Hire me, I’m a millennial: What being a millennial means in business today

Photo credit: Peter Bernik / Shutterstock.com
Photo credit: Peter Bernik / Shutterstock.com

If you walk into your local coffee shop, you’re bound to find a twenty-something-year-old person, plugged into their phone, more than likely tweeting away about what they’re doing at that exact moment, or they’re behind the counter with a poker face dreading to take your order. The fascination of “me” has skyrocketed to a new level in this generation researchers like to label as “generation me”, “X-generation,” or the popular term, “millennials.” The word “millennial” can be defined as a person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000: a generation year. Phrases such as “generation me” have earned that title due to the perceived notion that this generation is self-entitled, unimpressed, and unmotivated. In fact, John Lettieri, the co­-founder of the Economic Innovation Group, stated that, “Millennials are on track to be the least entrepreneurial generation in recent history.” On the contrary, millennials are seen as the driving force for what’s to come in business. Young people are considered ideal for new ideas and creations, but how well does business really do in the hands of millennials?

A study from a Wall Street Journal analysis of Federal Reserve data, explains that the share of people under 30 who own a business has fallen by 65 percent since the 1980s. Studies such as Wall Street Journal, analyze what it’s like to be young and business-savvy, and how well do those two factors work. You have your mid-20’s bosses that have beat the odds of this generation stigma like William Zhou, co-founder and CEO of Chalk.com, AJ Cihla, CEO and founder of a top mobile app, Colatrisor, or Sebastian Martinez who’s only seven but is the CEO of “Are You Kidding” Sock Company. Yet, it’s no secret that the outlook of a millennial’s mindset has altered the operation of businesses. Editor-at-large, Leigh Buchanon, wrote in Meet the Millennials, “One of the characteristics of millennials, besides the fact that they are masters of digital communication, is that they are primed to do well by doing well. Almost 70 percent say that giving back and being civically engaged are their highest priorities.” Businesses now have to switch over from their standard way of operating to your more creative, digital way in order to flourish. We now see a shift in not only how businesses run, but how they thrive.

Millennials are your tech-savvy, word-savvy type of generation that has created multi-million dollar platforms just based off of what they say. We now see businesses such as Geico, all the way to Chipotle switch up their marketing in order to reach a bigger audience… an audience full of not easily impressed, young adults. Businesses that run on a 9-5 flow are seeing a shift in expectations due to millennials not confirming their employees. Businesses are changing their workplace and expanding their dollar. A survey from Manta, an online community dedicated to small business, 76 percent of the millennial entrepreneurs sampled in the first half of 2014 say their businesses have had a successful year so far. A 19-30 year old is more than likely a recent graduate, unimpressed by a 9-5, ready to make a bang for their buck… and in some major debt. An average college-loan debt is around $26,000 and a post-recession millennial unemployment rate that’s nearly double that of any other age demographic. Many argue that America is a country of entrepreneurs, not employers…which is why most millienlas cringe at the thought of tradition. Though it may seem as if this this “generation Me” is a lost cause to a business that prides itself on traditional hard work and labor, it may be the best business move to not only hire more millennials, but put them in head positions. “1,784 employees from companies across 12 countries and six industries, it found that about the same percentage of Millennials (25%) want to make a positive impact on their organization as Gen Xers (21%) and Baby Boomers (23%),” according to IBM’s Institute for Business Value report on  “Myths, Exaggerations and Uncomfortable Truths: The Real Story Behind Millennials in the Workplace.” The direction of business often correlates with the direction of its employees, and it’s safe to say that young people are changing the course.

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