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: “This holiday season, I’m buying myself a GoPro.” –Male, 28, MI

Teens may not be able to remember a time before the internet—but that doesn’t necessarily make them more internet-savvy than older users. Research in the UK found that only 31% of 12-15-year-olds and 16% of 8-11-year-olds could tell the difference between Google ads and Google search results, even when ads were labeled. The findings indicate that young consumers still need to “develop the knowhow they need to navigate the online world.” (The Verge)

Last week, Pew survey results showing that 40% of Millennials are “against free speech” that is offensive to minority groups were widely reported—but a closer look might prove those conclusions were a “false alarm.” Though there is no data to directly compare the question to, there are “numerous examples” that show that multiple generations have held similar views for decades. (NYMag)

Ypulse’s exclusive holiday shopping survey found 61% agree with the statement “I can't stand crowds and don’t shop in-store on Black Friday.” Their decision to shop from home is shifting the consumer holiday: the National Retail Federation found that more people shopped online than in stores during Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend. Major chains are adjusting by moving many of their big deals online as well. (WSJ)

Thought we know 35% of Millennial voters would choose Bernie Sanders if the election was tomorrow, there is still a long time before election day, and a new app is ready to educate about the candidates, the Millennial way. Voter uses the Tinder “swipe left/swipe right” format to help users to find the candidates and parties that share their views. A series of questions sort users into political pools, and give them a breakdown of the issues they agree and disagree on, as well as contacts and donation links. (PSFK)

Brands have been leaning into nostalgia and bringing back Millennials’ childhood favorites all year—and it isn’t close to over. Rumors are flying that the wonderfully disgusting Ghostbusters themed Hi-C Ecto Cooler is coming back for the release of the film’s reboot in 2016. Neon orange Ecto Cooler was originally put on the shelves in 1987, featured the beloved Slimer, and was so popular it outlasted the Ghostbusters cartoon. (AVClub)

Quote of the Day: “It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without some family drama.” –Male, 23, MA

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