Lessons of a Millennial Nation
The so-called millennial generation — those born after 1980 and before 2000 — continues to suffuse news headlines. There are actually more millennials (80 million) now than baby boomers. Perhaps continued interest in this age group is driven by hope that it will become an economic force to propel our nation’s humdrum growth. Now reaching adulthood, this demographic is poised to spend greater discretionary income, buy homes, have children, start up successful companies and pour its newfound earnings into the securities markets.
Similar to previous young adult generations, millennials are idealists. Consider that:
- The millennial generation is skeptical of political and religious institutions
- Sixty-four percent of millennials said they would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring
- Record numbers of new college graduates are applying for jobs in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps or Teach for America
- Millennials have indicated a stronger likelihood to buy from companies that support solutions to specific social issues
- This generation has raised health-consciousness to a new level, with 12 percent professing to be “faithful vegetarians”
- According to Pew Research, millennials are the nation’s “most dogged optimists”
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Of Americans, 45% Say They’re Spending More Than Year Ago,” from Gallup, Aug. 15, 2014.]
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Recession Generation: How Millennials are Changing Money Management Forever,” from Forbes, Aug. 18, 2014.]
The world millennials must navigate today is a bit different than that of previous generations during their young adult years. Whereas in the past, national stories came and went via brief coverage on nightly news and daily newspapers, this generation has been exposed to public atrocities both domestic and abroad through 24-hour news cycles — including terrorist attacks; ongoing and unresolved wars; the Great Recession; floods, earthquakes, tornados and tsunamis; mass shootings at Columbine and the University of Virginia — and the list goes on and on.
In addition, “new-age” pitfalls accompany today’s fast-paced technology advancements, such as security breaches of personal, financial and medical data.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Hospital Network Hacked, 4.5 Million Records Stolen,” from CNNMoney, Aug. 18, 2014.]
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “What Hackers Know About You,” from CNNMoney, accessed Aug. 18, 2014.]
There is much to be admired about our new crop of young adults. It is a generation that came of age during the recession, absorbing the ensuing lessons that — if we’re lucky — will last their lifetime. They embody a boundless spirit of possibility, yet do so having already suffered hardships of overwhelming student debt and high levels of unemployment. As parents and grandparents, we can give ourselves a pat on the back for raising an enlightened generation with an enduring spirit — and learn from them as well.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Four Leadership Lessons Millennials Really Need,” from Forbes, Aug. 14, 2014.]
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Work + Home + Community + Self,” from Harvard Business Review, September 2014.]
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