Throughout my years of higher education, I've heard many different opinions about millennials. I've heard opinions from members of Generation X, the Baby Boomers and from millennials themselves. There are an endless amount of opinions -- good and bad -- though there does seem to be a slight misunderstanding of what to expect from this generation. These opinions don't have the power to categorize an entire generation, but I do wish to share my perspective as a millennial myself, purely based on opinion of course.
A millennial is anyone who was born between 1980 and 2000. This group grew up in a very modern age, dominated by technology and diversity. Like every generation, this one is unique. Did you know that 38 percent of millennials have at least one tattoo? And that 44 percent believe that marriage is becoming obsolete?
Well, here are a few more things about this generation.
Millennials crave connectedness.
Millennials like to feel like they belong. They like to feel like they are needed, especially in the work place. This doesn't mean that they are needy and dependent. This means that they like their work or relationships to be meaningful. Millennials have no problem doing grunt work; they just like to know it counts. Being connected can come in many different forms too. Oftentimes this is through social media, interaction with peers and working in teams. Millennials like to be a part of things that are bigger than themselves; being connected allows them to do so.
Millennials are tech-savvy, not obsessed.
I suppose I should say not all millennials are obsessed. Yes, 9/10 times a millennial will have their phone by them, and some are eerily too dependent on them. But not all suffer from an unhealthy obsession, most just know that literally almost anything can be done on a smartphone and have grown up doing so. Millennials are simply products of their environment. They grew up with cell phones and by this time, they definitely know how to use them. This should be used in the workplace instead of begrudged. New technology comes out daily and implementation of this technology in the workplace is inevitable. Millennials will be useful implementers of this.
Millennials celebrate diversity.
It can easily be said that this generation is the most diverse yet. Because of this, they appreciate self-expression and individuality. Diversity in race, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation is commonplace and is rarely a problem to most millennials. It is widely known that millennials love to be different and unique and admire those who are.
Millennials don't actually expect instant gratification.
I'm going to use this section to break down some of the more negative views on millennials. Millennials don't actually expect everything to be handed to them or to get things instantly. This generation wants to work hard. They want to earn respect of those around them. They know that they will probably start at the bottom and have to do menial work to get ahead. Millennials know the value of earning things. They also know that you don't always get what you deserve and get what you think you earned.
Millennials are going to bring the positivity.
It will be hard to find a more positive group. This generation has such high hopes for the future. They live in the moment and have hope for what is to come. This attitude can be such a great thing in the workplace and can be used to build up morale. This overall attitude is often a result of confidence. Millennials are generally confident and use that in positive ways.