Young workers who enter their first full-time jobs bright-eyed and optimistic may want to stay away from their older counterparts … at least if they want to remain that way. 

New research has found a noticeable gap in how millennial workers and their baby boomer counterparts feel about their jobs. Sixty-two percent of millennials — workers between the ages of 18 and 30 — say they are positive that they can have a career in the current work environment. Just 48 percent of baby boomers share that optimism.

Additionally, 37 percent of millennials say they think that having a career can provide a sense of accomplishment, while just 26 percent of baby boomers feel the same way. Millennials are also more likely to think that jobs can provide them a lifetime earning potential. However, boomers are more likely to say that jobs can provide a sense of accomplishment than millennials. For the research, jobs were considered more short-term options while careers were seen a long-term work option. [What Makes US Millennials Tick?]

Those feelings may be the byproduct of the recent recession hitting baby boomers harder than other groups, the researchers note.

The researchers also found that money plays a big part in how workers feel about their jobs.  Forty-two percent of workers say if money were not an issue, they would want to work in a field that helps others. Other workers say they would want to be a teacher, inventor or athlete. Just 5 percent say they don’t know what they would want to be, while 13 percent say they would rather have money than a job they liked.  

"The question often is what are the baby boomers leaving for the next generation, when really the question we should ask is what can we expect from millennials as they settle in as our nation's future workforce," said Joan Ruge, employment industry adviser and senior vice president of Monster, which conducted the survey with  research company GfK. "The millennial generation has endured a turbulent economy and today’s workplace remains an especially challenging environment for those early in career. This new Monster-GfK data suggest that millennials have a strong desire for a defined and safe career, all while they remain optimistic that things will get better whereas for baby boomers it is significantly less so."

The research was based on the responses of 1,008 people.

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This story was originally written for BusinessNewsDaily and was republished Copyright 2013 BusinessNewsDaily, a TechMediaNetwork company.