With the upcoming launch of ‘The New World of Work’, there has been a bit of discussion in regards to millennials in the workplace. Here at Pendragon Management our own Social Media and Marketing Assistant Katelyn decided to weigh in on the discussion – from the millennial perspective.
As a generation, those of us who are millennials are constantly painted with various brushes, both positive and negative depending on the artist who wields the brush. We are the lazy generation, who expects too much and gives too little. We are innovative generation, the ones changing the future and advancing in a constant march giving little heed to what we decide to be outdated. In reality, we are a mix and if you really step back you realise, we aren’t that different from the generations who came before.
Time is a constantly recycling mechanism, similar actors placed in a different context. Rewind time to the sixties and seventies, and the generation known as the baby boomers is in an era of youth highlighted by political protests, a desire for freedom and wanderlust, and a generation known as hippies. Hippies with a connotation of being lazy, fighting against the established norms, unable to conform and work as society expected. They were passionate about their truth.
This is the same generation who now accuses Millennials of the same faults, even though it was these life experiences which allowed them to grow into the people they are today.
Technology is constantly evolving, and every generation has had to adapt and integrate changes in some means and forms. From the early invention of the printing press, where people adapted from the known handwritten method to open themselves up to learn how to use the etched and indented ink stamps to transfer words onto material and paper to the dulcet tones of dialup ringing in a modern technological age. Generation X were the young minds when the internet revolutionised business in the nineties, and they learnt life lessons from the burst of the dot.com bubble.
However, it is undeniable that the speed at which technology is changing in the modern age is incomparable to the technological changes that came before. Through the time that the millennial generation was in school we’ve shifted from dial up to wi-fi, computers have shrunk and people forget that social media has only existed for the past ten years.
So while Millennials are similar to those who came, we are also different. Similar actors, different context. The world in which we grew up has influenced who we are. We have seen the rapid change of the world, and we recognise the flexible mindset and adaptability to grow with the change. Technology here today may be obsolete tomorrow, and if we don’t keep progressing we may find ourselves left behind.
We are passionate and ambitious, in a fast paced world, if our work environment seems stagnant, we may look elsewhere for a position which allows our imagination to expand, that offers a chance to learn and the opportunity to advance.
We also crave flexibility and understanding from employers. Wanderlust is a term used to describe a desire to travel, to experience the world, and millennials want to work, but also want to opportunity to explore and grow as a person, not just as an employee. We don’t want to work every day until we retire only to look back with the regrets that we forgot to live.
We aren’t asking for you to hand over the reins and let us work as we please, we still need that guidance, but only that you understand where we stand. Respect is key, same as with any employee, if you respect us and recognise our accomplishments and make us feel wanted, offer us a path to improve and the opportunity to learn, and we will be loyal workers who work to ensure the success of not only us individually, but for the benefit of the business as a whole.