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: "I follow the news so I can make fun of the GOP presidential candidates..." -Male, 30, KN 

Selfies might be the next innovation in online security. MasterCard is experimenting with facial recognition scans that would ask users to simply look into their phones and blink to approve a purchase. Biometric security like face scans and fingerprints are easier than remembering a password, and the brand believes that “the new generation, which is into selfies…they'll find it cool. They'll embrace it." (CNN Money)

Millennials’ history of disrupting industries has many long-standing brands making big changes to appeal to young consumers—who are aging into their years of spending power dominance. Time’s list of “old person” brands getting a Millennial makeover include Maxwell House, Residence Inn, NASCAR, Good Humor, and KFC—all launching rebrands and “tweaking old products…with varying degrees of success—and awkwardness.” NASCAR’s efforts include a racing festival that includes DJs and foam parties. (Time)

We included golf on our list of things Millennials are being accused of killing, and now golf clubs breaking some sport taboos to try to attract young players. Footgolf, a hybrid soccer/golf game attracting twenty-somethings, is being offered by some. Speedier games, speakers on carts, prizes for Instagram golf pics, and beer tastings are other tactics being employed—and upsetting traditional golfers. (Chicago Business)

Put on your top hat and bow tie, the “Monopoly movie has passed go.” Lionsgate and Hasbro have greenlit a film based on everyone’s favorite property trading game, and starter of family fights. The 80-year-old board game is the latest classic toy box item to be given time on the big screen, and the film will reportedly be an action/adventure following a boy from Baltic Avenue building his fortune, and of course avoiding bankruptcy and jail. (Kidscreen)

Unplugging is not just a trend with young consumers here in the U.S. A survey of 16-24-year-olds in the U.K. found that only half watch live TV, preferring online streaming for the rest of their media consumption. Online viewing has “disproportionately affected” news shows, and TV news viewing among the age group has dropped 29% between 2008 and 2014. In our most recent media viewing tracker, we found that 29% of 13-32-year-olds watch live cable five or more days per week, while 35% watch Netflix and 10% watch Hulu Plus five or more days per week. (The Guardian)

The glittery dust has settled. There is no longer any question that digital celebrities’ popularity rivals Hollywood stars’—for teens, they’re even more popular. So what does celebrity look like now? Fame has been redefined by the next generation of viewers, and we’re officially in a new era of celebrity influencers. We cover this trend in-depth our Q2 2015 Ypulse Quarterly report, available to Gold subscribers. (One-off pricing for the report is $1250.) (Ypulse)

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