I’ve been called a lot of things in my 32.5 years of life – some more suitable for print than others.
But up until this past weekend, I had never been called a “Millennial,” a term used for the energetic, technologically savvy yet sometimes misunderstood youth in today’s workforce.
While I certainly thought myself neither a “Boomer” (aka my parents, and those about to leave the workforce), nor a “Gen Xer” (aka my babysitters growing up who today are in senior roles at most businesses – or still sitting around listening to Nirvana on tape and watching Reality Bites on VHS), I could have sworn there was a cool term for “my people” somewhere in between “The Jonas Brothers Generation” and “We Love Wynona Ryder Generation.”
But, alas, there is not.
As I learned from (lovable, calm, sweet-natured, optimistic) Ken Jacobs’ “Managing and Motivating Millennials” session at the PRSA Western District Conference over the weekend, Millennials are those of us generally born from the late 1970s (I was born in September 1980) to the late 1990s. We are also called the MTV Generation, but I personally think that a term better-suited to the Gen Xers since they can actually vividly remember music videos above and beyond Total Request Live on the channel.
But, like so many over-scheduled, over-stimulated Millennials, I digress.
We are more adept and generally comfortable with technology than any generation before us.
We are more socially conscious than any generation before us.
We are more educated than any generation before us.
So, time for us to take over the world then, right?
Not so fast!
While comfortable with technology, we lack basic skills involving human interaction – often choosing texting over telephones and long emails over long face-to-face conversations.
While more socially conscious than any generation before us, we lack an understanding of entry-level salary expectations and the amount of experience we need to be considered “boss.”
While more educated than any generation before us, we suffer from sometimes-insufferably delicate egos and general sense of self.
Given the above, Jacobs’ outlined 20 tips for managers to consider to better work with us and mentor us into true adulthood. As a “senior member” of the Millennial generation and someone attempting to manage and motivate Millennials myself, I wanted to weigh in on some of those that impacted me the most:
If you attended his session, what did you take from the many tips provided?
If you didn’t – how else do you recommend managing and motivating Millennials?
If you are a Millennial, how do you work, and what do you want from your senior team leaders?