My posts these days are about giving career advice to twenty-somethings, mainly because my daughter is a twenty-something. She is a card-carrying member of the millennial generation. According to the Pew Research Center (click the image below to read their report), my daughter and the other 77 million people in this age group share the following characteristics:
They use technology differently. They use their cell phones as computers and their computers like televisions. Social networking isn’t something they do, it’s a part of who they are. The live on-line and connected to their friends and family. Their cell phones are an appendage and always close by.
They value education. Millennials are on track to become the most-educated generation in our nation’s history. They are choosing college over military service. College applications the last few years have skyrocketed and applicants faced stiff competition from their peers.
They are optimistic about their economic futures. Even though they are suffering in the recession and have one of the highest unemployment rates in decades for their age group, they believe they will eventually meet their long-term financial goals.
They value their relationships with their parents. They don’t mind having to live with their parents, because they get along well with them. They are also old-fashioned in how they think about parenthood and marriage, even though they were more likely to have been raised in single-parent households and have children out of wedlock.
They are more tolerant of diversity. They were raised in a multi-cultural world and tend not to think of others as being black or white or straight or gay. They don’t like to put labels on themselves or others. They are the only generation that favors the legalization of gay marriage.
They see their bodies as a canvas, and tattoos and body-piercings are how they paint. Millennials are more likely to have a tattoo, and if they have a tattoo, they are more likely to have more than one. They are also more likely to have a body piecing in a place other than an ear lobe, particularly among their women.
Their attitudes and behaviors toward work are not gender-based. Males and females of this generation want the same thing. There is not a huge disparity in how men and women think about their careers and what they want to get out of life. In fact, millennial women are now more likely than to have a college degree than millennial men.
These characteristics impact twenty-somethings’ views about how they work, where they work, who they work for, and what they want out of life. They are important things to keep in mind if you want to provide them advice they can use and will value.