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.


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: “The issue I most care about during this presidential election is how we are going to resolve this massive student loan problem.”—Male, 23, PA

Hermés is conforming to the new definition of luxury by being more accessible to young, “fashion-obsessed” consumers. The brand has launched a “colorfully-designed” and Instagrammable space stocked with entry-level pieces—including their slimmer Twilly scarf that is priced around $160—at Nordstrom’s Seattle flagship. To allow the consumer the ability “to engage and have fun and try things on without the intimidation,” products are out in the open on “moveable hooks on magnetized walls” instead of behind glass. (Racked)

Millennial entrepreneurs are leading the way for digital advertising. A Magisto survey on Millennial small to medium-sized business owners, revealed that they are spending more than half of their marketing budget on digital media, and are three times more likely than Boomers to spend the majority of their media budget on digital advertising. Social media and video are the main focus for Millennial marketers: 68% say they depend on social media ads to spread brand awareness, 60% leverage social media ads to create revenue, and 88% currently use or want to use video for digital advertising. (Business Wire

A new chatbot wants to monitor kids’ online activity, and educate them as well. Oyoty, targeted for children ages 12 and under, is a friendly bot that links itself to social media accounts and keeps watch of public postings. When Oyoty flags content for a particular issue—for example, a provocative selfie or sharing of personal data—it starts a two-way conversation with the child and explains why they should think twice before posting. To fulfill the aim of educating and empowering children when it comes to online safety, the act of editing or deleting the content is left to the child to execute. (TechCrunch

The digital-native generation is thinking twice before sharing their personal data. A LexisNexis survey on Millennials in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mexico, and Brazil, found that young consumers are hesitant to share their personal data, presenting an issue for businesses who “need to gather critical data for better fraud prevention.” In the U.S. about two-thirds of Millennials are worried about identity theft and data breaches—which was “surprisingly lower than most of their global counterparts, of whom more than 75 percent are concerned.” (FinextraPYMNTS

Finance publication Barron’s has launched a Millennial-focused site to hook in the next generation of investors. With a focus on quick daily stock analysis, video, and personal finance stories, Barron’s Next aims to give young consumers “an easy way to understand the economy and begin to take their first steps as investors.” Like S&P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Barron’s Next also offers Next 50—a snapshot of stocks from brands that “young consumers love,” like Urban Outfitters and Tesla. (Digiday)  

Quote of the Day: “For Halloween I’m dressing up as Erlich Bachman from the HBO show Silicon Valley.”—Male, 24, IN

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