Millennials are…

Young people stereotyped by people who forgot they have been young!

First of all, Keith Ferrazzi, let me say that I also like Never Eat Alone. As an introvert, I still have a hard time “living it”.

So, back to the topic of millennials… and to the broader topic of stereotyping and labeling.

I am a so-called “Gen-X” which, based on most commonly listed attributes, means that I am:

  • Apathetic
  • Cynical
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Individualistic

Also, I am French which also means that I:

  • Am rude
  • Do not speak English
  • Drink wine all the time

Back to millennials… Millennials are entering the workplace and have different aspirations. They challenge the way of doing things. Like the "9–5" which has been the norm for the baby boomers and the Gen-X. As Charles Etoroma explains:

But, as Greg Dickson, says it in his response to the story above, it is not just a generational thing:

I’m definitely not a millennial and yet I have experienced the very same challenges and struggles you shared.

I, too, have experienced and experience the same challenges and struggles.

I am not saying that there are no differences between this new generation and the previous ones.

There are.

But…

Maybe less than we think, as highlighted by Deloitte in their 2015 Millennial survey:

What did they discover after gathering 40,000 responses?

That there were some work approaches that were different from other generations of employees, but surprisingly, the differences were not as drastic as some might think. They discovered that managing Millennials meant understanding a new generation, but it didn’t mean you had to throw all previous understandings of employee management out the window.

And, is that such a big thing? Every new generation has been slightly different than the previous ones. The world has changed and will continue to change; this shapes the people living in it.

My point is that the "millennial" hype is exaggerated as I believe that the main characteristic that defines millennials is that they are… young. This is what shapes a lot the perception they have of the work and the perception that the older one have of the millennials.

Adam Grant brilliantly demonstrates in this article:

that the main driver is not generation but age:

Imagine that yesterday, we gave a survey to Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials about their work values, and found some big differences. How can we be sure that this is a generational effect? We’re drawing conclusions about each generation when they’re at different ages, with different amounts of life experience.

And, as he concludes, inspirations from the different generations are not that much different:

When it comes to generations, we might want to stop making mountains out of molehills. At the end of the day, we all want the same basic things out of work. Whether we’re Boomers, Gen Xers, or Millennials, we’re searching for interesting, meaningful jobs that challenge and stretch us. For jobs that allow us to support our lives and families outside work, earn respect and form significant relationships, and make a difference in the lives of others.

It may be easier for us, the older generations, to stereotype the new generation. It is a way to undermine their message about the world they just discover. A way to make their aspirations seem illegitimate and a way to ignore them (denial?).

So, as you say, Keith Ferrazzi:

Millennials cannot and should not be painted with a single brush. They are clearly as multifaceted as any other generation and should be treated as such, in and out of the workplace.

The only true fact about Millennials is that they are young!

We are young, we run free, keep our teeth nice and clean
See our friends, see the sights, feel alright

We wake up, we go out, smoke a fag, put it out
See our friends, see the sights, feel alright

Are we like you, I can’t be sure?
Of the scene as she turns
We are strange in our worlds

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Procurement Digitalist. 👤: http://bmaltaverne.me

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