Digitally Savvy, Tenacious Millennials in the Workforce

By Maria Gamb

Growing up during the era of mass school shootings and terrorist attacks, Millennials (born 1982–2004) learned that they should enjoy today because who knows what will happen? Early Millennials left adolescence and college before the Great Recession hit, but the later part of the generation found their college tuitions and family finances compromised. This generation has experienced economic highs and lows unlike any other generation since the Great Depression. Despite this, they look toward the future and want to contribute and find meaning in just about everything they do. In their own way, they are truth seekers, trying to understand the why and how of everything. Digitally connected and technologically savvy, they have access to the world like no generation before them.

Here’s a snapshot of the events and people who influenced Millennials:

  • Events shaping their world: Columbine, 9/11, ISIS, terror attacks, the first black president, the Great Recession, and race riots.
  • Famous figures: Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, Miley Cyrus, Prince William, Justin Bieber.
  • Emerging technology: Facebook, Twitter, Napster, Snapchat, Tinder, smartphones, a fully integrated digital existence.
  • What they learned to value: Transparency, efficiency over long hours, skepticism of leaders, pragmatism, independence, entrepreneurship, fun, diversity.
  • Prevailing attributes: Self-sufficient, results driven, unimpressed with authority, willing to take on responsibility, loyal to manager, an antiestablishment mentality.
  • Work motto: “Work to live.” Like the GenXers, Millennials prefer to work to create a lifestyle. If they’re given the choice of a work promotion or maintaining a desired lifestyle, lifestyle usually wins.