Each week as I write this blog, I ask myself, what is it about Millennials that puzzles other generations? Sometimes I can’t imagine a thing. Other times, a million things come to mind. This week, one thing that stands out specifically that might be puzzling is the need for a meaningful career over a career chosen out of necessity. In addition to that, how we choose to spend our money, however little the amount we may have.
I take a look at my friends, the people I graduated with and even my Millennial co-workers and the jobs we hold, and overwhelmingly, we have chosen jobs that mean something to us. Some have even taken severe pay cuts in order to work in a place they truly enjoy.
Of course, there are exceptions, as there are with people of any generation. For the most part, however, this is something I see time and time again.
Wealth can be fleeting, as we all know. The Brookings Institution noted in a report, “Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of Millennials said they would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love rather than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring.”
What kind of job bores a Millennial? This Millennial bores at the thought of doing work that means nothing to me. I have had jobs in two other industries now, both respectable jobs with work that wasn’t far from what I do now. However in my current position that I love, I feel and know that I am working for a greater purpose.
Each day I get up for work and feel great about what I am doing, who I’m working with and the higher cause that I am taking a small part in accomplishing, spreading the Good News to all the earth. I never imagined I would be so fortunate in my career.
It is becoming commonplace for my peers to graduate college and start their own business ventures. Rather than working for “the man,” Millennials want to create things and be a part of building a business from the ground up. On top of that, they want their businesses to mean something.
This wanting more doesn’t stop with our jobs and careers. It trickles down to how and where we spend our money as well.
We want to buy from companies with a cause. Is your company a green company? They pay attention to the earth and its resources? Great! Does your company donate a product for every product purchased? Awesome! I have personally spent more money on my glasses because I knew that buying one pair of glasses for myself ensured someone in need somewhere else in the world would get a pair for free.
The days where name brand clothing was most popular are nearing an end. Millennials are taking pleasure in thrift shopping or buying clothing that can almost be considered disposable, but it’s cruelty free and made of only the purest materials. I can’t say I’ve gone that far, but I am outnumbered among the people my age in that category. Where I am alike is my love for finding a great deal. Compliment my shirt, and chances are, I’ll tell you where I bought it and for how much.
That brings me to my next point. Millennials love transparency. We are a generation of “oversharers,” to a fault at times, I will admit. When we can walk into a workplace and feel like we can relate to our boss or other superiors, we are more comfortable and more likely to perform better.
Has anyone ever really enjoyed the intimidation factor of the big scary boss in the corner office that you avoid at all costs? No, that doesn’t make for a healthy work environment. We respond well to feedback; we are people pleasers. It’s easiest to please people when you know exactly what they want. It’s really a win-win situation for both boss and employee.
These are just a couple of things in the workplace and in the consumer marketplace that I’ve pointed out. Granted, not all Millennials are cut from the same mold. There could be someone my age reading this that completely disagrees. But as a Millennial, I will graciously accept that they are entitled to their own opinion.
We are a generation that craves originality and relationships. Hopefully, through my transparency, you know more now than when you began reading about just a few things that make us Millennials tick.