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…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Adventure Time is the show that best represents my generation because we like the nostalgic aspect of watching cartoons but we also like off-the-wall plots.” –Male, 21, MI 

Snapchat is ready to take over another space: teens’ faces. The app is introducing Spectacles, a new wearable that combines sunglasses and a camera, allowing wearers to capture video of their point of view and share it immediately to their Snapchat Memories. Though comparisons to Google Glass are inevitable, these specs come in bright colors and cool designs, making them more aesthetically appealing—a vital element for wearables’ success. While some might be skeptical of Spectacles, if they are as popular as Snapchat’s other efforts, “the youth will have made wearables cool in the blink of an eye.” (The Next Web)

Campaigns encouraging young consumers to vote are a hallmark of election season—but in 2012, 62% of young Americans reportedly didn’t cast a vote. So this year Rock the Vote has partnered with Doritos to spread the voting message in a unique way. The brand created a limited edition pack of “no-choice” chips with no flavor, no crunch, and boring packaging to show that not voting allows someone else to choose for you, and you might not get what you want. For a spot promoting voting registration, Doritos created a vending machine that dispensed the flavorless chips to any not registered to vote. (Creativity Online)

According to Alton Brown, Millennials have forever changed food entertainment. Ten years ago, cooking shows were all about simple instruction, but the generation’s “preference for bolder, edgier programs” and cooking savvy has changed the content and expanded the “food media landscape” beyond the TV screen. Those Millennial foodies, who might have watched Brown’s “kid-friendly” Good Eats growing up or on Netflix, are the audience for his new web series, designed specifically for mobile. For these viewers, all content will be under five minutes, and “f it doesn’t work on a phone, [he’s] not going to do it.” (Business InsiderFast Company)

Cheetos is bringing their museum back for Halloween. The brand’s summer contest asking consumers to submit their uniquely shaped Cheetos for cash prizes was reportedly one of their most “successful digital engagement programs of all time,” generating over 100,000 stories and photos. Thanks to that success, the brand is rebooting the effort, asking fans to build a Cheetos Monster with the snacks for a chance to win $50K. Turning brands or products into an experience a major marketing trend to attract young consumers. (MediaPost)

Millennials might use more apps than older generations, but they’re also spending more time on their top ranked apps than anyone else. According to comScore data, there are 20 apps that 25% of 18-34-year-olds are using monthly, compared to just 15 among those over 35-years-old. But the top 10 apps among the group are receiving 50% of Millennials’ mobile time, indicating that while younger mobile users have a more diverse range of apps they’re using, their few favorites are still getting the majority of their attention. (comScore)

Quote of the Day: “Bojack Horseman was my favorite show last year because it was funny and real. Maybe too real, just beautiful.”–Male, 23, AZ

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