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Don’t believe the hype when it comes to Millenials
October 4, 2011, 10:56 pm
Filed under: Futures, Futurists, Gen M, Gen Research | Tags: , , ,

I was researching the ideas or dare I say ‘hype’ surrounding the Millenial generation for a project and thought I would post some of the research resources here in case anyone was desperately excited about doing the same. Enjoy people.

The ‘Trophy Kids’ go to work

Ron Alsop writes for WSJ and this is his story

When Gretchen Neels, a Boston-based consultant, was coaching a group of college students for job interviews, she asked them how they believe employers view them. She gave them a clue, telling them that the word she was looking for begins with the letter “e.” One young man shouted out, “excellent.” Other students chimed in with “enthusiastic” and “energetic.” Not even close. The correct answer, she said, is “entitled.” “Huh?” the students responded, surprised and even hurt to think that managers are offended by their highfalutin opinions of themselves.

If there is one overriding perception of the millennial generation, it’s that these young people have great — and sometimes outlandish — expectations. Employers realize the millennials are their future work force, but they are concerned about this generation’s desire to shape their jobs to fit their lives rather than adapt their lives to the workplace.

Although members of other generations were considered somewhat spoiled in their youth, millennials feel an unusually strong sense of entitlement. Older adults criticize the high-maintenance rookies for demanding too much too soon. “They want to be CEO tomorrow,” is a common refrain from corporate recruiters.More than 85% of hiring managers and human-resource executives said they feel that millennials have a stronger sense of entitlement than older workers, according to a survey by CareerBuilder.com. The generation’s greatest expectations: higher pay (74% of respondents); flexible work schedules (61%); a promotion within a year (56%); and more vacation or personal time (50%).”They really do seem to want everything, and I can’t decide if it’s an inability or an unwillingness to make trade-offs,” says Derrick Bolton, assistant dean and M.B.A. admissions director at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. “They want to be CEO, for example, but they say they don’t want to give up time with their families.”

Millennials, of course, will have to temper their expectations as they seek employment during this deep economic slump. But their sense of entitlement is an ingrained trait that will likely resurface in a stronger job market. Some research studies indicate that the millennial generation’s great expectations stem from feelings of superiority. Michigan State University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute and MonsterTrak, an online careers site, conducted a research study of 18- to 28-year-olds and found that nearly half had moderate to high superiority beliefs about themselves. The superiority factor was measured by responses to such statements as “I deserve favors from others” and “I know that I have more natural talents than most.”

You can read the rest here at the Wall Street Journal

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Are Millennials the First Post-Consumer Generation?

Posted by James Lee on Mon, 09/12/2011 – 10:47am @ World Future Society
Twenty years ago, Generation X graduated during what was a comparatively soft recession in the early 1990′s. The so-called Thirteenth Generation was branded by the media as being “cynical, directionless, and apathetic.” Subversive films such as Clerks, Reality Bites, and Slacker did nothing to harm that reputation.

In comparison, the Millennials are making members of Generation X look like career-obsessed workaholics.

The Millennial generation faces the dual challenge of a weak labor market combined with competitive (and rising) educational standards. It’s been over fifty years since so many young people in America were out of work. A recent study shows that one out of every three Americans between 18 and 29 are either choosing not to work or are looking for a paying job, but cannot find one. There is a new twist to the contemporary job search – Millennials are often looking for the right opportunity and will not always accept an offer that does not fit their interests. Neil Howe, author of several books on generational patterns, says that Millennials are “more likely to take an unpaid internship, classes, or do free consulting – something that advances their goals.”

The American Dream of home-ownership and 2.5 kids is beginning to look like a bum deal. Why have equity in a sinking asset? In such an uncertain world, does having children even make sense? Census data shows that people are getting married later in life – if at all.

To get a sense of where things are going, it is useful to look at the average Millennial. Every bit of personal history – photos, music, favorite movies, books, can be kept on a laptop. The new status is freedom, mobility, and fun. The key to attacting Millennial employees is to give them work that is engaging and the ability to connect with other interesting people. Financial compensation is sometimes not as important as freedom to choose when, where, and how work gets done.

Why can it be so hard to “motivate” this generation financially?

Here is a clue: a survey by the Pew Foundation reveals that one in eight Americans aged 22-29 have “boomeranged” back to living with their parents after living on their own. Many others are sharing living spaces with their peers to save money. Car ownership is actually declining somewhat – in favor of public transportation or services such as ZipCar.

It appears that the Millennials have been the first generation to adjust their long-term economic expectations. They have figured out that “access” often makes more sense then “ownership”, particularly since “ownership” often translates into “debt”.

The Millennials aren’t unmotivated — they simply haven’t bought into the old economic system.

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The evidence behind the work attitudes of Millenials

A research ditty proudly brought to you by Kenexa

A fair amount of sensationalistic journalism has heralded the emergence of the millennials in the workforce, setting expectations that they expect preferential treatment and are apt to be difficult to manage. A whitepaper by Kenexa (an HR firm)  demonstrates quite the opposite. White paper co-author, Rena Rasch Ph.D. of the Kenexa High Performance Institute, shared, “Our research indicates the millennials often stand on common ground with their older counterparts. In some key areas, the research suggests that the millennials may even turn out to better employees and – eventually – better employers than their predecessors.” Tracking more than 25 years of opinions through its annual WorkTrends™ study, an international survey that in 2011 included more than 30,000 people across the working-age spectrum in 28 of the world’s most powerful economies (including Canada, China, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, the U.K. and the United States), KHPI uncovered that 60% of millennials are extremely satisfied with their employers.  Even more – 63 percent – report that they have opportunities for growth and development at their companies.  In contrast, baby boomers cite their overall satisfaction levels at 54 percent and only 49 percent when it comes to growth opportunities.  Generation X tracks similarly at 54 percent and 51 percent, respectively.

KHPI Research Manager Rasch commented, “The differences between millennials and their older counterparts are shockingly slight. HR professionals and managers should take heart – there are huge opportunities to be capitalized on when it comes to leveraging the positive outlooks of millennials.”

A complimentary copy of KHPI’s findings on the millennial workforce can be downloaded here.

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The Millenials. Confident. Connected and open to change.

You are reading another Pew Internet study.

Generations, like people, have personalities, and Millennials — the American teens and twenty-somethings who are making the passage into adulthood at the start of a new millennium — have begun to forge theirs: confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and open to change. They are more ethnically and racially diverse than older adults. They’re less religious, less likely to have served in the military, and are on track to become the most educated generation in American history. Their entry into careers and first jobs has been badly set back by the Great Recession, but they are more upbeat than their elders about their own economic futures as well as about the overall state of the nation. They embrace multiple modes of self-expression. Three-quarters have created a profile on a social networking site. One-in-five have posted a video of themselves online. Nearly four-in-ten have a tattoo (and for most who do, one is not enough: about half of those with tattoos have two to five and 18% have six or more). Nearly one-in-four have a piercing in some place other than an earlobe — about six times the share of older adults who’ve done this. But their look-at-me tendencies are not without limits. Most Millennials have placed privacy boundaries on their social media profiles. And 70% say their tattoos are hidden beneath clothing.

Like all Pew Internet studies, this one has lots of pages and is full of exciting data and delicious statistics. For anyone who loves a good research read, down the ditty here > millennials-confident-connected-open-to-change. Sorted.

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