I am a millennial, there I said it. Yep, Mr. Generation Y – or maybe I missed the cutoff? According to Wikipedia, no one can agree on the exact dates which encompass the millennial generation. But I am certain that I am a millennial. At least that’s how I self-identify.
One thing I am certain of is that my generation is changing the nature of work. It’s not our mission in life, but it’s happening as a result of our collective missions. My generation wants to make the world a better place and we have big dreams. We question the status quo and we do not accept the world as it is. We include the founders of Facebook, Instagram and Airbnb. While we’re not all trying to become billionaires, we are trying to make a difference in our own corner of the world.
We value social input when we make decisions, we embrace change and we are early adopters. We have less children and change jobs more than our parents and grandparents. We are environmentally conscious and we value work-life balance.
We are 95 million Americans and we are the fastest growing population in the workforce.
A paradigm shift is taking place that will affect numerous aspects of work.
The biggest changes have less to do with the configuration of workspace and more to do with freedom and flexibility, accessibility and internet speed.
We want freedom and flexibility. Freedom from long-term commitments and the flexibility to work when and where we want. We are a results-driven generation who values work-life balance. Our computers are in the cloud, our work is on-demand. We want to avoid commutes and work closer to home. We want to travel with our wife to Europe and Asia, but stay connected. We want to work on our own schedule. We want a place to work when and where we are ready to work. That means near home, where we’re traveling and yes, even after-hours.
Make no mistake, we’re not a lazy generation. But we like convenience. Our generation is about efficiency. We want to make a difference in the world and we take pride in being productive.
We don’t own analog phones or fax machines. What’s a home phone? We use Skype and Facetime and GoToMeeting and VoIP phones. We stay connected to our work all the time and expect super fast internet everywhere we go.
We want to work with (not for) companies who embrace our flexible lifestyle, and we’ll give them more value than what we’re paid. We don’t mind project based work, in fact we love it. We also appreciate full-time employment, if we believe in an organization’s mission. Don’t make us relocate! We like where we live, and we’re online! We use a ton of apps and tools to get our work done. Trust us and we’ll be transparent. You can hold us accountable, we like that.
Doing Business With Millennials
We’re looking for companies to help us work better. Give us tools to improve our efficiency. Help us spend more time with our families. Yes, we want to advance our careers and grow our businesses, but we’ll buy from you if you can genuinely help us achieve our goals. Tell us a story. Why do you want to do business with us? It better not be to make a profit. It’s ok if you do, but we’re deeper than that. Give us value.
We want to make the world a better place, and that begins with changing the nature of work.
We hope the world catches up!