According to the United States Census Bureau, Millennials, people born between 1982 and 2000, are the largest generation America has ever seen, exceeding over 83.1 million individuals. They are also the most connected generation in history.
Like Generation X before them, and Baby Boomers before Gen X’ers, Millennials, aka Generation Y, are dramatically altering the American way of life, including in the business arena. The first thing that comes to mind for many people when they hear the word “Millennials” is most likely that this generation is tech-savvy, having been raised like no other generation before them with the Internet and cell phones, along with a host of other technologically advanced gadgetry.
This generation’s tech-savviness, along with the other two following factors, are just some ways Millennials, who comprise approximately 25% of the American workforce, are reshaping the business landscape.
Most Millennials were weaned on technology, and can easily adapt to its ever-changing nature. They also expect to use technology in all aspects of their lives, including at work. Furthermore, Millennials bring their technological know-how to the workplace. In fact, a large number of Millennials either launch their own startups, where they can work on their own terms, or are drawn to them because they offer more flexibility.
One of the hallmarks of Millennials in regards to their chosen career path is a willingness to eschew more traditional, rigid workplaces in favor of a flexible work environment. This is not a clock-punching generation.
Millennials have a more updated career vision, and have largely thrown out the 9 to 5 playbook. A vast number of them expect to be able to work, at least occasionally, from a coffee shop or the comfort of home, which they don’t see as an issue due to the fact that Millennials usually remain quite accessible via smartphones and/or laptop computers.
Millennials have become a powerful force in the small business world. In fact, according to a PayScale Gen Y In the Workplace report, Millennials prefer to work for businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and 47% of them are employed by small businesses.
Their preference for small business allows Millennials more leeway in creating their own framework for employment, which is not as accepted in, for example, a traditional Fortune 500 company.
Millennials also are attracted to small businesses as they are typically synonymous with giving. In fact, according to Mind the Gaps: The 2015 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 75% of millennials believe businesses are too fixated on their own agendas and not focused enough on helping to improve society.
Due to the fact that Millennials will comprise approximately 50% of the global workforce by 2020, and 75% by 2025, the business world simply cannot ignore this generation and its preferred way of life. Fortunately, despite their seemingly relaxed attitude concerning work, Millennials are also averse to failure, and are known to face and overcome obstacles with trademark resiliency.
This article has been edited and condensed.
As a native Californian with an Italian background and years of experience in journalism and psychology, Dale Myers brings his diverse background to the NALA team as Head Writer. The NALA offers small and medium-sized businesses effective ways to reach customers through new media. As a single-agency source, the NALA helps businesses flourish in their local community. The NALA’s mission is to promote a business’ relevant and newsworthy events and achievements, both online and through traditional media. Connect with @thenala on Twitter.