The Millennials Are Coming! The Millennials Are Coming!
I am not a millennial but I do play one at work. By that do I mean that I am impatient, entitled, and easily distracted by social media? Do I expect to get a promotion and raise every year regardless of performance?
No, but I do expect to be given room to access my creativity. I want to feel like I am contributing to the greater good. I want open communication with management, support when I need it, and praise when I kill it.
To read the myriad articles being churned out by the media lately, one would think that the work-world is coming to an end. What is the truth surrounding the challenges and opportunities that millennials present? Below you will find my 5 favorite April articles that discuss the pros and cons of the next generation of our workforce.
By Tammy Vigil
Really, has it come to this? A class to teach older generations how to bridge the gap? That may be necessary considering this is the first time in American History when four different generations will be working together; the Silent Generation, Baby-Boomers, Gen-Xers, and the dreaded Millennials. Such a diverse mixture is sure to create challenges for employers, especially those who may not be used to providing individual attention, feedback, praise, and guidance.
What has more value to an entrepreneur, work experience and money in the bank or growing up on the internet and access to entrepreneurship courses in college? Millennials are more highly educated and more likely to start a business after completing their MBAs than previous generations. Yet we are seeing declining rates in new entrepreneurs. Check out the great infographic in this article for some revealing statistics.
By Sujan Patel
Thank you Sujan for highlighting the best aspects of these “digital natives”. They love to volunteer, care about the world, and want to do work that matters. That last one is a great trait for an entrepreneur to have. Entrepreneurship takes vision, determination, and a willingness to go without while building a burgeoning business. Just look at Tom Szaky, founder of Terracycle, which now creates over 250 products from 60 different waste streams while generating millions in revenue.
Apparently millennials are not that different from their older work colleagues. This is good news for employers since they will comprise nearly 1/2 of the workforce within the next five years. A recent study by the IBM institute for Business Value showed that Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials all have very similar career aspirations, needs, and attitudes. For example Gen-Y prefers fairness, transparency and dependability in their superiors, not constant coddling as some would have us believe.
Not only are millennials taking over the workplace, they will soon be taking over the marketplace as well. Many brands are missing the mark by continuing to push traditional life events like getting married, buying a home, and starting a family, because that’s what drove older generations’ purchasing habits. These brands have to stop waiting for millennials to grow up. They already have, but it looks different than it used to. Millennials are looking for innovation, usefulness, and an experience worth sharing with others.
Millions of people were born between 1980 and 1994, and they now range in age from 21 to 35. An enormous disparity in maturity spans those 14 years. Do people realize how dangerous and foolish it can be to pigeon-hole that entire group? Grouping people together can helps us understand and define them, but it can also create disconnection — an us vs. them mentality.
Those who focus on the negatives probably encounter the younger cohort, who are easily distracted and act entitled simply because they are young. Those who focus on the positives and are excited about this generation probably encounter the older cohort who have evolved into hard-working, purpose driven, socially responsible people.
No matter what you think of them, you may as well get used to the fact that millennials will soon dominate our culture. You could look at them as entitled, spoiled children or be grateful for them. After all, those who are driven by purpose will likely inspire positive impacts in business and every other aspect of our lives.
Originally published at blog.15five.com on April 30, 2015.