Millennials will be overtaking the world soon. Confusion abounds as to who qualifies as a Millennial, but the designation generally falls on those born toward the later half of the 1980s to near the end of the 1990s. Today’s Millennials cover a wide range of ages, including those just graduating from college all the way up to those facing middle age. Millennials are already surpassing other generations in the workforce, so it’s time to dispel those myths about this generation who has seen technology advance at a rapid rate.
When developing your benefits packages or creating a company culture that appeals and retains the Millennial workforce, it’s important to understand this generation without relying on negative (and mostly false) assumptions. People tend to assume that Millennials are still fresh out of high school, but the reality is that many Millennials have at least 10 or more years of experience on their resumes. Younger Millennials have had access to the latest technologies and are more apt to adapt to changes within the world around them.
While Millennials have gotten used to living with modern conveniences like smartphones and tablet computers, this generation has also seen an economic downturn, faced several terrorist attacks on their own soil and abroad, lived under constant surveillance and have risks against their access to healthcare and other benefits that were secured for older generations in previous eras. Millennials have also been sent off to war. They’re helping to protect the country and becoming veterans in their early 30s.
Millennials might hold more than one job in order to make ends meet as the cost of living continues to rise and wages appear to be falling ever lower in some parts of the United States. The typical 9-to-5 job has become a thing of the past, and Millennials have been the first who have adapted to this shift. Wanting better benefits isn’t a sense of entitlement. Previous generations didn’t have to worry about how to pay for college or whether they could afford a house after getting their first full-time job. But Millennials have learned that the benefits other generations took for granted have to be fought for again and again.
While it’s true that some Millennials might be “spoiled,” this could be said of portions of people within any generation. When workers fought for more reasonable hours and safety conditions so that employees didn’t die from exhaustion or fires in the factories, employers probably considered them to be “spoiled” as well. But most people today would agree that employees should have safe workplaces where they can be healthy and productive.