How Millennial Are You?

Since childhood, Sunday mornings have captured my heart for the lazy and relaxed ritual of reading Sunday newspapers - actually, I should say newspaper sections!! For me, Sunday is a fun day and I allow myself to clear away from the seriousness of the workweek and enjoy abundant news and reviews of arts, culture, people, style and fashion. Although yesterday morning started as any enjoyable Sunday morning, I quickly ended up doing some serious thinking because of an article that grabbed my attention in the Sunday Styles of the NY Times.

"All Work and No Payoff": The article begins with the internship story of a 29-year-old Penn State University graduate who is currently on his fourth internship and making only $10 an hour. It follows with the stories of other 20-somethings trapped in the intern cycle after graduating college. A catchy one is about a 26-year-old girl who, with a master's degree from Parsons, is trying to decide if she should surrender to a fourth internship or settle for an office job outside her chosen field.

Just when I feel sorry for these educated young people, the article reveals that the poor job market isn’t the only reason that recent graduates are stuck in internships. "Millennials want more than a paycheck; they crave meaningful and fulfilling careers, maybe even a chance to the change the world.", says the writer. A 24-year-old girl with two bachelor's degrees and several internships under her belt tells that "Success doesn't always mean financial success, but doing something you are passionate about".

Millennials, also known as Gen-Y, are the generation born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. Lately, they have been the center of many studies, surveys and discussions with popular topics of "how to manage the growing generation gap" and "how to engage millennials"  It is true that millennials are creating a change in the workplace as they use more technology, they are very self-confident and they prefer to work in teams rather than as individuals. They like to receive frequent, clear and specific feedback on their performance, and they desire for speedy advancement.

This new generation of employees is not only creating a change in the workplace, but also a new normal in the working life. They have a very different outlook on what they expect from their employment experience. Millennials have grown up in a time where information has become available instantly and they have high expectations for themselves. For many of them, it is not enough to find a job and climb the traditional career ladder. They want to find and follow their passions.

I believe this is also something earlier generations should give some thought. Think of the value of waking up each morning saying "I want to go to work", not "I have to go to work". My experience as a career-changer - and a Gen-X with a millennial score of 87 - is that we all have a lot to offer the world if we find and follow our passions.

If you're curious to know your millennial score, you can take a short quiz at http://www.pewresearch.org/quiz/how-millennial-are-you

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