Close your eyes and think of the first word that appears when you hear "millennial." Some descriptions include entitled, self-absorbed, independent, and entrepreneurial. According to a May 2015 TIME report, the 53.5 million millennials (aged 18-34) now constitute the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. This is an astonishing reminder for us to recognize the incredible qualities of Gen-Y in the workplace, so let us together discover the top five gifts millennials bring with them to the office!
Fresh Perspectives & Renewed Energy
Millennials have very fresh, unadulterated outlooks on projects, ideas, and on life, in general. This authentic judgment of a situation combined with the diehard optimism characteristic of anyone in their 20's or 30's is infectious and creates a pulsating and productive environment. New ideas are dreamt, fresh solutions are proposed, and meanwhile, everyone enjoys the entire process. Think Google and LinkedIn: these are the quintessential companies driven by millennial energy!
Thirst for Challenges and a Hunger to Grow
There is an intrinsic desire to grow and a hunger to achieve in every millennial, myself included. This hunger motivates us to seek out new challenges with the sole goal of making ourselves better and more qualified for the next big thing. Ours is a generation that is attracted to solving challenges, because maybe the next challenge will turn into the next big opportunity. Last but not least, each and every millennial has a ferocious urge to prove themselves and ultimately to earn credibility in the workplace. Give the analyst on your project more work? Sure he will take it, because he wants to learn. Ask a consultant to make an important client presentation? She would be happy to jump on board because she will grow as a result of it.
Desire to be a Hero and Create a Profound Impact
I am just going to say it! The millennial generation glorifies the idea of a "hero." Maybe because there is greater media coverage on heroes in the 21st century than there's ever been, or maybe because truth be told, it is just fascinating to us to become a hero to someone else, and quite frankly, to have heroes in our personal and professional lives. Whichever it may be, my generation is obsessed with becoming a hero, whether at work in the form of a brilliant boss to many others, or at home, in the form of an outstanding mother to three young children. Millennials are also driven by a need to make a real and tangible difference. We would prefer to be remembered for contributing something substantial and memorable to the world and the workplace, something that stands the test of time even after we are long gone.
Keen Sense of Adaptability
I have noticed this time and time again. Millennials are superbly adaptable and part of the reason is the dizzying amount that my peers, colleagues, and I have already traveled in our lives. I grew up in India, Malaysia, and the United States, in addition to visiting about 20 countries by the age of 22. I can guarantee that others of this generation have similar stories to tell. This exposure to so many diverse cultures early on contributes to an innate comfort adapting to change and an inherent sense of flexibility and a seriously cool attitude when faced with something new. Switch around the presentation five minutes before show time? Sure, ask a millennial, and she will deliver the presentation with poise, confidence, and authority.
Quest for Mentors and Brutally Honest Feedback
Millennials really want to learn from the best of the best. We have a real desire to seek out mentors who will guide us to achieve our goals in the workplace. There is something comforting about getting advice from someone who's been there and done that, a sort of reassurance that comes with experience. Also unique to this generation is the desire to receive brutally honest feedback, and I mean brutally honest. No holds barred. After all, there is no better way to improve than to hear what we're messing up big time on, right? The quest to find the best mentors and to get the most honest feedback keeps us marching in line with our dreams.
The Me Generation, Generation WHY, The Selfie Generation, whatever you'd like to call us, we are here to collaborate with you to create a tangible impact. We have several amazing gifts we would like to bring with us to the office party and we are knocking on the door. Just let us in?
What are the best qualities of the millennial workforce? Shinjini would love to hear your thoughts! Share your comments and perspectives below!
Shinjini Das is a Professional Speaker, Media Personality, and Huffington Post Contributor. She is a highly empowering, engaging, and versatile speaker also fluent in Spanish, who has been invited to speak to groups from 10 to 10,000. Shinjini's advice to gain self-confidence will be featured in Teen Vogue in Fall 2015, and she has been invited to share her advice for new graduates on Job vs. Career on ABC WJLA Let's Talk Live in Washington, D.C. and for go-getters on FOX KABB San Antonio and FOX Sacramento in September 2015. Shinjini was invited as the youngest and only American speaker to empower the modern day woman at the She4She Conference at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. She was interviewed on "A Day in the Life of a Go-Getter Girl" on Sirius XM Radio broadcasted to an audience of 40 Million in the United States and Canada.