In the press, teens and young adults are often criticized about their work habits. When it comes to their jobs of today and career dreams for tomorrow, what do they have to say?

To explore this question, Viacom Global Consumer Insights recently commissioned a study of 400 people aged 16 to 34 in the UK, the Netherlands, Mexico and Singapore. Here are key findings from this project:

Many are unhappy with their current employment. While some feel they have their dream careers, others would prefer less structure and more variety. Those who are dissatisfied with their jobs cited 9-to-5 schedules, repetitive assignments and fixed locations as sources of their discontent.

“Me-time” is more valuable than money. Teens and young adults want enough income to do what they want, but excess wealth is not a priority. They want to do what really matters to them – spend time with family and friends, relax and take vacations, and pursue their interests. Time is the commodity they treasure most.

The perfect job is flexible, incorporates their passions, and allows them to make an impact. The freedom to get things done outside the boundaries of a regular schedule or fixed location is very appealing. Many would like the opportunity to engage in a hobby or passion as part of their work – or barring that, to have the time and money to enjoy them on the side. Making a difference is also important. Whether it’s building a business, formulating high-level decisions, or simply cooking food that brings people happiness, they want their work to matter. And they want to feel recognized and rewarded for it.

They know it’s up to them to make it happen. Teens and young adults don’t expect their ideal careers to materialize without effort on their part. So, what’s their 5-year plan? Work harder, gain enough experience to become experts in their fields, aim to get promoted, and learn skills like new languages.