The Millennials are coming! The Millennials are coming! Over 78 million young adults will be entering the workforce and shaping the cultural habits of this country over the next 10 years. Are the older citizens prepared for this new generation? I have heard my generation described as “lazy”, “the boomerang generation”, “narcissistic”, and “trophy kids”. But have people who use these phrases stopped and thought about just what they are saying?
Two authors took the time to study 1200 surveys and hundreds of phone interviews issued to Millennials and found some surprising answers on the questions they asked. In the book The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation the father/son combo of Thom Rainer and Jess Rainer look at the Millennial generation from two different generational perspectives. One being the Baby Boomer generation and the other the Millennial generation. What is a Millennial you may ask? A Millennial is anyone born between the year 1980 and the year 2000. They researched various subjects from work and careers to education to politics and religion. According to the authors there is no one specific stereotype of a Millennial. But as a whole the Millennials are the most educated, least likely to be married at a young age, least religious generation, and most likely to volunteer or serve their community in some form. The Millennials, according to the authors, are able to get along well with older generations especially their parents to whom they turn to for advice on all sorts of issues. This generation has the highest student loan debt in the history of this country and it will continue to rise as more and more people in this generation pursue a college education. People in my generation are entering the workforce and working many entry level jobs just to start paying down their debt. Those of this generation are also willing to move from job to job to find one that fits their number one desire to be with their families with the following of being with friends closely behind. The Millennials according to the authors want to be able to be flexible or find a job that will provide them with more time off so that they can balance their work and personal lives. The Millennials enjoy volunteering and serving their communities.
So I guess it’s up to you to decide if the words used to describe this generation fit. In my opinion, we are not “lazy” or “narcissistic”. We are a generation that believes in change. The authors point out that this generation swayed the elections of 2008 and 2012 with their desire for change. This generation is less likely to notice the color of a person’s skin or their sexual orientation. We are working and trying to pay off our student loans. We believe in serving our communities whether through volunteering or donating money or food. My generation has seen two wars, September 11th, the Columbine Massacre, the Virginia Tech Massacre and the Newton tragedy. We were young but we saw the Oklahoma City bombing, the Olympic Parking Bombing in Atlanta, the attacks in Madrid and London. We are also majorly affected by the Great Recession. All of these events and the countless other that have happened in the last decade and a half have shaped our thoughts to one of live life to the fullest. My generation, according to these authors, will be on to lead this country and help change the way we look at the world, the issues happening both in our country and outside of our borders. We are willing to help all and serve the needs of those around us. We value time with family and friends. We are highly educated and looking for the right fit of a job. We are looking for work mentors and coaches. Thom and Jess Rainer present the Millennials in a new and sometimes intriguing light. If you know or are a Millennial there will be some eye opening facts that will make you second guess the largest generation in American history. Watch out. They are coming!
-a post from Katie