Millennials have quite a reputation. When one mentions the term, a whole set of negative stereotypes usually ensue. What gives millennials such lacklustre descriptions? First off, let us start by explaining what millennials or members of Generation Y are. They were born between 1982 and 2000. In a nutshell, millennials have over the past years, become the largest living generation in the United States! In this article, we discuss the importance of understanding millennial characteristics and their different traits.
Let’s not forget, millennials in the workplace are constantly increasing, which is why even potential employers need to keep tabs on their needs and wants. So what are the characteristics?
Millennials were raised in the era of technology. Not only does technology serve to make their life more convenient, but it is also used by millennials to perform better at their jobs. Armed with gadgets such as smartphones, laptops and other devices, access to work was never easier, enabling them to maintain control and swift communication. Simply put, it is a generation which is internet/device-dependent and would not live in a world without their gadgets.
Millennials advocate work-life balance and believe that the eight to five schedule is an outdated approach. Millennials want to spend time with their families, having the possibility of completing work in a flexible manner. Whilst older generations may view this trait as egocentric, reflecting a lack of commitment, the hectic lifestyle where both spouses work does require a certain degree of flexibility.
Millennials want more
Millennials are synonymous with the desire of achievement and improvement. They are confident, ambitious and have high expectations from their employers. They are willing to undertake new activities and remain constantly challenged so that they can learn more.
Millennials value teamwork
Millennials were brought up to value teamwork, having multiple opportunities to work and play in groups. In this respect, they seek the contribution and affirmation of their peers and also want to feel that they are making an impact.
One of the reasons why millennials get stuck is because they are attention seekers, constantly looking for feedback and guidance. They thrive in an environment where they are praised and reassured. In this respect, millennials are constantly seeking worthy mentors, who can guide them in their careers.
Considering the fact that millennials are constantly seeking new challenges, they are renowned for job-hopping. It is quite common for millennials to spend around two to three years at a particular job and move on to something else. This may not go down well with job interviewers who belong to a different generation. With that said, job-hopping does have its benefits as it enables one to gain various experiences in different organisations.
Millennials boast many qualities which are different to those of previous generations. They are motivated and enthusiastic about their job and willing to do well. They might be perceived as having less respect for their superiors than previous generations.
Bottom line is millennials are hard done by and rather than bashing them, we should invest more time into thinking how we can continue to turn them into valuable societal assets.