We can’t be looked at as a uniform group
We all have varying backgrounds and perceive the world a bit differently. While there are some overarching themes that prove to develop from this, it’s not safe to think one “targeted” message towards millennials will prove to be a catch all. We know what we like and we don’t know what we like. Why does a blue and black/white and gold dress go viral and, other, more important things don’t? We don’t know. And, that’s why we are the most perplexing generation to date.
The intrigue of learning about how others think of things drives our curiosity and creativity. For advertisers and businesses out there, focus on a particular subgroup of millennials. This can be broken down by similar interests, cultures, etc., and you’ll note that the things you get to resonate with that particular grouping will pour into the psyches of others just from general curiosity as to why the original folks thought so deeply about it.
Experiences are more important to us than money
Everyone is familiar with the saying “Life is too short.” Well, we’re the first generation to actually believe that and live by it. Everything we do must have meaning. We hate wasting time, especially if it had no benefit to ourselves as individuals. This way of feeling is a privilege we’ve garnered over time due to the lives and hard work our parents put forth and those before them.
In the corporate setting, a big check isn’t going to cut it. While in college, I chose to go the tech/entrepreneurial route knowing that, although it’d be a hard road (even harder than I initially anticipated), it was a no-brainer because I knew it’d put me in a position where I wanted to be. My two biggest fulfillments in life are to inspire people and to help people. As general as that sounds, there isn’t a career in the world that I would accept if I wasn’t able to do those two things in the space and way I desired to do so. I know too many friends and young people who are now working in unfulfilling jobs and thinking of career moves and entrepreneurial endeavors, they’d like to take on, because the corporate life isn’t what they thought it’d be.
Traveling is an essential part of our development
Social media has had a profound impact on the desires we’ve recently grown towards traveling, acceptance, and globalization. We want to explore. We want to experience other cultures. We want to taste all kinds of foods. And, we want to feel like, no matter what the topic of conversation is, we can contribute positive knowledge in some form or fashion.
When you scroll down your Instagram or Facebook timeline and see the pretty pictures of Grenada, The Canary Islands, Hawaii, Moscow, etc., part of you always wishes you could be there. Our generation is more willing to travel alone or to meet strangers in a travel group and try new things than previous ones.
Learning and potential for growth are huge to us
When I accept a role on a team, with an organization, or with a corporation, I want to know that you’re committed to building me up just as I’m committed to building you up. We want leaders who are going to invest in our growth mentally and even physically. We’re opposed to the herd mentality, or at least we think we are.
Nowadays, millennials are less prone to stay in one job position for 10-15 years. We tend to think of our lives in segments of growth. We come into a job position knowing what we’re expecting ourselves to learn, a number of years we foresee ourselves giving to achieve this, and knowing what we’ll be looking to do next. The key for employers isn’t to assume all current hiring practices are crap and that there’s no sense in trying to retain employees. There are, in fact, very effective ways to do this. Open the floodgates of learning, of expression, and demonstrate clear, concise ways in which we can grow in an organization. We’re not going to just sit and put up with the politics that generations before us grew accustomed to.
We care more about relationships and less about hierarchy
You can refer to us as the Kumbaya generation. We want to hear ideas from everyone, especially the people closest to the situation. What we have going on in executive offices all across the world are people who are detached from the situation affecting their customers, workers, or constituents, and we’re tired of it.
You’ll get the most production out of a millennial worker if you are open to listening to their ideas and, at least, making them feel as though they’re contributing. The second the ideation process seems constricted or a muzzle is placed on our mouths, we get dejected, disconnected, and move on. Don’t get hung up on who’s the boss of this and who’s the boss of that. We hate that word. We want people to direct, assist, and lead.
We don’t want to relive the lives of generations before us
No, working 25 years at GM does not get us excited to go to school every morning. Hell, more of us nowadays are making the conscious decision not to go to school at all (I have more to say on this…but, another time). What motivates us is the opportunity to offer something to this world. To change how something’s done. To improve on an antiquated way of production and be responsible for newly developed efficiency. To help those experience a bit of the good life.
Our parents were told to graduate from school or pick up a trade, treat your boss with respect as they were always right, pack your lunch, and go to work for the next 30+ years. Today, we tell ourselves, “We are not going to be limited. We are going to explore everything we can before our day comes. And, we’re going to have fun in the process.”