Millennials, the better known nickname for Generation Y, seem to be the generation on the tip of everyone’s tongue as of late.This generation is made up of individuals ages 13 to 33, born roughly between 1982 and 1994. According to Census figures, there are 60 million Millennials in America, and half are women.
When it comes to their careers and the workplace, Millennial women are a new breed. The majority are known for being highly ambitious, educated, optimistic, dedicated, and are attempting to thrive in a well-rounded lifestyle. These reasons alone make female Millennials powerful players.
In a recent Washington Post Magazine article, Laura Sessions Stepp describes the confidence of this new generation of career women by saying, “These women appear to be buoyed by a stronger belief in their capabilities than many of their mothers enjoyed at their age.” She also notes that these women have high expectations for the quality of their work, as well as high hopes for what they’ll be paid. They also feel confident in their abilities to blend work and life — even as mothers.
Where Do Millennials Fit In The Generational-Blended Workplace?
For the first time in history, we have four generations working side-by-side in today’s job market, due in part to an aging workforce and a sluggish economy that’s forcing Americans to put off retirement. This has bred a mixing pot of generations, including Mature workers, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials. The collaboration of these four generations are crucial to driving companies forward. But how is it possible for such varied generations to work together like a well-oiled machine?
It’s comes down to understanding the importance of different work styles, adapting, and sometimes meeting in the middle. For example, many in the Boomer generation view in-person meetings and one-on-one interactions as the most successful way to conduct business, while most Millennials prefer the speed and convenience of smartphones and email. Many Millennials beg for Boomers to adapt to their more technologically-fueled communication styles, but the fact of the matter is that the more traditional focus on face-to-face business interactions will never die. These differing communication styles can be a breeding ground for catastrophe — if not handled properly. The key is effectively managing and seeking middle ground between these two generations in order to achieve business goals. Finding common ground is essential when there are a three varying generations in the workplace. Boomers may adopt smartphones and set up Skype accounts, and Millennials will find the importance in solidifying in-person meetings to benefit a variety of aspects of business.
Millennials seem to be getting a bad rap as of late — they’ve been wrongly perceived as an arrogant and undeserving generation. But I truly think their inherent traits of confidence and self-assurance are being misconstrued. When it comes to their workplace interactions, their optimism, ambition, and dedication are likely to be driving factors in finding the most effective way to blend into the workplace — especially as the youngest generation.
Takeaways From Millennials
There’s a lot to be learned from the work habits of Millennials. In fact, Millennial women have redefined what success is. Their search to find the sweet spot in the common work-life balance is unmatched — especially in terms of Millennial women. They also have become a driving force toward more flexible work. From adherence to flex-time scheduling — as well as the move to remote work — we could all take away an important lesson in the benefits of untethering ourselves from our desks.
But most of all, Millennials present the idea of overall fulfillment. They not only understand and reach for career fulfillment, they demand it. When was the last time you considered the fulfillment factor of your current position?
Advice For The New Generation
It’s hard to give advice to those who seem to be self-advised. The “I want it all — and now” attitude is a beautiful thing, but can be overbearing. Use your powerful traits to find the success you deserve, but remember to take it a step at a time. While many Millennials women are looking to take leaps and bounds to find the success they downright deserve, landing your dream job often requires gaining experience and skills in a moderate position.
As for the Millennial attitude, it’s something worth evaluating. While being self-driven and self-motivated has its benefits, it shouldn’t affect the way you interact with others in the workplace. Be a team player, put in the time and effort when others won’t — and most importantly — quiet your unnecessary complaints.
Millennial women are certainly a force to be reckoned with. Their futures are certain to be those stamped with prosperity and success, but their careers will be even greater if they can find their niche in their workplace, as well as remaining humble and ready to learn along the way.
What do you think is the most influential trait of Millennial women?