A History of Millennials 

Figuring out why they are the way they are

Hopefully by now, you know the term “Millennial”. A Millennial is a person born in the generation after Gen X. Many names have been thrown out like Gen Y, The ME Generation, etc. Millennials seems to be the one that is sticking.

What is it about Millennials that makes them a buzzword? Millennials are now tied with Baby Boomers as the largest generation. By 2025, Millennials will account for 3 of every 4 employees in the US workforce. They are kind of a big deal to politicians, marketers, and hopefully leaders.

I’m a Millennial

It’s true. I can’t hide the fact that I am a Millennial. I’ve talked previously about my theory of “micro-generations”, so I claim to be a Gen Y older Millennial instead of the Me Generation young Millennial. As a Millennial, I see positive intentions in what so many Boomers and even Xers see as negatives. It takes a special perspective.

Where Did They Come From?

In one word, you! Well ok, maybe not necessarily you, but Boomers and Xers made the majority of Millennials out there. I for one am a product of a Boomer and Xer. Millennials are the ones that received the trophy for participating, had the helicopter parents, and ushered in the first generation that spent less time outside than in. All of this plays into the history of Millennials.

  • Millennials were born from 1984-2004 (give or take.)So Millennials range in age from 12-32 as of this writing. Wow, what a range. But that is crucial to understand. The oldest are entering management and leadership positions in high numbers while the youngest are still in middle school.
  • Millennials had technology for most of their lives.Why can your grandson operate a computer better than you could dream? Well, its quite simple, even the older Millennials had access to Nintendo’s, Atari’s, and the PC in school. Granted, those born between 1984-1994 did not have devices in their hands until middle school or high school, they understood technology.

    Let’s focus on those between 1994-2004 for a minute. The youngest Millennials were just three years old when the iPhone debuted. They have had high tech items in their hands since their toddler days. Talk about setting the stage to change the world.

  • Millennials received instant results/feedbackAs a result of the coming of technology, Millennials were use to the search feature of Encyclopedia Britannica software to the easiest search feature ever, Google. As the Facebook generation expanded into social media during their college years and below, the instant feedback from what an outfit looked like to where to eat dinner has changed the entire future.

    Leverage this to give constructive feedback on an ongoing basis.

  • Millennials are driven by the why.

    Maybe its part of the social media craze, but Millennials love to make a difference. Unlike their parents, Millennials want to know the why behind what drives them. Don’t take this as a challenging why, take this as an opportunity to win their buy-in and engagement. Give them a unique value purpose.
  • Millennials want to be part of something bigger than themselves.Yes, Millennials may have SOME habits that are narcissistic, but it is less about the Me as it is including people in their lives. Now, we as Millennials should do a much better job engaging with people one on one, but I promise the majority are not as self-absorbed as it appears. If we are on our phones, we are probably learning something, even if it’s from Facebook.

Question

Question: What’s your take on Millennials? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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