Another Year, Another Post on Millenials

  • January 19, 2011
  • Scott

If you read our blog regularly, you might have picked up on my displeasure, in general, with stereotypes based on generational differences – especially when people are asking you to make these stereotypes actionable. Recently a post on Forrester’s blog started off along a line of thinking that made me think it would be another stereotype-pandering post (emphasis on “emerging adulthood”), but Claire Schooley actually steered a reasonable course:  identifying some general trends, and neither condemning “Millenials” nor their predecessors:

In summary, I firmly believe that today’s Millennials will be very effective adults. They will use their 20s to explore, just hang around, travel, communicate on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Just as the “play” process is very important for young children’s development, I believe Millennials are in the “play” process within the much broader adult world. In the end, this “messing around” phase will prove beneficial. The majority will find where they want to be and focus their energies. But they won’t be workaholics like their Baby Boomer parents. They will demand a balance between having fun and working. Money and tangibles are important, but not as important as having life/work balance. When these Millennials commit themselves to a task, they do great things. They are our future.

Well, except for one thing: there are still a lot of workaholics in this so-called “Millenial” generation.  I’ve worked with quite a few of them.  What I appreciate is that Claire didn’t fall into the usual trap of trying to tell us why the Millenials are better (or worse) than their predecessors on the basis of some of these broad generalizations.

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