One word describes why Corporate America is on its way to meet the endangered species list…. Millennials. Millennials (born 1977 – 1995) are refusing to follow in the footsteps of their parents and their grandparents before them. Mainly, because the driving factors of working that influenced the past don’t apply to them. History portrayed “American success” to be the big house, with the white picket fence, with the dog, two kids and a yearly vacation for the family. Listen up America, that isn’t what this generation wants.
Take it from me and my plethora of friends from all different demographics around this age group. What our parents were willing to accept, we aren’t. It’s plain and simple. We have been going to college at rapid rates for the last dozen years only to be seen as sub par by Corporate America, with a lot of words thrown around to try to encapsulate what their problem with us are: we are lazy, disinterested, entitled, etc., etc.
The truth of the matter is, I have a Master’s Degree, just like a couple of people in my network, and most of them in my network have Bachelor Degrees. We didn’t work hard to obtain education to do administrative work for the “real” employees working on projects, or to be turned down for positions for not having enough experience and becoming baristas just to say we have a job.
Millennials want work that INSPIRES them. Work that makes them want to get out of bed at a god awful time in the morning, because they are excited to go to work and engage with their co-workers and do work that matters… this is why Traditional Corporate America is in trouble.
I hear this all the time from the Generation X group (Born between 1965- 1976) and the Baby Boomers (between 1946 and 1964): “These young kids are lazy and don’t want to work”. It is emphatically NOT true. If you give Generation Y (Millennials) a project they are passionate about, they will work harder than you could even fathom. That’s obvious because that is exactly what Generation X and Baby Boomers are driven by as well. The differences between the three generations lay in one word…. responsibilities.
There are five keys to keeping Millennials happy in the work place: stop trying to “engage them”, challenge them to develop, allow them to experiment, make work challenging, and being flexible. This list is explained in more detail on a second blog post by clicking the list.
A vast percentage of millennials are forgoing the nice cars, fancy houses, and nice clothes and engaging more in social awareness than material possessions. This creates a paradigm shift as to the pursuit of the “American Dream”; now instead of keeping your head down to climb the corporate ladder, and sacrifice time and energy to work 50+ hours a week to earn a nice check to take care of your family and your net worth, Millennials don’t have that issue. They are more inclined to do the work they enjoy and spend the rest of it enjoying life, because truly at the end of the day. Isn’t that what really matters?