Written by: Michelle McMurray and Kathleen Krilanovich
There are plenty of myths about millennials in the workforce. Some myths are rooted in reality like the desire to have a flexible work schedule. Others are false, like the rumor that we jump ship more often than Baby Boomers… Wrong!
Over the past five years the workforce and workplace have changed significantly, and as millennials, we will own up to this one – it’s probably our fault.
The forty-hour work week is dead (insert moment of silence here). We are the first 24/7 technological generation. It is a gift and a curse to always be connected. Laptops allow us to bring our work home. Tablets, smart watches, and the infamous smartphones that never leave our sides, monitor not only our heart rate, but also tell us when a work email comes in. If an important email comes in at 9:00 P.M. on a Wednesday or 10:00 A.M. on a Saturday, we can jump on our laptops and get the project done. We answer emails at the most random times – while brushing our teeth, sitting at a red light or at 3:45 in the morning.
Millennials like us are not satisfied with the career development status quo (staying in a role for two years and moving up). Many millennials are hungry, looking for fast career advancement, and opportunities for professional growth. If we start feeling like we are hitting a ceiling or not progressing in our current positions, we will find it elsewhere (just as Baby Boomers did a generation ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). To top it off, we desire to have a role with a company that gives us purpose and a seat at a table, creating a reputation for being more willing to take a slight pay-cut if the next opportunity will open more doors for us in the long run.
We’re YOUR Next Generation of Leaders
Across the United States, the leadership gap left by Baby Boomers retiring has a one in four chance of being filled by a millennial (Forbes). Currently, millennials represent one-third of all working age people and by 2025, we’ll account for 75% of the workforce. Millennials taking over leadership positions will be even more exaggerated in Florida as, according to the Florida Chamber of Commerce, one third of Florida’s workforce is expected to retire by 2030.
Who is filling the other leadership positions? That would be the Gen Xers, people born between 1965 and 1981. Many millennials, including us, report directly to a Gen X manager. Due to the lack of a generational gap, Gen Xers are proving to be the most adaptable to the millennial moving target. These “Millennial Gen Xpert” managers have had to change or adapt their management styles to attract and retain millennials. In our experience, past Baby Boomer managers have been pro-traditional workplace environments (this is what Dolly meant when she was singin’ her song) and not necessarily open to change (coining the term “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”).
So, what do our Gen X colleagues think of us?
Julia Silva Rettig – Director Industrial Brokerage – Tampa
“I love them but why do they think they are such a big deal?” – This quote was edited due to excessive expletives.
Karen Kurta – Sr. Marketing Associate – Orlando
“You all suck! Kidding! I’m finding that a lot of the ‘hype’ I’ve heard over the years about millennials just simply isn’t true. Like any other generation, some work hard and some don’t. The biggest difference I see is the need for constant feedback. That’s something previous generations just didn’t do, so it comes off as being needy. It’s just a product of the instant gratification culture they were brought up in.”
Yup, the Workplace Is Changing #SorryNotSorry
And here’s why…
- Don’t think that installing a beer tap and a ping-pong table in the break room is what it takes to attract millennials: Businesses are configuring spaces to meet what they perceive as “what millennials want.” In offices across the U.S. (and the world), spaces are becoming more collaborative, high-tech, and contain design elements that place the emphasis on a team environment. We hate to break it to you, but we’re looking for much more than that.
- We are looking for a work-life balance, professional development opportunities, a benefits package, and mentorship from our managers: Businesses must now ask themselves: Are we located where millennials want to work? Do we provide the right benefits? Should we change our work-from-home policy? These decisions and more make companies attractive to the millennial workforce.
- We enjoy working on teams: Millennials are changing the design of office spaces. Floor plans are becoming open fostering a team environment, efficient communication (we like talking to each other), and an engaging work culture. Cushman & Wakefield is an example of a company that has embraced the millennial by redesigning workspaces.
Next time on the M.O.M Blog…
We’ll discuss the cause and effect of millennial debt
“Millennials want to live in their parent’s basement for the rest of their lives.”
“Millennials have no financial responsibility.”
Actually… these myths have some truth to them. Millennials have taken on more student loan debt than any other generation.
From the Writers: (In the Style of Dolly Parton)
Michelle: Tumble outta bed start checking my emails. Stop by the Starbucks for my overpriced coffee. The blood starts pumping as I go up the elevator cause I’ve got five projects all due “right now.” Asking myself, how do people work a 9 to 5? How do they fit all the work in?
Kat: Workin’ all day long, that’s the only way to make a livin’. Barely gettin’ by without my phone in the kitchen. I’m always online, trying to make all the deadlines. It’s enough to drive you crazy, if your internet goes offline. 9 to 5 is dead with my generation. You would think that I would preserve it, but I want the next promotion. Want to move ahead, but these projects never stop come. I swear sometimes then man is out to get me mmmmmmm.