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Inside the Mind of a Millennial

Workforce Development

By Kirstyn Quandt, Communications Manager for NCCER, from NCCER blog

Millennials are the generation everyone loves to have an opinion about. There are presentations dedicated to managing us and books aimed at discovering why we are so obsessed with documenting our every thought on social media: #TotalMillennialMove. While some undoubtedly fit the plugged in, tuned out and oblivious to anything other than their smartphone stereotype, to assume that every single member of our generation acts, thinks and works one way is simply unrealistic.

Imagine being lumped into a group commonly identified as “impatient,” “self-absorbed,” “lazy” and “entitled.” Regardless of the drive and work ethic outlining the experience on our resume, the millennial stigma raises quite a few red flags in the workplace. At this point, we’ve heard all of the flattery:

“Millennials are lazy and won’t get their work done.”

“Millennials expect a promotion within two weeks.”

“Millennials are notorious for job-hopping.”

According to Pew Research, millennial workers, ages 18-34, make up the largest generation in the workforce and by 2025, are expected to constitute 75% of it. So it makes sense that managers and consulting firms are obsessed with learning what makes us leave and what makes us stay; however, it’s not as difficult as it seems.

In a Harvard Business Review article titled “What Do Millennials Really Want at Work? The Same Things the Rest of Us Do,” Bruce Pfau writes, “Millennials largely want the same things from their employers as most generations. They look for growth opportunities, great managers and jobs that are well-suited to their talents and interests.”

Are you surprised we didn’t ask for nap pods and in-house espresso machines?

Every individual, regardless of their generation, envisions their dream job and ideal corporate culture. More often than not, these jobs align our individual passions with large-scale purpose, motivating us to come to work each day and do our best. Interestingly enough, a multigenerational study conducted by IBM reported that 25% of millennial workers strive to make a positive impact on their organization compared with Gen X (21%) and baby boomers (23%).

When you look at what the hardworking millennial seeks in a career, the construction industry is a perfect fit. There are endless opportunities for advancement, thorough training designed to build a refined skill set and numerous career pathways suited to each individual’s lifestyle, learning style and interests. So why do we discount this generation’s passion and willingness to work hard?

It’s easy to let one bad millennial influence your view of the entire generation, but the same can be said for professionals of any age. While it’s true that some of us did sail through our youth earning participation trophies, others put in long hours to rightfully earn the “Most Valuable” and “Most Improved” awards. These are the motivated, hardworking individuals that will make an excellent addition to your workforce.

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