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Millennials: A New Breed?

Millennials: An Updated Generation?

Millennials are highly IT literate but according to an Ipsos MORI report "Millennial Myths and Realities" when people were asked to describe millennials, the top 5 adjectives were:

1. Tech-savvy

2. Materialistic

3. Selfish

4. Lazy

5. Arrogant

The fact remains that they are an important part of our workforce today. Companies wanting to get the most out of millennials need to know the truth about these fresh-faced new recruits to the workplace.

So, what do you do about all these "Generation Me" who are set to become the industry leaders of the future? We've researched and tried to help bust the 5 myths below:

It's true – partly. The pace of technological change has increased so rapidly over the past 30 years that the tools and connectivity commonplace for a Millennial are significantly more advanced than the gadgets used by Generation X at a similar age. However, in reality, generational interaction and comfort with technology is a gradual shift – older Millennials are not very different from younger Generation X, and younger Millennials are different from older Millennials. But technology is still massively important and a crucial part of what makes Millennials different – they are generally very different from older generations on elements such as their connectivity, the intensity of internet use and the ways in which they use it.

One of the main criticisms levelled at millennials is that they are flighty. However, when Ipsos MORI studied the reality, it found that they are no more likely to job hop than employees back in 1983. In fact, the average job tenure of the 55-64 age group in the US fell by 3.2% from 1983 – 2014. In the UK, millennials are staying in jobs longer than before – suggesting that they, like the rest of us, hold on to their jobs in a difficult economic climate, particularly when they are just starting out.

Labelled 'the Unluckiest Generation', it is true that, at least in many established economies, millennials are the first modern generation to be worse off than their parents. This has massive impacts on their relationship with money and many other aspects of their lives. They marry later, have children later and struggle to afford mortgages without parental help, meaning many are still living with parents at age 30.

In terms of hours worked, there is a tiny reduction in working hours. Millennials work 13 minutes less than Generation X in the UK. However, it is suggested that this is part of a decades' long trend for all workers to work fewer hours.

5.Insecurity and constant need for praise
Writing in Forbes, Joseph Folkman stated 69% of millennials said they regularly asked for feedback, compared to 53% of other generations. However, historical data says that younger generations have always asked for more feedback than older – suggesting it's a trait of young people who are new to the workplace, rather than millennials specifically.

(In) Conclusion
Looking at the research, it's clear that millennials have become the most maligned generation yet. Clearly their use of technology, particularly smartphones and online interaction makes them a little different but overall, surely there are more similarities than differences. Hasn't it always been the job of the younger generation to challenge the older generation and try to do things differently?

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At a Glance

Criticising millennials has become a national sport. Born anywhere between 1980 and 2000 (dates vary according to sources), these are the "lazy" generation, the "snowflakes"; they lack resilience and need constant praise.

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