The Unseen Traits in Millennials in Today’s Workplace.
There are a plethora of opinions on what the young, and mostly confident, are doing to the modern workplace. Being both a millennial and an observer of my peers, my curiosity could not let this topic go silently. So, let’s dive in…
Millennials hold a simple explanation, encompassing any person born between 1980 and 2000. Currently, millennials make up over 25% of the workforce in the U.S, and nearly 50% in India (PWC, 2011), allowing we young-guns to have a genuine influence on the direction of both the domestic and global workforces. Whenever I speak with friends or family about my college endeavors, they never fail to mention how much the necessity for higher education, internship experience, loads of connections, and a strong presence online is much higher than it used to be – which I credit mostly to the insane rise in competitiveness and drive among us. For example, coming into summer 2017, I applied to a variety of companies for internship opportunities, but one distinctly stood out because it registered 3,567 applicants during the first round of submissions. THREE-THOUSAND FIVE-HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN millennials, most likely studying, working with, and aspiring along the same grounds as I, all wanted to work at this one specific place. There are a lot of us, we work hard, we want it bad – and it’s showing.
I used to think I had some pretty cool tactics for getting my resume in front of hiring teams, but man, I’m not sure if I’ve seen one like this. Lukas Yla, 25 years-old out of Lithuania, has begun placing his resume inside local donut boxes and posing as a delivery person. Once he’s inside, he drops off the box and waits for a call pertaining to his exquisitely-placed resume and out-of-the-box thinking (and probably a little bit about the delicious treats, too).
I can only imagine how much this factor of the hiring process has changed over time. With the rise of LinkedIn, heavy Networking events and opportunities, and the ease of finding email addresses – the world has given millennials a variety of ways to pester hiring teams until their name is known. The main key here may need credited to a mix of personability skills and pure shamelessness. We send email after email, tweet at managers, send friend requests until they’re accepted, send letters, send a few more emails, and slide in as many DM’s (Direct Messages) as possible – until we finally are able to speak to someone, display our passions, our drive, and our determination to build a career and make a change.
There are a lot of jobs out there, and we get that. We’ve also been engrained to believe that life is genuinely what you make it – your career, especially – so we have no problem doing whatever it takes to become a company’s top candidate. We want to get in, work hard, produce, and move up the ladder. For over half of today’s full-time employed millennials, the ability to move up within a company is the top attraction for an applicant. Closely followed by a competitive salary, it is not surprising to see that we want to make the tough decisions, work the long hours, take criticism, and have the freedom to put our own spins on outdated tactics.
It’s kind of paradox to me how many clubs, sports, and schools are leading their members to far less internal competition. Ball-less soccer and participation trophies round off just a couple examples – yet the generation of competition (millennials) and “dog-eat-dog” systems are beginning to yield incredible results and change the world. We have little empathy for peers that didn’t make the cut because we know, and understand, how many opportunities there truly are for likewise students and young professionals.
Man oh man, we. are. excited. I’m not completely sure if it was the decade’s worth of realistic-comedies that highlighted the fast-paced atmosphere of young professionalism, the constant questioning of what we want to be when we’re older, or maybe the crazy amount of young stars that blew up during our childhood – but we want it. Just from my short time interning in Chicago I can cite tens of times when a friend mentioned how excited he/she is to graduate and get into the real world – to start the grind – regardless of how often we’re told by people older than us to stay in school for as long as we can!
We’ve been writing essays, doodling in our notebooks, ranting to our significant others, and accumulating debt thinking about how and why we want to change the world. The chance to jump in, fearless of failure, is all we ask for – few and far between will waste the opportunity.
When a millennial knocks on your door, shoots you an email, or shows they want it, please realize that they want it. Years of hard work, studying, increased and frightening competition, and seeing large companies that have always ruled the market begin to fail, have fueled millennials to work harder than ever.
Hire us. Challenge us. Trust us.
Thanks for reading!