Millennials Need a Coach, So I Became One

Millennials are changing every aspect of life, from the workplace to the digital space. It’s time we take full ownership and fully embrace being the change agent. Here’s how I will do my part.

This is the first essay of a multi-part series, “Millennials Need…” — an introduction to ‘life-direction coaching’ for Millennials by a Millennial.

Millennials are the bridge between the analog and digital worlds. This is why they need coaching now more than ever.

Having been born in 1988, I grew up at the midpoint of the Millennial Generation’s childhood, defined as the generation born between 1980 and 1996, according to Gallup. I remember having to remember phone numbers, waiting by a landline phone to pick up a call, changing the cassette tape in the answering machine, and needing to stick to a plan because there was no way to change it once I left the house.

This is no longer our world.

It’s fascinating to see how quickly we become accustomed to new social platforms and technologies. I was one of the first million users on Facebook, when it was only available for students at select universities. Given Facebook now has 2 billion monthly active users, it’s safe to consider myself an ‘early adopter’. Quickly, I began to rely on Facebook to stay connected with my new friends at UCLA and my old friends from high school.

That same school year, Apple released its first iPhone, and, yet again, I was an ‘early adopter’. Before the iPhone, I could only make phone calls, play ‘Snake’, and text by hitting a number key numerous times to type just one letter. Today, I could surf the internet, watch a streaming HD video, and write this essay — on the go, at the same time, anywhere. To think, when I was a kid, such touchscreen, mobile technology was science-fiction — while today, it’s so commonplace and, frankly, just ordinary.

While mobile technology and social media has connected us in ways that have never existed before, I recall the days where human connections were made in-person, not through likes or follows. Like my counterparts about to turn 30, I sat center stage, witnessing the pivot point of unprecedented technological advancement — progress that was incredible as a child and exciting as a young adult. Perhaps part of the Millennial generation’s challenge stems from living in a digital, mobile-first present after being raised in an analog, landline-bound past.

In 2013, Time Magazine published its perspective on the Millennial generation. (Source: Time)

Four years ago, Time Magazine called millennials “the ‘Me Me Me’ generation” — a generation of “lazy, entitled narcissists”.

Last year, in the Gallup report ‘How Millennials Want to Work and Live’, Gallup’s CEO declared that this “least understood” generation “will change the world decisively more than any other generation.”

How could this ‘lazy, entitled, narcissistic’ generation also be the one that ‘changes the world decisively’? Or because they are the least understood generation, is their greatest potential still waiting to be unleashed?

According to Gallup’s report:

Millennials’ hyper-connectedness has helped them gain a unique global perspective and transformed the way they interact, consume content, shop and work. (p. 9)
Millennials are first-generation digital natives who feel at home on the Internet. (p. 72)
“Every generation is defined by a great struggle or tragedy. And it’s wild that our kids will never know (that) there was a period of time in this country where you had to make a choice between being on the internet or being on the phone.” (Source: Netflix’s Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King)

Millennials are the first generation to have such immediate access to attain information, immediate availability to consume information, and immediate ability to create information. This leads me to hypothesize why millennials are characterized as the ‘least understood’ generation:

  • Millennials interact with information in ways never before possible.
  • Such access, availability and ability to interact with information has provided both more answers and more questions.
  • Thus, millennials are not necessarily ‘lazy’, ‘entitled’ nor ‘narcissistic’.
  • Instead, they likely are more knowledgable than ever before, but also likely more overwhelmed with what to do with such information.

Thus, many millennials feel lost because they are overwhelmed.

They yearn for certainty, yet are bombarded with many ‘options’. Many ‘answers’. Many ‘things I want’.

Being overwhelmed often leads to becoming stagnant.

As a coach, I want to help my fellow millennials get ‘un-lost’.

Perhaps part of the Millennial generation’s challenge stems from living in a digital, mobility-driven present after being raised in an analog, landline-bound past.
Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook, addresses Harvard’s Class of 2017 (Source: Harvard)

Addressing Harvard’s graduating Class of 2017, Mark Zuckerberg described how he established his ‘sense of purpose’, while also not being concerned about the necessary outcome of the direction he took:

I remember the night I launched Facebook from my little dorm in Kirkland House. I went to Noch’s with my friend KX. I remember telling him I was excited to connect the Harvard community, but one day someone would connect the whole world.
The thing is, it never even occurred to me that someone might be us. We were just college kids. We didn’t know anything about that. There were all these big technology companies with resources. I just assumed one of them would do it. But this idea was so clear to us — that all people want to connect. So we just kept moving forward, day by day.
I know a lot of you will have your own stories just like this. A change in the world that seems so clear you’re sure someone else will do it. But they won’t. You will.
Now it’s our turn to do great things. I know, you’re probably thinking: I don’t know how to build a dam, or get a million people involved in anything.
But let me tell you a secret: no one does when they begin. Ideas don’t come out fully formed. They only become clear as you work on them. You just have to get started. (all emphasis is mine)

Zuckerberg concludes by imploring us to create our sense of purpose:

Class of 2017, you are graduating into a world that needs purpose.
It’s up to you to create it.

Many times, we are our own barrier to making progress in our lives — we are stopping ourselves from getting started. Many of us never realize our fullest potential. We may not even realize that we have such potential. It stays bottled up inside, waiting to be unleashed.

This is where a coach can help. A coach can help you get started. A coach can help you realize where to go. A coach can help you stay accountable on getting there. A coach can help you change course when necessary. A coach can help by being your eyes and ears when your own eyes and ears are not enough.

Millennials need a coach, and this is why I became a coach — someone from their own team ready to help unleash their greatest potential, help build their direction in life, and help create their sense of purpose.

Let’s get started!

Click here to learn more about Your Quest Coach and my coaching practice for Millennials, by a Millennial.

Check out my guest feature about “Coaching Millennials” on Gallup’s “Called to Coach”

I’m Bryant Ramirez, a Gallup-certified Strengths Coach. As Your Quest Coach, I am applying my expertise as a business strategist and my pursuit as a direction builder to create the modern, millennial approach to life and personal coaching.

Follow me on Medium @yourquestcoach. Find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Listen to my new podcast: Quarter Life Quests. And send me a message. I am excited to hear about your quests and the directions you want to go.