Today in the investment management and financial advisory space, there's a lot of talk about how Millennials (or Gen Y) are a unique generation that bring with them a number of opportunities and challenges -- particularly as a target market or potential client base. As someone who works often with Millennials, and arguably as a Millennial myself (depending on the definition you choose), the notion that they/we are somehow uniquely different than other generations strikes me as a bit misguided.
However, assuming you take these generalizations with a grain of salt, there are probably valuable insights to be drawn from the different factors that influenced my generation’s formative years, and the resulting differences in our worldview from our parents’. Here are a few articles that I think have some interesting, relevant insights into the Millennial generation:
1. Personal and Professional Fulfillment
My Take: We do want to be happy -- the feeling of self-fulfilling work (and play) is absolutely important to us. Are we unique that way? I don’t think so. I’ve never heard my grandfather say, “We were miserable at work, and we loved it!” However, Millennials don’t have much patience for not being happy -- in that way we may indeed be a bit different. We’ll eat our vegetables, but only if dessert is already on the table.
2. Working Fast and Smart
My Take: We do expect a lot from others (and from ourselves). When properly motivated, Millennials work extremely hard (one look at the demographics of college admissions over the past 20 years tells a clear story); but in the same vein we expect others to work hard as well. Sounds just like my parent’s generation and other Baby Boomers I know and respect. But coupled with our technology literacy, Millennials have an expectation that other people in our lives are able to deliver their products and services with the same speed and diligence that we bring to the things that we do.
3. Happiness at Work
My Take: Continuing the trends of the first two articles, this piece reinforces the concepts that Millennials look for deep fulfillment in the ways they spend their time (again, is this really unique? I’m not sure). We look to surround ourselves with people whom a) we respect, and b) we think respect us. I do, however, think it’s probably a very Millennial thing to need (and expect) to have close relationships in the workplace -- and to be in part motivated by that need.
What do you think? Whatever generation you fall into, post your comments below and let’s chat a bit on the discussion board.