I started speaking on the generations back in 2005 when the Millennials were starting to show up and make some noise in the workplace. It was a great fit because I felt I had an understanding of young people. You see, before becoming a speaker I owned retail fashion stores in Houston. Hiring many young employees with no workplace experience was typical, and I often discovered that they had the potential become great employees. My early years in retail and retail management set the foundation for my peaking platform.
As you may have guessed, I am a not a Millennial – I am a Baby Boomer, but I am discovering that I think and, yes, at times, act like a Millennial despite all the negative comments and stereotyping. They have been described as entitled, narcissistic, and spoiled—and let’s not forget lazy. But, throughout my work and research, I have discovered the opposite is true. Just as GenXers have turned out to be other than their name implies, the Millennials that I encounter are ambitious, smart, energetic, creative, and have truly inspired me to do better work.
As we continue to hear the negative comments about this generation, I want to know how many of you Xers and Boomers out there are secretly saying, “Yes, Millennials—go for it!” with the hope that the changes they represent will trickle down into your workplace and life?
For a few moments, forget about the year you were born and the descriptive behavioral characteristics of Millennials. Look and see if any of the items on the list below resonate with you…
Maybe it’s possible that you, too, are more like a Millennial than you think!
True or False
1. You are not content with the status quo. You are always thinking of how things can be better. You are curious, and open to new ideas.
2. You embrace change and see change as an opportunity to grow.
3. You use technology to engage with others.
4. Technology increases your productivity.
5. You are not fond of long hours behind a desk when the work can be done anywhere. You prefer a flexible work schedule when possible and use technology as a means to be more productive.
6. You are motivated by humanitarian causes.
7. You are a self-promoter and have an opportunist’s mindset—you know how to grow your brand.
8. You have a low BS factor and seek out those people who are authentically themselves.
9. You seek feedback.
10. You are impatient.
If eight or more are True for you, you too are more like a Millennial than your assigned generation, please share your thoughts and any other characteristics that I have not included.