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The 6 Common Characteristics of Millennial Professionals

Summary: What do you know about millennials? If nothing, you better learn quickly; they’re your next workforce.

The 6 Common Characteristics of Millennial Professionals
  • It is always a good practice for hiring managers and business owners to know the generational characteristics of the workers they hire.
  • Millennials, for instance, are not like any other generation before them, and have characteristics to both their work and non-work lives.
  • As this generation grows older and begins to enter the workforce, it is a good idea that employers know who millennials truly are.
Despite their rap, whether for better or worse, if you and your company stand to survive in today’s market, at some point or the other, you will have to hire millennials.

Sure, that may seem daunting after you’ve heard all the millennials will and will not do, especially when it comes to being employed. Yet two things need to be kept in mind when faced with the millennial-aged worker:
  • Sure, millennials may seem demanding and difficult, particularly if you’ve employed people from the baby boomer generation who are traditionally known to do anything possible to get the job done. However, you have to know that generations change, and part of your responsibility as a manager/employer is to adapt yourself to their changes.
  • Apart from any other available workforce out in the world, you have no current choice but to hire millennials.
According to Legal Careers, the millennial characteristics are not strange or unapproachable; they’re simply different as have been all other generational characteristics before them.

With that point made, let’s first shed some light on what exactly a millennial is.

What is a Millennial?

Millennials, or members of Generation Y (also known as Gen Y) were born between 1982 and 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Census Bureau estimates that there are 83.1 million millennials in the U.S., and the Pew Research Center found that millennials surpassed baby boomers to become the largest living generation in the United States in 2016.

Millennials are separated from the older generation before them (Generation X) and the generation that followed them (Generation Z).

What Are the Millennial Characteristics?

As expected by their birth years, the millennial generation makes up the fastest growing segment of the workforce. As companies compete for available talent, employers simply cannot ignore the needs, desires, and attitudes of this vast generation. As with each generation that preceded it, Millennials have come to be defined by a set of characteristics formed mainly by the world and culture they grew up in. Keep reading to find out the 6 most important characteristics of millennials.
  1. Millennials are Tech-Savvy
Generation Y grew up with technology, and they rely on it to perform their jobs better. Armed with smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets, this generation is plugged in 24/7. They like to communicate through email, text messaging, and whatever new social media platform (i.e., Twitter, Instagram) friends and colleagues are using. This is a generation that can't even imagine a world without the internet or cell phones.
  1. Millennials Are Family-Centric
The fast-track lifestyle has lost much of its appeal for millennials. The members of this generation are willing to trade high pay for fewer billable hours, flexible schedules, and a better work-life balance. Although older generations may view this attitude as narcissistic or see it as a lack of commitment, discipline, and drive, Millennials have a different idea of workplace expectations. Millennials usually prioritize family over work, and even those who aren't married with children feel the need to be a part of a family and spend time with nieces, nephews, and siblings.
  1. Millennials Are Achievement-Oriented
Nurtured and pampered by parents who didn't want to make the mistakes of the previous generation, millennials are confident, ambitious, and achievement-oriented. They also have high expectations of their employers, tend to seek new challenges at work, and aren't afraid to question authority. Generation Y wants meaningful work and a solid learning curve.
  1. Millennials are Team-Oriented
While growing up, most millennial boys and girls participated in team sports, playgroups, and other group activities, whether it is soccer or ballet. They value teamwork and seek the input and affirmation of others. Millennials are the true no-person-left-behind generation, loyal and committed. They want to be included and involved.
  1. Generation Y Craves Attention
Generation Y craves feedback and guidance. They appreciate being kept in the loop and often need frequent praise and reassurance. Millennials may benefit greatly from mentors who can help guide and develop their talents. This is where the boomers come in handy because (though mostly retired), they have something to offer and see mentoring millennials is one way they can continue to contribute to the workforce.
  1. Generation Y Is Prone to Job-Hopping
A potential downside of Generation Y workers is that they're always looking for something new and better. It's not uncommon for a millennial to stay with a company for only two or three years before moving on to a position they think is better. The resumes you receive from millennial job seekers will undoubtedly demonstrate this peppered job history.

You shouldn’t discount members of this generation just because they’ve worked for several firms—these young employees bring with them a variety of experiences. Unlike previous generations, they do not take a job and then hold onto it for as long as humanly possible. But that could be to your advantage with the ideas and energy millennials can bring to your business if given the opportunity to be hired.

Concluding the Millennials

Generation Y possesses many characteristics that are unique in comparison to past generations. They tend to be excited about their jobs, and they will work hard and efficiently. They might approach their superiors as equals more so than previous generations, but companies can take steps to draw a line between supervisor and friend. When that line is drawn, millennials will not only work tirelessly for you, but they will show you the respect due to a supervisor with many years of experience.