I’m Millennial and this is what I want
Born in 1990, I am what is commonly named a Millennial, or Gen Y’er.
Curious as I am, I plunged headfirst into the internet decided to decipher the deep meaning of this word.
An Overused & Blurry Term
Wikipedia defines this buzzword term like this:
“Millennials (also known as Generation Y, Generation Me and Echo Boomers) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use the early-1980s as starting birth years and ending birth years ranging from the mid-1990s to early-2000s.”
Great to know.
I have delved deeper into what characterizes them, and the above explanation is probably the common agreed-upon standard definition. Dozens of research and empirical studies have already been shared about who the Millennials are. The Guardian did even publish a series of articles on this too-much talked topic.
To make things clearer, I’ve taken the generation Y quiz powered by the Guardian.
Boom. I am an “older” millennial who is seemingly not fully aware he is part of this Generation Y.
Hum. I admit that this sharp conclusion on who I am supposed to be didn’t entirely enlighten me.
From what I’ve seen, there is an outbid of adjectives to describe as accurately as possible who Millennials are. I compile some of them below:
Side note: I suggest you making this quick experiment. Head to Google search engine and begin typing “Millennial” in the search box. With the Google Suggest tool, you will see a list of frequently searched adjectives associated with this word. Always interesting to know what people think Millennials are or are not.
While I can easily identify myself with some of them, there is one adjective though that I didn’t see often associated with Millennials and which I’m recognizing myself in: authentic.
Being Really Authentic
Nina Burrowes, author of The Little Book on Authenticity, explains that the first meaning of authenticity has been diluted over time to be associated with the following words: honesty and transparency.
Let’s be honest (notice the unintentional play word). If asked about what being authentic means for you, you’d have probably answered the same things, like I’d have done too.
But what I am recognizing myself in must be searched in the original, Latin meaning of the word. Authenticity derives from the word “Author”, which means that being authentic is not being honest, but being his or her own author, — though the two terms can, of course, go hand-in-hand.
It’s not about revealing who you are, but building your future “you”, master the direction you want to head to, and most importantly get the necessary freedom to make your own choices.
As a Millennial, this is what I am striving to be. Being the author of my own life, bypassing social and familial conformity on the way I should behave, the studies I should follow, the religion I should be affiliated to, etc.
So far, I get the sentiment that my life has been fulfilled by my own choices, and not directed by peer or external pressure.
I have even the chance to work for a company whose core mission is to help organizations improve their employee engagement by helping employees strive, helping them reveal their inner strengths and wants.
It’s not about revealing who you are, but building your future “you”, master the direction you want to head to.
Quick takeaway: organizations should accompany folks in their discovery of their inner wants & strengths. Not convinced? Gallup showed that employees who use their strengths outperform those who don’t, by being 8% more productive.
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I’m Simon Renard, Content Creator at SelfDrvn Enterprise, a cloud-based workplace engagement platform. The views expressed here are my own.