When I first heard the phrase “Millennial”, it was at a two day conference in Los Angeles that my mentor had for the company leaders. The presentation explained the Millennial logic, passion, and motivation. I have to say, they march to a different beat than my experience in the Eighties. My experience in the Eighties was about winning, competing, and women struggling to prove themselves. You had to have a job. You had to succeed. You had to go to college. You had to get a job. You had to use Aqua net and get a perm. You had to be tan. You had to have the latest fashion and shop the mall every weekend.
I think about the life and world we live in today. There are days I love it, and there are days when I am completely uncomfortable with the world around me. As I have moved through life and career, I have to admit that as difficult as it is to understand the Millennial mentality, I have learned from them:
They are fearless.
They enjoy life without the need for money.
Their priority is simple: They are the priority. They are their “BAE.”
They make up the majority of the workforce and commercial market.
They are changing the work environment, the way we buy, and our view life.
They don’t care about labels.
They embrace everyone regardless of gender, race, creed, or color.
They excite me. They challenge me.
Nevertheless, there are still moments when I literally “can’t even” with them.
Me: Let’s make the meeting for 8:30 am.
Millennial: 9 am is better. You know… traffic.
Me: We need to take your picture for the department newsletter.
Millennial: I have three selfies from this morning we can use. They have all the right angles.
Me: Can you give me a receipt?
Millennial: You mean a paper one?
Me: Did you go talk to the department manager?
Millennial: I sent an email. What is the difference?
Me: Make sure to check your schedule for tomorrow.
Millennial: Can you change all of my schedules? We need to carpool or catch an uber.
Me: This reminds me of Monty Python.
Millennial: What is Monty Python?
Millennial: I always get what I want.
Me: Sometimes that does not happen.
Millennial: What do you mean? I don’t understand.
Me: You had sixteen emails go back and forth and the person is sitting right behind you. Why didn’t you just get up and got talk to her?
Millennial: Good Idea.
Millennial: They told me the product would be here.
Me: So did you double check or get a confirmation/ tracking number?
Millennial at the airport waiting for a flight: Yeah, I need to get a job, but sending out resumes is a pain. I just want to talk to people and find something.
In the end, I surround myself with people who excite me, challenge me, and keep one step ahead of me. They challenge me and that moves me to the “next level”, so I can’t “throw shade.” It just so happens that in my career there are millennials. They have become a part of my career and life. I am a better person because of them. So , I will, “ Keep it 100.”