Do you work or live with a Millennial? Chances are that if you are a Baby Boomer, or even a member of Generation X, you find them to be quite different from you. For instance, you may have found (like I have) that to get them to answer the phone, you may first need to send them a text!
Millenials, also known as Generation Y, were born between the early 1980s and early 2000s. Currently, there are 83 million Millenials in the United States and they comprise the largest demographic in the country, being even more numerous than Boomers at 74 million.
Here are the top 10 traits of Millenials:
1. Want to make a difference
2. Work/life balance is important to them
3. Want more time with family and friends
4. There are no winners and losers
5. Do everything in groups – even dating
6. Want to be praised just for showing up
7. Have high expectations for quick advancement
8. Y.O.L.O. – You Only Live Once – so they are not going to wait for life to happen
9. May not necessarily work a traditional job
10. Connect with people – but technology is the tool that they use
Whereas 56% of American adults own a smartphone, 80% of Millenials have an Android or iPhone device and social media as their constant companions. 96% of Millenials participate in one or more forms of social media.
Back when you graduated from college, if you are a Boomer, you may have thought that only the “losers” moved back in with their parents. Not only is this now an accepted practice among Millenials, it is almost expected.
Because job opportunities after the Great Recession are still not as plentiful as they were for Baby Boomers when they started their careers and college debt levels have zoomed in recent years, 22.6 million Millenials have moved back in with Mom and/or Dad. If Millenials are employed after graduation from college, they likely are underemployed.
Besides the fact that many Millenials are physically still at home, family has always been important to them. In many cases, their parents viewed them as partners in the family, much different from the “command and control” ways many of their Boomer parents were raised by members of The Silent Generation.
“We’re Number Ten!”
Parents of Millenials made sure that while growing up their children took advantage of plenty of scholastic, social and sports opportunities. Millenials were proud to receive a trophy, even if their soccer team finished in tenth place.
Most Important Things to Millenials
According to Pew Research, Millenials say the most important things in their lives will be:
• 52% – being a good parent
• 30% – having a successful marriage
• 21% – helping others in need
• 20% – owning a home
• 15% – living a very religious life
• 15% – having a high-paying career
• 9% – having lots of free time
Millenials at Work
I recently was delivering a seminar to a group that consisted exclusively of Millenials. No one in the room was above the age of 30.
When I deliver the seminar to Baby Boomers and ask the question, “Who is a workaholic?”, 40 to 60% of the room raise their hands. But in this case, in response to the same question, not a single Millennial raised his or her hand. Zero.
Millenials think of themselves quite differently on the job as do veteran human resource professionals. For instance, according to a Beyond.com survey of 6,361 job seekers and veteran HR professionals taken from April 12 to May 9, 2013, here is how Millenials view themselves:
• Hard working – 86% agreed
• Loyal to their employers – 82%
• People-savvy – 65%
• Tech-savvy – 35%
• Fun-loving – 14%
On the other hand, here is how Millenials were described by the HR pros:
• Tech-savvy – 86% agreed
• Fun-loving – 39%
• People-savvy – 14%
• Hard working – 11%
• Loyal to their employers – 1%
Won’t be Here Long
If you have a Millennial on your team at work, it may be good for you to know that 91% of Millennials expect to be in their current jobs only three years or less. They only plan to stick around to get enough experience, and then move on. Remember Y.O.L.O. (You Only Live Once.) That percentage would translate into them having 15 to 20 jobs during their working lives.
Where Can We Park?
Unlike their parents who moved out to the suburbs to start their families, 41% of Millenials want to live in or near the city. One of the reasons they can do that is that while 50% of their parents were married with children at the same age, only 12% of Millennials have a spouse and their own family.