Millennials add value to organizations in a wide variety of ways, which is good news because they are taking over the workplace. Currently Millennials make up about one in three employees in American companies, and by next year there will be more Millennials in the workplace than any other generation. Already they make up one in every four managers. Needles to say, the influence of Millennials in the workplace is on the rise, and that influence should be embraced.
Here are five reasons why.
Despite their youth, Millennials have already seen some hard times. They fought in both Iraq and Afganhistan, and they began their careers during the worst recession since the Great Depression. Millennials are the first generation in modern history to have more student loan debt, higher levels of unemployement, more poverty, and lower levels of wealth and income than the two generations that preceded them.
And depsite all of that, Millennials are incredibly optimistic. They tend to believe that the world is on a good path, and they have high hopes for their futures and the ambition to achieve their dreams.
Only 26% of Millennials get married between the ages of 18 and 32. Compare that to 36% of Gen X-ers and 48% of Baby Boomers. 71% of Millennials say that they would like to work abroad at some point. They are interested in living lives that they find fulfilling on a personal level, not necessarily adhering to expected norms. In business, this means they are willing to go out on limbs and do work that they truly believe in.
Millennials are the most educated generation ever. As of 2013, 47% of 25-34 year-olds held some type of post-secondary degree, and another 18% completed some post secondary education. They also hold more graduate degrees than their predecessors.
Millennials are the most diverse group in American history. The population of 15-34 year-olds who identify as white (non-Hispanic) shrunk by 20% from 1980 to 2012. Millennials are also more diverse in terms of religion and political affiliation, with large numbers identifying with no religion or political party but rather taking a more personalized approach to both subjects. Diversity may be one of the greatest characteristics of Millennials in the workplace, as Millennials bring a wider variety of perspectives, insights, and experience to the business world.
Millennials are particularly interested in doing work that is not beneficial just to themselves but to the world. They believe in the power of innovation and creativity. As a group, they are more likely to take low paying jobs that allow them to work for companies they believe in and causes they support. In fact, a recent survey found that Millennials in general believe that business success should be measured not just in fiscal results but positive impact upon society.
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