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: “My favorite app is Amazon, because it's so convenient. I can order things on Prime with just a few clicks.”—Female, 27, PA 

For the first time, YouTube has been named as kids’ favorite brand. Market research looking at brand awareness, love, and popularity, and found that the content-sharing platform is the top ranked brand among 6-12-year-olds. Beating out Oreo, M&M’s, and Hershey’s—and media brands like Disney and Nickelodeon—YouTube made its way to the top from seventh place last year because “user-generated content is relatable and aspirational.” Parents weren’t far behind in their approval: YouTube came in 13th on their ranked brand list and 94% say they love or like the brand. (MediaPost)

Specialty backpacks and old-school sandals are trending for back-to-school shopping. Google’s analysis of searches and YouTube traffic reveals that although Herschel’s backpack dominated last year, “the top five [backpacks] for 2016 cover a wider range of styles and functionality.” The most searched backpack this year is from Victoria Secret’s Pink brand, and the second most searched is from Sprayground, which is known for their bold designs and celebrity collaborations. For most popular shoes, Birkenstocks takes the lead for the third year in a row, with search traffic rising 46% from last year. (Adweek

Coffee retailers are capitalizing on Millennials’ cold brew obsession. Cold brew—coffee made through a more complex “extraction method to get more nuanced bean flavors that lack the typical acidity and bitterness of a regular cup of Joe”— has trended thanks to young consumers’ love for iced coffee and authenticity. Sales have increased by 115% from 2014-2015, resulting in $7.9 million in revenue, and brands have taken notice. Dunkin Donuts’s play for “Starbucks-loving Millennials” includes adding cold brew coffee to locations nationwide. (BarkleyCNBC

About a third of 18-34-year-olds are still living at home, but it’s more likely to be happening in certain states. According to 2014 census data, New Jersey has the highest population of Millennials living with their parents at 43.9%. Connecticut and New York followed with 38.8% and 37.4% respectively, signifying the the trend is mostly happening within states that have more expensive rental markets. The lowest rates are where “land is plentiful and people are scarce:” North Dakota had 15.7% of young adults living at home and Wyoming had 18.7%. (Curbed NY)

A popular Snapchat series is making its way to the TV screen. Comedy Central’s Swag-A-Saurus With James Davis became the network’s most watched series on their standalone Snapchat Discover channel.  The digital hit features Davis explaining slang terms like ‘Bye, Felicia’ and ‘Looking Friday,’ and by January 2017 it will become its own TV show bringing together “urban and mainstream comedy.” Davis promises the show will be “lit,” and says he’s “excited to work with a network that embraces [his] point-of-view and purpose-driven comedy.” (Tubefilter

Quote of the Day: “My favorite app is Facebook Messenger because it doesn't tempt me to spend money and it helps me keep in touch with friends.”—Female, 20, IN

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