This generation — roughly those born from 1980 to 2000 — may be self-absorbed, but they aren’t lazy. They came of age during one of the worst economic crashes in history, in an era where no job is secure and the education system is no longer delivering in the way it should, among other huge shifts. And they’ve adapted incredibly.
Conventional wisdom says Millennials want it both ways – they want to make money and keep their flexible lifestyles intact.
How dare you, Millennial ingrates? How dare you want to keep your life whole and earn an income, too?
The problem with Millennials is that their jaundiced-beyond-their-years view of the traditional working world shines a light on what’s broken in the corporate and institutional working world.
Millennials saw their parents’ security blanket vanish overnight, when that blanket was the semi-promise of long-term employment with one employer. Anyone still clinging to the idea that he or she will retire from his or her current employer needs to wake up and smell the talent-market coffee. That world is gone.
Millennials see the reality. They’re adjusting their career plans accordingly. Who would tell a kid to climb onto the corporate treadmill when so many have been thrust so violently off it without warning? You’d have to be crazy to follow the Mad Men-era Corporate Ladder path when the fabric of full-time employment has frayed so badly, right in front of Millennial babies’ eyes.
The problem with Millennials is that their career expectations challenge the rest of us to acknowledge that the emperor of lifetime employment has no clothes.
After that “Aha!” moment the next question is “So why am I killing myself in this job?”
Millennials who set their own boundaries are role models for their calcified elders. We can learn from the kids who say things at work like “I don’t understand the logic behind that policy. It doesn’t seem to make sense.”
The Millennial appetite to reinvent crusty systems for a human-powered era is exactly what our organisations need. Can we build Human Workplaces that will use the powerful fuel Millennials bring? Can we break enough frames to add their young voices to the symphonies we’re composing?
Work needs to be re-invented for people. This is happening and Millennials are helping to guide the battle bruised corporate veterans and their crusty systems into the ‘new world’ of work.
Flexiworkforce.com is on a mission to ‘Make work…work’.
We are helping people to get jobs with organisations that deserve their talents, and we help employers re-imagine their recruiting and leadership practices to snag and hang onto amazing people.
(The truth about Millennials- Liz Ryan)