The company I work for has a diversity program, offering classes about other cultures so that we have more empathy when dealing with customers and co-workers. I enjoy the offerings because other cultures and ideas fascinate me. The most recent one was presented by a group of Millennials.
Millennial: noun; a person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000.
Their first statement was that all of us older people treated them like youngsters who are green, wet behind the ears, inexperienced when they first joined the workforce. We didn’t respect them. We talked down to them and call them “kiddo”. (Yes, they actually used that word. I think I’ve only used it twice in my life and it was for someone my own age. I’m not THAT old fashioned!) I had to laugh to myself as I heard this indictment against my generation. I wanted to tell them that every generation says that to the new kids, and the Millennials will say it to the generation that comes after them. It’s just part of human nature. They are wet behind the ears. Four years of college prepares you for absolutely nothing in the work world. You have to get some real life experience before people will respect you.
But after that, the meeting got interesting. They talked about the world events that shaped them. I hadn’t looked at that before. I know what had shaped me. Three assassinations, race riots, the Vietnam War, transistor radios and men walking on the moon. My generation was shaped by accelerated change that shifted us sociologically and technologically. That change has continued at a breakneck speed ever since.
These youngsters who are now in their 30s have seen the end of the Cold War and Communism, marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall. They grew up with computers and the internet. They are connected to the world in a way that previous generations never were. They are more liberal because of that, the experts claim. In America, they were a powerful force that sent the conservative Republican party out of the White House. They faced a prolonged recession that made finding jobs difficult, and they are the most likely of us to desire meaningful work instead of higher paying work.
See Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change for more information.
I enjoyed their talk and wished it would have continued beyond the hour allotted to us. They showed me a new of looking at all the generations.
Here’s an interesting test, How Millennial Are You, by the Pew Research Center. I scored only one point away from being a Millennial, getting 72 out of 73, while the norm for my Baby Boomer age group was 11. I guess that means I’m still thinking and feeling young at heart. The test allows you to change your answers to see how it altered your score. What kept me out of the Millennial range? Texting. If I had sent or received one text in the last week, I would have made it.
How young at heart are you? What generation gap separates you from the world around you? What events shaped your generation?
Hi. I’m Chris. I’m an introvert. All of my postings tend to reflect my introvert world in some way or another. Join me and like minded introverts for a special slant on the world.