How Millennials Will Shape the American Economy
Time Magazine labeled Millennials the “Me Me Me Generation” in 2013, and it was an article that sparked controversy from both younger and older readers. Time called America’s youth “narcissistic, overconfident, entitled and lazy,” but Millennials may turn out to be the most productive generation in our nation’s history.
Millennials are entrepreneurial despite graduating college with burdening debt, working without proper health coverage or being unable to work at all. A study by Bentley University found that only 13 percent of millennials polled wanted to “climb the corporate ladder” and work toward an executive position while a staggering 67 percent said they wanted to start their own business.
It’s no secret that even as our nation’s economy improves, we struggle with innovation and competition with the rest of the world.
Could Millennials be the generation that saves us all? Here are some thoughts to ponder…
Millennials Value Flexibility
The laws that require a 40-hour work week with overtime pay are good for the workforce, but have you ever questioned why those hours fall between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.? Some call millennials lazy and entitled for questioning the 9-to-5, but the truth is they are only challenging the status quo and looking for a better way.
A study from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business found that flexibility in the workplace boosts productivity and encourages creative thinking. And it’s not just employees who benefit from the freedom of flexibility. The ability to set your own hours gives employees the sense of being “always on” work. The Bentley University study found that millennial workers almost always check work email on their smartphones outside of traditional office hours.
Millennials Utilize Technology
The tech sector is one of the fastest growing in the economy, employing nearly four million Americans in 2012, and Millennials are leading the way. No other generation understands technology better than this one, and they know how to use it.
Even jobs outside the tech sector are now heavily reliant on new technology. Everything from cloud call center solutions to social media hubs is created and run by millennials — the only generation with the general know-how to keep up with these fast-paced changes.
Millennials Prefer Personal Communication
The stereotype goes that millennials are too wrapped up in texting and social media to bother with face-to-face communication and relationships, but the statistics say otherwise. Fifty-one percent of millennials polled say they would prefer a face-to-face conversation over text or email in a professional setting, according to a Bentley University survey.
So what does this all say about a generation that will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025? The “Me Me Me” label is terribly misleading. While millennials can be self-centered, they are here to work and are willing to challenge the status quo to see things done in the best way possible. And because they have less interest in climbing the corporate ladder, they will likely change the climate of how business is done over the next 20 to 40 years.