In this guest post, David Willey (pictured below), founder and director of Growth Tank and the Millennials Marketing Conference, shares his views on why marketers need to start looking at Gen Y in a more positive light.
Lazy, entitled, self-absorbed, impatient – all ring true as common adjectives used to describe Millennials. Surrounded with negativity, they are often undermined when compared to the earlier generation of Baby Boomers. Stereotypes to define this age group are often positive representations such as self-sufficient, hard-working and career-minded. With this discernible imbalance, it is increasingly difficult for Millennials to compete with their ambitious and successful elders. However, it turns out Millennials do actually have strengths and assets lacked by the majority of Baby Boomers.
Hard work over holidays
Millennials are an ambitious bunch, so much so that a recent survey stated that Millennials made up 24 per cent of respondents that did not take their entitled holiday leave in 2015, compared to just 17 per cent of Baby Boomers. Many believe their dedication as a team member will prove to their managers that they deserve more responsibility, thus furthering their career. Always looking to be challenged, Millennials thrive in environments where they are constantly learning and able to put those new skills into practice.
Optimistically facing financial adversity
Despite constantly increasing college/university fees, more Millennials are obtaining a higher education compared to Boomers. After witnessing the 2008 economic recession, Millennials’ perspectives were changed as they realised ‘safe’ jobs no longer existed. Adopting an ambitious mindset, they soon worked out that you must work hard to get what you want, even if that means suffering years’ worth of debt to get a good education.
Living in the moment, Millennials still feel confident about their finances, opting to spend their well-earned salaries on travelling, experiences and eating out. Unlike Boomers, they are less likely to jump on the property ladder in their early 20s and waste less time worrying about their financial future.
Millennials take ownership
At a young employment age, many Baby Boomers remained in their first jobs, working their way up the corporate ladder for the ultimate prize – financial security in a high-ranking role. They may have been miserable in that job and felt no satisfaction but that was secondary to financial guarantees.
Millennials, however, see the world differently. Their version of success requires a meaningful role where the work they do makes a difference to them and the world, in some way or another. They want to develop genuine relationships with people, providing a service that enriches their lives. With 61 per cent believing owning a business provides more security than traditional employment, their entrepreneurial mindset is encouraging them to set out and achieve their own goals that they feel passionate about.
As Boomers reach retirement age, it’s time to let the so-called lazy Millennials take over. I think they’ll do a great job.