A Millennial’s view on Millennials

February 13th, 2015

millennials-grew-up-onlineAll this month I have been researching and talking about Millennials – why are they different, what makes them tick, how can we get the most out of them?

As I was objectively analysing a whole generation from a leadership perspective, it suddenly occurred to me that as a 27 year old, I am one of these people! I immediately felt the desire to be different, to buck the trend – subsequently helping to prove the fact that Millennials see themselves as individuals and therefore fitting neatly into a ‘norm’.

So do I agree with the research? Do I have an inflated sense of confidence? Do I need constant reassurance? Is fulfilment more important to me than money and power?

If I’m honest, I have to say yes. I know that with the right training and development I can do anything I put my mind to – the choice is mine. And I admit, I thrive on feedback. I actively seek it out and see every piece of feedback I receive – positive and developmental – as a chance for learning. And I’ve never been interested in being rich – only to be happy.

I am lucky enough to work in a company that not only teaches the importance of giving and receiving feedback to others, but walks the walk internally. I have also been able to shape my development in the way that I want – and I am therefore very happy. And this means that I am prepared to work hard – consequently getting lots of nice feedback!

Whilst I am only one Millennial in a whole generation, with my own personality and aspirations, I have to say I agree with the research. Growing up, my peers also just wanted to be happy. The ones who are now in jobs where they have eternally unavailable managers and where they are not able to develop their skills, are not happy. They are not engaged, they don’t care about the quality of their work and they want out.

I believe that it’s important that leaders invest in developing their Millennials, but perhaps what I think is most important is just being there. Being available to give feedback and to observe how your people are developing is vital. After all, if you invest your time in me, I will invest my time in you and your business.

By Emma Webb