Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked: What advantages do millennials have in today’s workplace? Here is one of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread.
1. We get technology.
Generally speaking, we tend to understand how to use and incorporate technology into the workplace. Unlike our forebearers who were immigrants into the digital age, we were born into this world that seems to spin at incalculably fast speeds and we know not only how to live in it, but how to thrive in it.
2. We’re incredibly efficient at multitasking.
As I write this, I’m listening to music, answering text messages, have several browser windows open, and am juggling about four completely unrelated ideas in my head. Every few seconds or minutes, I’m shuffling through these various windows as I look for pertinent material to this post. I’m listening to the above video as I write to make sure that it’s relevant in its entirety.
We’re the most educated generation in the history of humanity.
Unfortunately, it’s a bit more difficult to measure this phenomena outside of the United States. Source material on the internet that concerns other geographical locations and higher educational trends is limited.
4. We’re more egalitarian than previous generations.
Millennials are more concerned with issues of social justice than their predecessors and this is an advantage in the workplace because these values embrace diversity. We’re more likely to be completely okay with a team comprised of multiple cultural and ethnic backgrounds. We grew up in an integrated, American society. Concepts like segregation are foreign to us. We read about them during our schooling, but it’s almost unfathomable that these antiquated social practices were, at one time, a reality. We’re much less of liability for places of employment that fear litigation in regard to discriminatory practices. Most of us believe in a future in which cultural differences are celebrated and encouraged to come together under the flag of one cause: The betterment of humanity in its entirety and our planet.
5. We’re not satisfied with stagnation.
The old dream of getting a job, working it into retirement, and leaving a legacy of rather mediocre accomplishments is over. That’s no longer enough. We have high ambitions and we’re actively working toward realizing them. In this regard, the world is not ready for us. Many of us, to one extent or another, feel as if we’re trapped in the cage of the old ways. We’re not only concerned with our own progress, but also with the progress of our employers. If they’re not going anywhere then neither are we. It’s in our best interests to propel ourselves and our places of employment forward.
6. We’re not looking for comfort. We’re looking for a challenge.
There’s nothing more reprehensible to me than a future filled with an exuberant salary and total boredom. We refuse to accept a life of comfort in exchange for monotony. There’s something that’s more important to millennials than money and that something is achievement and recognition. We don’t want to maintain problems. We want to solve them.
7. We’re not ‘Yes Men’ or ‘Yes Women’.
We have ideas and we’re going to tell you about them. Some of them are impractical and idealistic, but, on occasion, we have breakthroughs and these breakthroughs are extremely advantageous to employers who might be struggling to figure out how to keep moving forward. Some employers aren’t particularly fond of this millennial quality. I’ve encountered those types before. Of course, they’re all still where they were when I left them and that’s where they’ll remain. Because we are so egalitarian in nature, we’re not concerned with the fact that you’re a high-level corporate executive. That title doesn’t mean anything. If we have ideas, we’ll tell you about them. If you’re particularly set in your ways and closed to any sort of constructive criticism, you won’t like us very much, but that doesn’t change the fact that we’re right sometimes.
Unfortunately, these advantages often prove to be disadvantageous to our success. In practice, we’re viewed by many as flighty, whiny, overly idealistic, easily bored, lazy, and entitled. These qualities couldn’t be further from the truth. All of this criticism usually revolves around one particularly antiquated and dearly held principle. It goes something like this: “Accept your life circumstances and understand that not everyone in this world can be successful. Accept that people rarely realize their dreams.”
Well, we don’t believe in a world like that and we’re actively working to change the world so we can be happy in it. This endeavor is possible and we will eventually succeed.