Out With the Old, and In With the New

Times have changed, it doesn’t matter which end of the generational spectrum you represent. The seismic shift occurring in today’s workforce is complicated to say the least. Our generation of young individuals, dubbed the “millennials” have no doubt faced more scrutiny than any other generation before us. We have gained the reputation that we are lazy, unfocused, and unmotivated couch potatoes that sit and watch Netflix all day long. However, this is not the case. According to an article published by CIO regarding this topic, by the year 2020, over 46% of the U.S. workforce will be made up of millennials. As more and more companies are understanding this reality, the have slowly begun to adapt their leadership styles in order to accompanyStudents internet computer addiction sitting bench the future leaders of
the business world. Because 2016 is just getting underway and it will be another few years until the millennial generation becomes the workforce majority, it is up to us to change our current reputation and challenge the older generation’s perspective on millennials as a whole. Fortunately there are many ways for our generation to accomplish this feat.

While it may be true that we a millennials don’t quite fit into the professional landscape that exists today, that is not necessarily a negative thing. Of course we care about the bottom lines of the companies that we work for, but that’s not all. Most of the young people making up this generation actually care about a lot more than just money. The idea of “people, planet, and profits” is the bottom line for the millennial generation. By forming a triple bottom line, we are focused not only on the money we can generate, but also the good we can generate to those around us, and the world we live on. We have voiced these outlooks to the individuals of older generations and have made major headway into getting the practices we as millennials care about put into action.

A survey conducted by Bentley University revealed that 95% of millennials said a company’s ethics are very important to them, including 22% who cared the most about a company’s policies toward the environment. This focus on the environment has pressured many companies to amend their existing programs in favor of stronger sustainability policies and practices. In addition to the environment, we’ve also seen leaders embrace a stronger commitment to diversity, flexibility, and work-life balance. These are all significant and constructive changes that have been influenced by the millennial workforce to prove that we are not what we are pointed out to be by the generations before us. 

As we go on changing the environment of today’s professional sphere, there are also some important rules for us to follow as well which will make the transition for us millennials a lot smoother. Luckily for us, Business Insider has compiled a list of 14 different rules for us to follow and really use to our advantage. One of their tips for our generation is to make sure we can develop the “soft skills” needed by today’s competitive job markets. This means that not only do we need to be proficient at all the technical “hard skills” which we learn in our college classes, but also leadership, organizational, teamwork, listening, and coaching skills we’ll use in our jobs on a daily basis.

It is our responsibility to start pulling our weight in keeping the world turning. Join me in making the needed changes for the good of the people around us, the planet we live on, and the businesses we will eventually lead.

Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we’ve ever known.

– Ronald Reagan


6 thoughts on “Out With the Old, and In With the New

  1. Curran,

    I think in some way that millennials are receiving a bad reputation and all these stereotypes because of all the pressure that is on us for the future. I really like how you talked about ethics and brought that into the conversation. With everything going on in the business world today with unethical business decisions, ethics is a huge topic that needs to be brought up with us millennials. The triple bottom line, people, profit, and planet is something that needs to be brought up and be considered in all business decisions. With the stat you said about 46% of millennials being in the workforce by 2020, the sooner that ethics are taught to people, the earlier ethics won’t be as big of a problem hopefully. It really is our time to start pulling our own weight in the world and show that with all our skills and education, we can beat all these stereotypes and make this world a better place.

  2. Curran,

    I appreciate the comment about how much pressure there is on our generation in the future to succeed and keep living the same way our parents and older generations live. I like the fact that you acknowledge that our generation is not like others in the slightest bit because of our technology, and the environment we live in, i like that comment a lot because i wrote about that subject as well.

  3. Curran,
    I agree that there is a lot of pressure on our generation, but I am not very worried about us performing above expectations as we have all the necessary tools (and then some) at our disposal. As we enter the workforce it will be important that we can maintain a good social balance with our “hard: technical skills on the job. I’m excited to see what we can do in our careers, and I think the results are going to blow other generations away.

  4. I love the quote from Reagan at the end of your piece. It is extremely accurate of how we build upon the successes of our predecessors and our the generations below us will do the same. Your point about the triple-bottom line a great point that many millennials strive to achieve. We want our world and society to continue to advance and develop. Despite assumptions, we are not as complacent as the generations before us believe we are. We want to hit the ground running and carry the developmental momentum from prior generations. Our reputation is in our hands and will be able to exceed expectations. Awesome post.

  5. Curran- Thanks for a thoughtful post. I truly agree with every point that you presented, specifically your comment about how us “not fitting in” may not be such a bad thing. For a very long time now things in the world have been drastically changing and I think that falls into the business world too. Just because we have new ideas or new ways of doing things does not mean that we are unable to be articulate or be knowledgeable about real world situations. I think we can only bring a new outlook to what is coming!

  6. I am super in love with the part that you explained that we don’t just care about the money part. We also care about the good we can create and give out to the people we surround ourselves with. I think this is completely true. A lot of us have a passion to do what we love, and yes money is a good thing to have now a days, but also having a job where we can thrive is a great thing as well. By doing these jobs we forget about just the money and put our heart and soul into it. This ultimately generates not just money for ourselves, for benefits for people who use, need, want that products we make, think of, work for, etc.

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