"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise." These words were spoken by Socrates, who died in 399 BC! Throughout history, the younger generations rarely get any love from the generations that precede them. The Millennials (born in 1980's to late 1990's) are no exception; they are constantly hearing that they are entitled, lazy and impatient. However, in spite of these negative stereotypes, employers LOVE to hire Millennials. Here's why:
Understanding of Technology. Unlike any other generation, most Millennials cannot remember a time when they weren't using technology. Since Millennials were introduced to technology at a very young age, it is almost second nature to them. With technology becoming increasingly prevalent in today's workplace, the ability of Millennials to use these tools effectively and efficiently makes them attractive as employees.
Innovative. The Millennials were born into a world that is changing more quickly than ever before. This environment has made this generation more nimble and able to come up with innovative ways to solve problems. Millennials are not as restricted by boundaries and they are willing to try solutions that are completely different.
Connected. Related to their affinity for technology, Millennials are extremely plugged in to social media. This allows them to stay on top of current trends and it provides them with endless resources to help them solve whatever problems they are facing. Millennials also have access to vast networks as they use social media to stay in touch with everyone that they have ever met!
Community Mindedness. Most Millennials think beyond the bottom line and strive to make some kind of contribution to society. Millennials do a lot of volunteer work and when they are thinking about accepting a job, they will ask questions about the company's corporate responsibility. Employers like this 'big picture thinking' because when the employee and employer values are aligned, the employee brings passion and commitment to the position.
Teamwork. Where other generations view teamwork as a necessary evil, Millennials actually enjoy it. They tend to be drawn to collaboration over competition. This mindset allows Millennials to function effectively in the workplace where coworkers need to work together for a common goal.
Of course each person is unique and any judgement on a generation is a sweeping generalization. However, employers will make assumptions about you based on your age. The key is to predict how the employer will likely perceive you and to use that information to your advantage.
(Written by Karen Bivand, Image by rawpixel.com)