A Gen X Perspective of the Working Millennial

Today's post comes from Dan Coates, President of Ypulse. As President of a youth market research company and father of two Millennials, Dan has plenty of experience with this generation. Below, he gives his perspective on what Millennials are really like to work with and gives them some advice to help guide their way.

MILLENNIALS IN THE WORKPLACE

No matter what generation you belong to, you'll never forget your first job.  That time when there is nothing but potential and possibilities.  You're young, energetic, determined and the simple fact is that, at this early juncture, hopes outnumber disappointments.  Freshly minted.  Bright eyed.

While we X'ers and Boomers like to tease, the fact of the matter is that we're all jealous as hell.  While experience is merely a by-product of age, youth is fleeting and those of us that let it slip away unnoticed realize that we're never getting it back. Less than a quarter of our organization is comprised of non-Millennials. 

We X'ers would love to tell you how awful it was when we entered the workplace, but it's hard not to see that, following the great recession, you Millennials have been dealt a pretty dirty hand.  Try to think of this as more of a temporary setback than a defining moment. 

While I'd strongly recommend Lindsay Pollack's book, Getting from College to Career as great advice on how to get your first job and Neil Howe and Reena Nadler's Millennials in the Workplace as a primer for where your generation fits in, here's some inter-generational advice as to what to consider once you've gotten in the door:

1. It's Not About You:  I know, I know.  You're really focused on you right now.  Totally understandable.  You've spent years learning and studying.  You want to flex those muscles.  You have student…

 
 
Ask Millennials some questions.
Log in to get started...

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I haven’t had children yet because I prefer to breed with an intelligent female, but none of them are single.” –Male, 30, KY

Instagram is reporting that their first native advertising tests have been a success. According to the network, Taco Bell reached 12.5 million 18-44-year-olds in the U.S. with their campaign, and saw a significant lift in ad recall. Chobani reached 4 million 18-54-year-olds, and was able to shift perceptions away from the idea that their product was only for breakfast. Chobani’s tips for Instagram success include avoiding professional looking shots, and not overbranding. These results echo our prediction that Snapshot Marketing is an essential next step for brands, and that content should fit in with what is already being created by consumers. (Mashable)

Instagram is reporting that their first native advertising tests have been a success. According to the network, Taco Bell reached 12.5 million 18-44-year-olds in the U.S. with their campaign, and saw a significant lift in ad recall. Chobani reached 4 million 18-54-year-olds, and was able to shift perceptions away from the idea that their product was only for breakfast. Chobani’s tips for Instagram success include avoiding professional looking shots, and not overbranding. These results echo our prediction that Snapshot Marketing is an essential next step for brands, and that content should fit in with what is already being created by consumers. (Mashable)

Today’s teens and tweens might be finding much of their entertainment online and in short doses, but in other ways they are being given an entertainment experience that sometimes feels photocopied from older Millennials’ childhoods. Case in point: Sony is producing a reboot of the I Know What You Did Last Summer franchise, continuing the trend of ‘90s films and TV being revisited for a new wave of young viewers. (Jezebel)

Millennials drew the short stick when it comes to economic security, but they may be getting their financial bearings. In 2013, the income of young Americans' households actually rose 10.5% from the year before. In previous years, households headed by 15-24-year-olds generally dropped more than other age groups. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that the recession's impact on the generation is overcome, it is a hopeful sign that not as much damage was done as was feared. (WSJ)

We’re in the midst of a fashion speed tug of war, with some brands leaning into fast fashion and others extolling a less is more attitude. But those brands who feel they need to keep up with the Forever 21s of the world should take note: Patagonia’s “anti-fast fashion” message is paying off. The clothing company has been encouraging customers to buy less, famously running ads that say “Don’t Buy This Jacket,” and their profits have tripled since 2008. (Business Insider)

Teen drug use, binge drinking, and smoking are all on the decline, according to a new federal report. The study found that substance dependence or abuse problems among 12-17-year-olds dropped from 8.9% to 5.2% from 2002 and 2013, and rates of drug abuse went from close to 12% to under 9%. However, the reasons behind these drops is somewhat of a mystery, as the percentage of teens who have seen prevention messages during the same time period has actually declined. (CBSNewsweek)

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies