Millennials: Entitled or Evolved?

I appreciate Millennials for pioneering a new work environment and embracing how the world has evolved.

In my experience managing, being managed by, counseling, coaching, training and parenting Millennials, here are my own generalizations about this generation:

·     They are unabashedly open to the differences in themselves and others.

·     They don’t settle for a job; they require their work have meaning and impact.

·     They expect proportional compensation to their time and talent.

·     They care about people, the environment, and the future.

·     They take advantage of opportunities to focus on self-actualization.

·     They view professional development as a natural part of their career.

·     They are more concerned about being good rather than being seen as good.

·     They are collaborative rather than competitive.

·     They are opportunists—but not necessarily at the expense of others.

As I see it, Millennials are simply taking advantage of the opportunities other generations have made available to them. Each new generation has the opportunity to do more because they have more. Each generation is doing more – it’s just that the more differs from the previous generation’s more.

So why is this generation labeled entitled when they’re simply doing as they’ve been encouraged to do?

A good example of how the needs of each generation has evolved is in what my friend Adam said to his father about his own children:

“Dad, just because you had to walk to school uphill, both ways, doesn’t mean my kids are lazy for taking the bus.”

Mark Snow, VP Program Development at Assessments 24×7 points out that Millennials are far from lazy, they are opportunists – just as every generation has been. Each has taken advantage of the opportunities the generation before made available, as they should.

In short, Mark uses Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to highlight the focus for each generation:

– The Silent generation sought the basic physiological needs such as food.

– The Boomers sought security and love.

– The Gen Xers sought influence and esteem.

– Now, because they have food, security, love, influence, confidence and esteem – the Millennials have the opportunity to focus on deeper connection, meaning, and self-actualization.

So, does this mean Millennials are entitled or evolved?

I say we celebrate evolving from foraging for food and water to foraging to quench our passion. Let’s celebrate the courage and tenacity of previous generations and encourage up and coming generations to take advantage of feeling safe and loved, confident and capable.

To quote Mark Snow, “…[Millennials] don’t need to be figured out. They need to be given the keys.”

I encourage you to read his full article on LinkedIn: Millennials: I’m p sure they’re ready for the big stage, TBH. But are we?

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Emily Bass inspires great leadership by seeing the potential in others and helping them move forward among the challenges of the work place and in learning environments. She is currently fulfilling her passion to make the dreams of others come true though her Adventure Leadership Summit, Assessment-based Executive Coaching and Essential Skills Workshops.

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