Millennials Hate Being Lumped Into A Group, Baby Boomers!
While I was working on the apprenticeship program at Sustainable Evolution Inc., which doubled as research for my book Age of Agility, I had the opportunity to rub shoulders with successful and influential people in the IT business world. Since many boomers are going to retire in the next decade, VPs and managers want to know how to connect to people my age.
The best piece of media I’ve seen about young people is Adam Conover’s lecture called Adam Ruins Millennials. The lecture was given at a millennial marketing conference last year and it’s my go-to video when managers ask me to talk about my generation.
I don't speak for my generation because I don’t think anyone can. People my age are too independent and diverse to fit into a neat little box--just as every generation is, and that’s why writing this post is so difficult. What I can do is speak from my experience. The people I associate with have most but not all of the following traits. That said, friends, I am open to feedback. Feel free to agree, disagree, or add to the list.
- We like to been seen as individuals, not as a group. We don't like the word millennial and we want you to stop making generalizations about us. That's why it's so hard to write a list like this.
- We think big money seminars about millennials for older folks run by older folks are a sham.
- We usually have some greats ideas if someone would only ask us for our opinion.
- We want you to stop treating us like children. If you talk to us like children, you will get children, if you talk to us like adults, you will get adults. This is true for any generation.
- We are politically conscious and work to get news that has been verified. We believe fake news is a disease caught by the older generation. We also prefer to get our news from a variety of online sources instead of one cable news channel.
- We like to stay current with information and can change our views quickly in light of new research.
- We know how to use technology. Yes, we can fix your computer or phone but we would rather teach you how to use it. We want the older generation to experiment with technology, make mistakes (it’s ok to make mistakes!), and not be afraid of it.
- We are not afraid to ask questions. A common question is: why are you doing it this way?
- We like feedback so we know if we are on the right path. It's better to check in with a customer or supervisor earlier than later so we don’t waste our time or your time.
- Money is not a priority. Experiences (like traveling) and friendships are more important.
- We don't like people who are entitled or get things without working for them (this means that we can't stand some of our peers who were raised by helicopter parents or part of the lucky sperm club).
- We like learning and wish it wouldn't cost so much.
- We approve of recreational drug use but that doesn't mean we use drugs ourselves.
- We have student loans and most of us don't realize how expensive they are until we have to start paying them back.
- We do not believe we are perfect. We have flaws just like every generation does. You catch more millennials with constructive criticism than ego-tripping. As stated earlier, we have different goals than previous generations. We don’t care about your big-ass house, sports cars, or mail-order bride. Please, tell us where we can improve or grow our skills without comparing your life to our lives.
- We could probably be two or three times more productive, but most corporations have outdated technology, processes, and/or people who don’t want to change. That’s why a lot of us are starting our own companies or working at startups.
- For the most part, my peers want to form mentee/mentor relationships with their older and wiser managers, but we don’t know how to ask or we do not feel supported by our managers to instigate that kind of conversation. Sometimes, we feel like we are waiting for the older generation die so we can change business, politics, and education because we think all'ya'all are stuck in the past.
Multigenerational relationships are incredibly important. Young people offer a new perspective of where the market is going and veteran managers have wisdom, business skills, and industry knowledge young people desperately need. Together, we are stronger. Good companies should be encouraging multigenerational teams because each age group brings unique skills and insights to the table.
BOOKS CURRENTLY NEXT TO ME ON MY DESK:
THE ARIZONA BOOK FAIR!
Baggy shorts and bad tattoos, Phoenix, give me your finest! Yesterday, Megan and I drove down to the Arizona State fairgrounds for the 61st VNSA Used Book Sale.
With books priced between 50 cents and 3 dollars, I may have maxed out the room in my suitcase.
I might be wearing a few layers of clothes on the airplane tomorrow ;-) I found quite a few Lawrence Block novels, one of them was signed! It was a blast looking through rows and rows of books. After an hour or so, it was a little overstimulating so we decided to check out and refuel with an ice cream break at Melt.
We are heading back home tomorrow to the cold and windy state of Minnesota. Both of us are eager to spend some quality time with Harriet, Scout, and Charlotte. Miss you kitties <3
From the poolside in Peoria, AZ, signing off!