Gen Y

Here we are then. Young people born between 1981 and 2000 (aka millennials) are the largest workforce in the USA. By 2020, they will take 46% of US workplaces.

You’ve probably heard about millennials. They are lazy, narcissistic and irresponsible. They don’t stick with an employer for long – in fact, almost 60% of millennials (or Generation Y) have at least once changed their jobs. An average millennial spends ¼ of his workday absorbed in social media and other Web resources.

Prepare for the apocalypse.

I am a millennial. And if you’re reading this, the chances you’re also one are pretty high. We often live with our parents. The unemployment rate among millennials is almost 10% higher than that of other generations. We’re usually stuck in low-paid jobs and start looking for new job opportunities the very day we’re offered our current position.

But it doesn’t mean we don’t stand a chance in the real word. And here’s why:

  • 79% of the Gen Ys have at least a Bachelor’s degree. That’s right, we are the most educated generation in the history of mankind;
  • 66% of millennials want to start their own business, which means we’re ambitious and ready to take risks;
  • Almost 50% of millennial households don’t own a TV. We do love our smart gadgets and social media, but at least don’t get brainwashed by television;
  • Nearly 25% of US caregivers are millennials. We are more likely to take care of our parents and grandparents than Gen Xs and Baby Boomers.

See, millennials are not bad guys after all. We’re competitive, eager to learn and don’t fear responsibility. And if you own a company or work in HR, you’d better start taking notes now.

Millennials at work: here comes the change

  • Be ready to adopt new technologies. I recently wrote a blog post about technology in the real estate. You would expect the industry which annually generates $ 200 billion in revenues to be high-tech to the bone, right? Not the case, though. Most real estate agents still rely on trusty pens, paper and Excel files. And it’s a common tendency for most industries out there. Employers don’t get the benefits of enterprise application integration. 68% of American companies store only one fifth of their data assents in the cloud. Businesses run outdated software and complain of low productivity. What did you expect, guys? Millennials cut their teeth on technology. Today almost any teenager can develop a mobile application. We cannot use the business software you bought 10 years ago. 44% of millennials plan to quit their current jobs within 2 years. And if you care about employees’ retention, it’s high time you started investing in IT;
  • Promote millennials or let them go. We seldom stay with one employer for longer than 2 years. For example, our parents and grandparents dedicated 5-7 years of their lives to one company. It doesn’t mean we don’t know what we want – it’s exactly the opposite. We’re the Google generation. We’re effective problem solvers. 50% of millennial respondents who took part on the 2013 Deloitte survey were already working in leadership positions. If there are no chances of promotion in your company, don’t feed us with promises;
  • Create a friendly working environment. We value democracy and want to be on friendly terms with our managers. We don’t work for you. We work with you. Millennials want their voices to be heard. 41% of millennials expect employers to provide regular feedback on their performance. We talk about personal issues with fellow co-workers and will easily quit a job that has a negative impact on our family life;
  • Say “Adios” to fixed working hours. We don’t usually count the time spent on a project. Instead, we evaluate the quality of our work. 66% of millennials want to re-adjust their working hours, while 64% of Gen Ys would like to occasionally work from home. Is it the results that matter for you or the strict observance of the official 9-to-5 schedule? It’s up to you to decide;
  • Make the world a better place. Older generations say we’ve got our heads in the cloud, but we’d rather take a reduced pay and work fewer hours that waste our lives in the office. We don’t want to work for the sake of working. What we need is purpose. An average millennial can wake up one morning and realize he doesn’t feel like spending his best years writing PHP codes. And it’s fine. We want to fulfill our dreams. We know we can leave a better world for our children. And if your company is not doing anything to improve the lives of others, you’ll get no sympathy from millennials.

If you want no millennials in the workplace, think twice. A recent Great Place to Work survey revealed that millennial companies score 14% higher than their Gen X- and Boomer-dominated rivals. We are the leading workforce. We prefer cooperation to competition. And large companies including LinkedIn and Tesla recognize our potential.

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