It’s hit and miss, but generally “millennials” are born somewhere between 1982 and the early 2000’s. The exact dates are not set in stone, but what does seem constant are the words used to describe this young group of individuals: lazy, narcissists, living with their parents, incapable of following rules, unemployed, unprepared and (here’s a popular one) in debt. These are just a few descriptions that encompass those currently entering or participating in the modern workplace. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that millennials will make up approximately 75% of the workforce by 2030.
After such accusations, it’s understandable why some millennials might feel defensive or angry. Even so, no matter how their professional peers perceive them there is truth to those words. A study by PNC Financial Services Group confirmed millennials carry an average $45,000 in debt. Pew Research Center’s analysis of the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau data shows 36 percent of the nation’s young adults (ages 18 to 30) live with their parent’s. Forbes explained 68 percent of corporate recruiters say it’s difficult for their organizations to manage millennials because they don’t like red tape, arbitrary hierarchical structures, or being forced to follow a specific process. There is no denying the numbers and it’s clear why companies feel the need to arm themselves with articles on “how to deal with them.”
Related Article: Surviving the Imminent Millennial Takeover
In response, here are a few tips about millennials:
- Keep an open mind. Not every young person to come before you will have the aforementioned qualities. You might find them to be very open to feedback, tech savvy, creative, flexible and ambitious.
- They are more likely to value opportunities for career advancement and the chance to learn new skills.
- In a recent Deloitte poll, 70 percent of millennials say they’d reject traditional business to work independently. They are more likely than other generations to study majors related to entrepreneurialism, highlighting their entrepreneurial spirit.
- They look for immediate satisfaction and live heavily in the moment. Instead of trying to change this, integrate their energetic and participatory personality into your workplace.
- They are optimistic, have high expectations and want to forge their own path. Use their drive and perspective to inspire positive change for your business.
The worst thing you could do is fear this generation of excited, hopeful young people. It’s fear and a lack of encouragement, challenges, open minds and lowered expectations that enforce the notion that it’s okay for millennials to have this reputation. It’s not okay.
To the millennials I say: prove you’re a hard worker and strive for success. To everyone else: Let them.
This article was originally published by FranNet