Millennials at Work: How Do They Fare in the Working World

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According to a CNN report, ‘millennials’ are defined as individuals born between 1981 to1996, ageing from 24 to 39 years old today. They represent a quarter of Singapore’s population and have a place in almost every organisation. Whilst the previous generations worked hard to survive financially, the millennials of today are backed by the stability of their parents’ provisions and are focussing on pursuing a career that incentivises with more than just money. It is a common misconception worldwide that millennials are disloyal, impatient, materialistic and over-confident. This was further reiterated in the nationwide survey conducted in CNA Insider’s documentary: Regardless of Generation. While this can be disheartening to hear, it is important that millennials recognise their value and worth. Once they are confident in what they have to offer, they are quicker to lend a hand in an area they know best. Moving beyond popular opinions, let us take a closer look realistically at how millennials fare in the working world and how their unique qualities can be a potential asset for an organisation.

Millennials Are Digitally-Savvy

When it comes to learning the latest features on Instagram or finding the best app to use in your next presentation, digitally-savvy millennials are your ‘first responders’, if you will. After- all, they are the first generation to spend a bulk of their developmental years browsing the internet and smart gadgets for extended periods of time. How can you use this to benefit your organisation? If this world pandemic has taught us anything, it is that technology is crucial for a business to survive. By tapping on your human resources (which includes manpower), competent millennials aid as online guides for an organisation to scale heights in the technology department. Whether it is coming up with a Kahoot quiz to make your next presentation more interactive during this ‘Work From Home’ (WFH) period or building an online social presence for your organisation, your company will be in good hands. Millennials may be called overconfident but many of them certainly know what they are doing and might be carrying the solution to your online problems.

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Millennials Are Change Seekers

People often view millennials’ need for change as ‘disloyalty’. However, they are wired to constantly strive to better themselves and expand their skill set. This includes the desire to actively improve and climb within an organisation. IBM’s Institute for Business Value’s report titled “Myths, Exaggerations and Uncomfortable Truths: The Real Story Behind Millennials in the Workplace”, showed that 20 percent of millennials’ long term goal is to be an expert in their field, five percent more than baby boomers. Most millennials job hop if they feel their organisation no longer provides them with opportunities to grow. By feeling valued for their efforts to expand a business and receiving the promotion they deserve, a millennial is more likely to stay interested. Hence, if you are a working millennial feeling under-challenged, be bold and request to be sent for workshops to further refine skills that will provide your organisation with a competitive edge whilst feeding your desire for professional growth. It’s a win-win for both!

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Millennials Are Self-Starters

Another beauty of millennials is their ability to reinvent a cookie-cutter method of doing things and value-add to an existing method. Why? Because they do not settle for just ‘good’, when there is an opportunity to be great. Most millennials are also competitive and know not to follow the status quo in order to thrive. They are constantly working their creative juices to churn out unconventional ideas. The Essence of Enterprise 2017 re- port revealed that 49 percent of Singaporean millennial entrepreneurs do not come from family businesses and only 8 percent stated that their wealth came from inheritance or family wealth. Compared to international millennials, Singaporean millennials are far more self-reliant. Hence, if you are a working millennial, do not hesitate to share unconventional ideas. You might just come up with the next big idea to get 10 steps ahead of your competitors. In Buro’s article on Singapore’s creative millennials moving overseas, three millennials who are searching for overseas opportunities cited that working overseas is more desirable as it often promises a more creative work environment and experience. One shared in the article that her work experience in Melbourne is “nurturing and challenging”, whereas, in Singapore, she often struggled to voice her opinions. . Another found that there was a lack of creative freedom in Singapore. This is telling of millennials’ desire to be in an environment that allows them to shine creatively, ditching the traditional methods when they become outdated.

It is no secret that the future working population will be infiltrat- ed by masses of millennials. At the end of the day, millennials or not, should always sit down with your supervisors to discuss your current job satisfaction and how the organisation can meet your goals, that will encourage you to stay in the company and fulfill your needs. Setting one to one conversations with your managers and discussing opportunities to meet your goals that will benefit your organisation. Attend workshops and request for overseas secondments. Employees with a growth mindset should crave and seek experiences to better themselves.

Millennials are not who we presume them to be and have a lot more to bring to the table when given a chance. They have grit, know their goals and will do what it takes to achieve it. If your organisation does not take care of you, someone else will. They can count that you will bloom where you are planted.

References:
https://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/06/us/baby-boomer-generation- fast-facts/index.html
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/how-singapore- sees-its-millennials-regardless-of-generation-gap-12003764
https://www.synthesio.com/blog/top-insights-singapore-millennials/
https://www.buro247.sg/culture/insiders/singapores-creative- millennials-are-moving-overseas-for-a-more-fulfilling-life-heres-why.html
https://www.about.hsbc.com.sg/news-and-media/singaporean-millennial-business-owners-have-courage-and-heart
https://hbr.org/2016/04/what-do-millennials-really-want-at-work