Millennials are changing just about everything, from how we live to where we shop.
Their generational preferences for authenticity and social values have sparked widespread innovation across industries, and the American workplace is no exception.
In 2016, Millennials made up 25 percent of the workforce, and are projected to reach over 50 percent by 2020 (MediaPost). As demographics continue to change due to Baby Boomer retirement and continued immigration, the Millennial influence within the workplace will move from novel to normal. According to Pew Research Center, Millennials will dominate the workplace by 2025, holding over 75 percent of American jobs.
The millennial lifestyle has been bemusing cultural influencers, organizational leaders, and marketing professionals long before they received the not-so- complimentary (nor accurate) “Snowflake Generation” sobriquet.
From living with their parents longer than previous generations, to challenging traditional consumption patterns, millennials – and their very millennial-lifestyle – are changing the way to do just about everything.
To better understand this generation of digital natives, one can benefit from learning a little bit more about how millennials live, what they prioritize, and how their beliefs and values with continue to influence our future.
At over 80 million strong, the millennial generation is changing the way just about everything works – including work.
Trailblazing millennials are forgoing traditional work opportunities in favor of something that provides a lot more freedom –entrepreneurship.
As millions of millennials start their own businesses and say “yes” to hiring themselves, the way we work is forced to quickly evolve. Full-time employees are being replaced by independent contractors, and old school 9-to-5’s are being converted to virtual positions (margarita by the beach, anyone?).
“It doesn’t matter how much money you throw at Facebook ads – millennial consumers aren’t going to bite unless you do away will all this elitist corporate party line crap!” I (exasperatedly) expressed to an old-school business exec.
“We are not deviating from the proven safe zone. I know you’re pretty new to business, but in my forty years of experience, standard corporate messaging always works. Consumers don’t fear what you don’t tell them,” he replied.
“The millennial market is driving me mad!” is a statement I routinely hear from organizational leaders of the Baby Boomer and Silent Generations. At times, it seems as though there is no limit to the generational differences between Millennials and their predecessors.
With Millennials representing over $200 billion in annual buying power, Generation Y (and their “frustrating” worldviews) are not a force to overlook. Established organizations seeking continued relevance in our ever-changing world will need to incorporate millennial-friendly practices and strategies into their operations.
The generational gap between millennial behaviors and priorities is a well-documented area of friction between that of previous generations.
When you hear the term “Millennials”, do you think of young parents?
Recent statistics say you should.
According to 2015 Goldman Sachs report, almost all of new mothers – nearly 90 percent – were millennials.
Wasn't it just yesterday this debt-strapped and unemployed generation was leaving college to Occupy Wall Street and move into their parent’s basement?
Well, now they are starting their own families and, in true millennial fashion, rewriting traditional gendered roles as they go.
Goldman Sachs reports American parents currently spend $1 trillion each year on their children, not including college costs - a figure that is forecasted to grow in coming years.
My college years weren’t characterized by wild sorority parties, study abroad opportunities, nor honor school retreats.
Instead, they were spent caring for my two-time cancer survivor, five-time hip replacement recipient grandmother suffering from late stage Alzheimer’s.
Driving her to and from doctor’s appointments, preparing meals and distributing medication, ensuring post-op physical therapy compliance dominated my college years.
Millennials think differently about a lot of things.
They believe in the double bottom-line.
They don’t trust Corporate America.
They despise the traditional 9-to-5.
Despite starting a career in one of the worst economic downturns and drowning in student debt, Millennials are willing to forgo a “cush” traditional job for a lower paying opportunity that “matters”. Social entrepreneurship, tech start-ups, and #workfromwherever dominate Millennial conversation
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