Another class of millennials is graduating, ready to enter the workplace and inevitably contribute to a soon to be millennial-dominated workforce. While this may not seem like a total game-changer, studies show that this generation is definitely ready to shake things up. What does this mean for current business leaders, recent grads searching frantically for jobs, and future entrepreneurs?
Before we get to all that…
First, who are The Millennials?
Pew Research describes The Millennials as anyone who is between the ages 18 & 34 as of 2015.
So we are looking at the April Ludgates to the Tom Haverfords here.
Now that we understand who the Millennials are, let’s figure out what the Millennials are all about.
Understanding the Millennial Mentality
The generations before the Millennials are primarily made up of focused individuals that are committed and ready to climb the corporate ladder, while Millennials have very different key identifying factors.
One of the key identifying factors of the Millennial mindset is the desire to be independent. They want to make a living doing what they want, when they want to do it, in the way they would like to do it. It’s no wonder that 45% of millennials value flexibility over pay. Many millennials are choosing the freelance option over the traditional corporate world to allow them to keep their options open. This fear of putting all of their eggs into one basket could possibly stem from the fact that many millennials entered the job market in a time when the economy was rapidly declining. By staying flexible, the millennial mentality says, there is less risk, more freedom, and more opportunity. With this strong desire for flexibility comes a generation without a strong desire to climb the corporate ladder, with 60% of millennials leaving their jobs in less than three years.
Despite a strong desire to be independent, most millennials maintain the belief that it is everyone’s job to do good in the world. According to Psychology Today, 50% of the millennial generation says that they would like to work for an ethical company and believe that businesses should be doing more to contribute to society in areas such as resource scarcity, climate change, and income inequality. Millennials place high value on social responsibility in the workplace.
Studies show that most millennials that are entering the workforce have extremely, high expectations for what their work life should be. While a recent graduate with overwhelmingly high expectations may seem like a recipe for disaster, with high expectations for the workplace also comes high expectations for themselves. So while it may be true that 40 percent of this generation expect to be in a management position within two years of working with a company, it also means that they are willing to work hard to get there.
A Quick Word of Advice for Millennials Entering the Workplace
You’re not the boss yet, so you have to learn how to play the game before you can change it.
Good things come to those who wait.
Unlike the generations before them, most Millennials won’t wait 3-5 years for a promotion. Although Millennials are hard workers, they thrive on instant gratification and want to see immediate progress in their careers. Millennials – Work Hard. Be Consistent. In due time, your reward will come.
Remember that you still have a lot to learn.
Don’t go in and start trying to change things right away. Your boss knows you’re talented, that’s why you were hired. Before trying to change all the little things that you think could be done better, take the time to learn about the organization and fully understand the way that it works. When the time is right you will have the opportunity to initiate change and you will be able to do a better job because of what you took the time to learn.
How to Prepare for the Coming of the Millennials
We’re not saying that you have to change all the rules in order to pamper the Millenials coming in, but making a few adjustments and preparations will benefit your business in tangible ways. “Your ability to attract, develop, and retain young leaders will make or break your company in the coming years,” Josh Berzin, a talent management expert, advises executives in an article in Forbes magazine. Whether you like it or not, the way you prepare for the Millennial generation will have a huge outcome on the future of your company.
Don’t Resist Change
Be ready to shake up the style of your workplace. The traditional 9-5 and the idea of the “corporate ladder” are dying and the necessity of freelancing and crowdsourcing are on the rise as Millennials continue to take over the workplace. As previously noted Millennials value flexibility and independence above almost anything, so adjusting to this style even a little bit may save your company thousands of dollars. Adversely, resisting this change may cost your company big time.
Millennials Need Space & Creativity
In the words of Tina Fey, “In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.” Millennials hate being micromanaged but typically thrive when given a challenge. They have a strong desire to be creative in their work and enjoy discovering new answers to complicated questions. Don’t be afraid to give the Millennials in your workplace a task that may seem a little bit out of reach for them, they may surprise you with what they come up with.
Be Prepared to Mentor
According to Psychology Today, Millennials want more than a simple employer-employee relationship with their bosses. They want to view their bosses as mentors, coaches, and friends. They admire people in positions of power and are usually excited to learn and grow from their managers. Be ready to mentor a Millennial. A huge part of the Millennial mentoring process is understanding the way Millennial receive praise and criticism. Millennials value consistency clarity, and specificity whether receiving positive or negative feedback.
So whether you’re ready or not, the Millennials are coming and they are coming fast.