In this controversial lecture, clinical psychologist Meg Jay argues that young people today should be doing more to ‘claim’ their 20s, rather than delaying their ambitions and procrastinating until they reach the big 3-0. While Jay makes some good points, encouraging 20-somethings to invest in ‘identity capital’, the overall impression that she gives is that the majority of young people today have little idea as to what they want to do with their lives, or how to go about achieving their aims. This is nothing new, yet opinions such as these do little to help salvage the reputation of ‘Generation Y’ in the media.
Here are just a few of many reasons why ‘Generation Y’ workers can be extremely beneficial to employees:
1: They are in touch with reality.
Millennials always seem to be getting bad press, but the truth is that they are actually very aware of their less-than-glowing reputation in the Western media, and the criticisms that they are constantly barraged with. Millennials know about society’s negative preconceptions of ‘Generation Y’ as a group of spoilt, entitled ‘kidults’, lacking in both life experience and a solid work ethic. The result is that millennials have to work hard to prove that these negative stereotypes are not an accurate reflection of most young workers.
2. They are designed to multitask
Studying at a university nowadays is a different experience to what it was twenty years ago. Now, there is an increasing emphasis on the importance of versatility in graduates. Internships are on the rise, and learning to successfully combine academic study with a vocational internship is a great way for undergraduates to boost their multitasking abilities. Perhaps more than any other demographic, millennials are skilled at switching between multiple tasks with ease.
They come with a strong set of personal values
3. Millennial are not as concerned as previous generations with the benefits of financial security, but instead aim to focus their energies on work that they enjoy and believe in. Arguably, millennials don’t work less hard, but simply have different priorities to their 20th century forebears. The world has changed and now a fulfilling and challenging career is what the younger generations strive for, rather than one lifelong career which comes with guaranteed financial stability.
Social Media know-how is almost an innate ability!
4. Gen Y, the ‘social media generation’ grew up posting on Myspace and Bebo. They have since moved on to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other blogging platforms. For ‘Gen Y’, social media savoir-faire comes as part of the package. In 2014 we can expect more millennials to latch onto social networking sites like LinkedIn, in order to boost their connections. The way we network has shifted, and ‘Generation Y’ will be at the forefront of this development.
Millennials have the ability to be flexible in a rapidly-changing world
5. It’s no secret that the world of work is changing in favour of flexible hours, telecommuting, freelance work and part-time posts. Millennials will learn use this to their advantage. The future of work will be time-efficient and results-focused, and ‘Generation Y’ have the ability to move with the times, and even thrive in the era of the Flexible Revolution.