millenialsWe’ve all shaken our heads at the millennial memes depicting 20-somethings who live for selfies, snapchats and smartphones. But, as millennials surpass boomers as America’s largest generation, it’s time we not only accept millennial’s presence in the workforce, but use this tide shift as an opportunity to learn what they’re looking for in their careers and how their habits might provide a fresh perspective.   Pew Research defines millennials as born between 1981 to 1997, which officially makes me a millennial—a fact I’ve only recently embraced. When digging a little deeper into millennial stereotypes, myths and behaviors, I took note of a few of my own habits and things I’ve learned from my millennial colleagues.   Myth: Millennials want a medal for doing their job. Reality: Millennials want to receive real-time feedback from their managers and colleagues to ensure they’re on the right track, or oppositely, how they can improve. Encourage regular feedback discussions to provide millennials the opportunity to stretch and grow before an annual review is scheduled. It’s a win-win for everyone.   Myth: They’re job hoppers. Reality: A key factor in measuring job satisfaction among millennials is the opportunity for advancement, but they’re not seeking undeserved promotions in exchange for loyalty. Millennials are looking for their employers to support their desire to continue learning post-graduation. 1:1 mentoring programs, access to online learning and professional development opportunities are excellent ways for millennials to continue building on their strengths within an organization. The result? A pipeline of strong talent for future leadership opportunities.   Myth: Millennials think they know everything. Reality: Sometimes it takes a bold recommendation to move the needle. Take the example of 27-year-old Taylor Huckaby, a PR consultant for San Francisco’s public transit system, BART. When electrical issues plagued the aging railway, commuters flocked to Twitter to complain. Instead of replying with overly cautious key messages, Huckaby started a two-way dialogue to educate commuters on the issues BART is facing—aging infrastructure, outdated technology and overcrowding. The result? A greater appreciation for BART and a lot of positive media coverage (See:,,   Millennials take a lot of heat, but if we step back and consider the intention behind the stereotypes, it’s possible we’ll all come out ahead.

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