By definition, millennial refers to individuals born between 1981 and 1997. While they directly follow the Generation X and Baby Boomers, the generational conflict is profound, resulting in a disconnected relationship between the millennials and their predecessors. However, there are less spoken truths about the strengths of this notorious generation.
Tech savvy, not lazy
Aside from being constantly accused as lazy, millennials are always questioned as to what they can possibly contribute to the world. “Millennials have it easy” is a phrase that best sums up how the older generation perceives these individuals, even labeling them as self-absorbed, entitled, and selfish narcissists.
But what people would usually overlook is that while the older generations had to overcome the challenge of a less advanced technology back in the day, this generation also has its fair share of hurdles. The latter may be more educated but they are saddled with the declining employment rates and skyrocketing prices of basic commodities. Nevertheless, this generation learned to use technology to its advantage because, whether we admit it or not, millennials are known for their independence and self-reliance. In fact, they are one of the most successful generations when it comes to business and entrepreneurship.
The social media world plays well with their creativity - as working from home is becoming a trend, so is earning through social media platforms. In an article published in TechCrunch, Tom Goodwin says “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate.”
Millennials are finding ways to get by. They are a game-changer to some extent given that they can face the unpredictability with their resourcefulness. Just as with the older generation, these young individuals also know how to make do of what they have.
Priorities are different
Marriages have plummeted, college attainment has risen and careers have taken a sharp turn. Millennials are putting their careers before marriage. The most recent study shows that in 2015, marriages in the last decade dropped by 20 percent in the Philippines alone. The median age at marriage for brides and grooms are 26 and 28. This means that at their prime, millennials are investing more of their time bettering themselves as individuals. This is more evident in recent research claiming that this generation is on track for being the most educated thus far.
A recent survey by Deloitte states that 70 percent of millennials are inclined to drift past the career paths of their predecessors. Studies have shown that at least one in five millennial would most likely venture to a project or business they are more passionate about. In another survey by Deloitte, result shows that millennials constantly give positive responses towards the impact of business, with 76 percent of the participants see business as a force of a positive social impact. Thus, this challenges the monopoly of large established corporations and companies over the market, with more and more startups joining the competition.
The optimism in this entrepreneurial spirit may be beneficial as nobody ever flourishes in decaying soil. We can expect to be harvesting positive results just as long as those who are involved sow positive seeds.
The value of self-care
As depression in the millennial workforce spikes, so is their ways of coping. This is why self-care ranks high in the list of priorities. A survey in 2016 showed that 80 percent of its participants traveled for leisure at least once in a year. The survey, first published in the Boston Globe, reports that an average millennial took 32 percent more vacations than a typical Gen Xer and 44 percent more compared to his Baby Boomer counterpart. In another survey by Rappler, 49.8 percent of millennials save for their travel funds while 11.3 percent set aside a portion of their paycheck to save up for business.
The results indicate that millennials care more about their well-being. They believe that through self-care, they would be able to strike a perfect balance between work and rest and ultimately become healthier and highly functioning individuals.
Acceptance in all forms
Millennials embrace openness and they also have a strong sense of community. For example, 75 percent of millennials support gay marriage. In a book written by Strauss & Howe called Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation, millennials are defined as a civic-minded generation who leans towards the rejection of certain attitudes and beliefs of the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and even the silent generation.
These generations fail to recognize that millennials are one of, if not the most accepting generation to date. They are diverse and progressive, they are open-minded individuals. Equality has been supported in all its forms: it sees no color, no race, no wrong kind of love. This era witnessed its youth pushed the envelope for people who have always been around and nearly tolerated but have never been regarded as how they are now – equals.
This equality creates more opportunities for those who were once limited by discrimination. This opens the market to more active participants, consequently increasing the chances of getting the best talents through objective and unbiased measures. Millennials are not only capable of change, they are capable of acceptance.
But of course, that’s not to say that millennials are perfect. They have their fair share of flaws and they should also learn how to respond in a more positive way to criticisms. Here are a few tips that could apply not just to millennials but to everyone so we can all hit the reset button and start the New Year right.
Avoid social media abuse
It’s easy to hide behind your smartphone. To some extent, we’ve all said something online and got away with it. Make an effort to always be responsible for whatever you say online because we never know how we are affecting the people we reach.
If you’re only doing it for the gram, you need to reconnect with reality and start doing it for yourself. Your self-esteem should never rely on the number of likes, let alone build an unrealistic version of ourselves to boost our confidence. While it’s true that likes and hearts will give you a quick boost, social media can derail our personal interactions. When you become disconnected in person, you can also become disconnected with your true self.
Spend quality time with friends and family
It’s high time to literally put down your phone and spend more quality time with people who matter. Have a bonding session with your loved ones without checking your gadgets. Not only will it leave you with a stronger sense of connectedness and belongingness, it could also lessen the negative impact of social media on our self-esteem.
Make room for reflection and quiet meditation
Technology and social media bombard us with constant stimuli, making those dependent on their gadgets in constant craving for instant gratification. Perhaps this could also be a trigger for depression given that there is less time to genuinely focus on what matters most. Many studies show the myriad of benefits we could reap from reflection and meditation. Make it a habit to be alone with yourself every once in a while.