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Why are Millennials such a unique generation?


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Defining the qualities of Millennials can sometimes be a daunting task. While there may be many different perceptions of this unique generation, many can agree on a few things: they are today’s digital generation, increasingly connected to social and digital media, all while having extremely high social values and ethics. This and many other qualities is what sets this generation apart from others.


Miller and Walker define various categorical qualities in reference to the millennial generation. This group of highly motivated individuals are uniquely poised to be more outspoken at work, due to the fact that they have increasingly embraced technology and social media, making them more confident in regards to what they know about the world as it stands today. Making them thus more hyperconnected, independent, reliable, confident and more open-minded when it comes to daily job responsibilities.


Hyperconnectivity

Alexa Mantell has been especially interested in studying how hyperconnectivity can positively (or negatively) affect younger generations. Since Millennials have been the first generation to have constant access to the internet and technology, they are beginning to be seen as the best multi-taskers of this day and age. With the internet being referred to as a subset of the human brain, Mantell and many others suggest that this will have effects on both sides of the spectrum.


Although there is still much more to observe and learn from this trend, most predict that there will be more positive than negative outcomes. Being able to deal with highly stressful work environments, where requirements are constantly ever-changing will be a piece of cake for millennials. Mantell describes this “fast-twitch wiring” as the Ying and Yang of millennials ability to perform at work. While being able to manage multiple tasks at once, this can also lead to millennials' tendencies to seek instant gratification and solutions, many times giving millennials the bad reputation of feeling entitled to everything without knowing anything. I’d say that this is just a bad case of discrimination towards a younger generation that wants to show the world what they are capable of.


Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship and starting your own business is something that many Americans feel would be a dream. While starting any kind of business can be an extremely costly and time-consuming venture, most people today would probably say that they wish they were their own boss. 2018 has seemingly seen a high increase in individuals, particularly younger generations, leaning towards the idea of opening their own businesses. With many new tax laws and breaks being implemented this year, it is no surprise that many Millennials would be taking advantage and jumping all over this idea.


Rachel Watson has studied entrepreneurship and how Millennials report feeling about it, and why many of them have jumped on the entrepreneurial bandwagon. While many have focused on starting their own unique businesses, Millennials seem to be leaning towards the multi-level marketing arena (hence the fast-twitch wiring mentioned earlier). Amway is one of the largest multi-level marketing companies out there, and the annual Amway Entrepreneurial Spirit Index has shown that Millennials tend to score the highest when it comes to wanting to start their own businesses. The many unique qualities being observed in Millennials is predicted to be the driving force that entices them to entrepreneurship. Organizations that pay attention to these qualities and can implement changes and strategies to attract this generation back to them will only benefit from major rewards.


Social Footprint

Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are daily staples for Millennials. It seems that the ever-present joke “if it’s not on Facebook, it’s not official” is very much a reality these days. Our society has turned to social media as a means of communication, business marketing, job search, and many others. While many criticize the fact that today’s world seems to depend so much on social media, they fail to realize that this may not be such a bad thing after all.


Remember: Millennials are today’s digital generation and are increasingly hyperconnected. Therefore, organizations must attempt to use this to their advantage. One area where companies can use this to their benefit is in the recruitment process. Lisa Roepe discusses how a company must use social media to market their organization in order to reach a broader audience, such as Millennials. They should ensure that the digital footprint being portrayed in the web is a positive one and not a negative one that can deter Millennials away from their companies. It is much better to appear on a Millennials feed next to the hottest technological trend, versus appearing next to an epic marketing fail.


Individualistic Generation

Millennials always seem to get a bad reputation in regards to how other people perceive them to be. Many people mistake Millennials’ individualistic attitude with being self-centered and wanting things the way they want. They are arrogant, don’t listen to anyone else, and all they want to do is take selfies. But hasn’t every young person in this world had some of these qualities when they were young? It is most likely that Millennials are not the first generation to hold some of these qualities.


Samantha Raphelson agrees that maybe Millennials are being misunderstood as being arrogant and entitled, and the qualities they are displaying are more in-line with them just being themselves. Enter Individualism: aka being independent and self-reliant. Although Millennials seem to be more individualistic in nature, this must not be confused with them not sharing certain values with other generations. For example, most Millennials still believe in marriage, they might just not want to get married right away like their grandparents did, and they would rather wait until they have completed their degrees and their careers are more stable. The individualistic traits seen in this example show how Millennials are not easily influenced by what the rest of society is doing, but rather have learned to make decisions for themselves.

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