For Manish Vora, then 26, a salary package around $500,000 wasn't enough. Nor was his epic climb from Citigroup i-banker to research director at a boutique firm. He liked his company--but where was the passion? A politics and art junkie who had been heavily involved in the New York political scene, Vora was convinced there was a way he could marry his interests and talents to do something more useful.
So he started a website. With Branden Muhl, then a 25-year-old executive at a hedge fund that shared office space with him, Vora launched OldCampus.com, a site focused on compiling the latest political information and adding discussion forums around it--like an interactive political campus. The two each invested $25,000 in OldCampus.com back in 2006 and worked on it 40 hours a week for a year and a half, on top of their regular day jobs. This past January, Vora finally left the corporate world to work full time on OldCampus and develop a new site, Artlog.com, a social-networking site for artists and art enthusiasts like himself.
If all of this sounds a little too precious, it's not singular. Muhl and Vora are members of the so-called Millennial Generation--the 80 million or so workers born after 1980 who researchers say tend to place job satisfaction and lifestyle concerns ahead of their desire to simply move up the corporate ladder. Unlike their parents, experts say, this generation is less likely to become "corporate slaves" focused on earning a paycheck and achieving middle-class status. In fact, these workers are more likely to keep job-hopping until they find a job that fulfills them and offers the flexibility and perks they have come to expect.