workers who say the same.

7. Emoti-can’t: While high schoolers might be the kings and queens of emojis, they don’t see a place for them in the workplace. Only 1 in 5 high school students (20 percent) believe it’s acceptable to use emoticons in emails and other electronic communication at work, compared with 28 percent of current workers.

8. Fixed on a 9 to 5 schedule: Perhaps surprisingly, high school students (25 percent) were less likely than current workers (33 percent) to say it shouldn’t matter what time you arrive to work as long as you get your work done.

Let’s just hope once high school students actually enter the workforce they are as optimistic and aspirational as they are now – and that they get their $200K salary.

Maybe it’s what you do before you get to work that leads to a successful career. Check out “What successful workers do before breakfast.



This article was originally posted at http://advice.careerbuilder.com/posts/Future-workers-weigh-in-on-workforce-expectations

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