I have a secret...I'm a millennial. I knew how to operate a computer before I knew how to write. One of my first "real" dates was with someone I met Online. Every research paper I wrote started with an Internet search.
Maybe this explains my ridiculous work ethic, my uncompromising idealism, my unwaivering integrity - it's a part of my generation.
As Claire Raines explains in her article at generationsatwork.com, Millennials (born between 1980 - 2000) are the
"hottest commodity on the job market since Rosie the Riveter. They’re sociable, optimistic, talented, well-educated, collaborative, open-minded, influential, and achievement-oriented. They’ve always felt sought after, needed, indispensable. They are arriving in the workplace with higher expectations than any generation before them—and they’re so well connected that, if an employer doesn’t match those expectations, they can tell thousands of their cohorts with one click of the mouse."
And you know what - she's right. Here's my story...
In high-school & college I graduated near the top of my class, was in too many extracurriculars to mention, and earned a darned good living working part-time as a telemarketer for an insurance agency.
After college, I entered corporate America and was severely disappointed by the "do-what-I-say-because-I'm-the-boss" attitude that many of my employers exhibited.
Like many Millennials, I job hopped until I found a company that operated with integrity and purpose. Within three months I was the top selling rep in my office. Within eight months I was #3...nationally.
I was wooed away by a company that shall remain nameless and was slotted to earn well over $100,000 a year before I was 26. Because of my ethics and integrity I made a tough choice and walked away because I refused to "sell out."
Without skipping a beat I started Write Ideas Marketing - which has been profitable from day one. I now get paid to think of ideas that my prior employers not only had at their disposal for free, but actually told me "would never work." Funny how things work out, isn't it?
Are you managing a millennial?
If so, I can tell you from personal experience that most of what I've read about our generation is true. We are driven, confident and won't settle for anything less than ideal.
The secret? Keep us challenged. Mentor us. Inspire us to dream bigger. And make things fast-paced. We're used to instant gratification and find it hard to "wait in line" or deal with bureaucracy. If you don't, you may see your top talent walk right out your door.