In this – part three of our series decoding the Wicked Millennial Problem – it’s time to put ourselves in the shoes of a Millennial. In part one we attempted to understand Millennials. In part two we looked at how to recruit Millennials. Now, we consider the world from their perspective. It’s a wicked problem, as most organisations – regardless of sector – are run by people who are not Millennials and who are not “tech native,” which is an important distinction. So, here’s our short guide outlining the major challenges facing the future workforce.
Millennials are making slightly more than their parents were at their age but everything – from clothes to food to housing – cost way more. So yes, while they are living at home longer it’s not all “helicopter parents.” There are very real, very rational, very expensive reasons Millennials are choosing to stay at home.
61% of Millennials in the USA have attended college, with near equal numbers across Europe. The average college attendee in the USA has around $33,000 in debt, with a three-year degree in the UK resulting in up to £27,000 of debt. That’s not a great way to start your working life.
Competition is tough, and social media means you’re now regularly “seeing” yourself against the world – not just the people in your physical presence. Paul Angone calls it Obsessive Comparison Disorder, as Millennials aren’t – as he suggests – entitled to success, they’re obsessed with it and particularly in comparative terms.
Roughly 40% of unemployed people are Millennials, and those that are employed tend to be underemployed. This misalignment between skills and needs means very high productivity rates being lost because of a lack of opportunity while areas with great need go unfilled.
Everyone can complain all they want about Millennials having the attention span of a knat but is that really their fault? They’ve been raised in a digital, social, instant gratification world that they didn’t choose but were thrust into. So now they’ve embraced it. DEAL WITH IT. EXPLOIT IT. Bend it to your will. Because it is the future.
AKCG is a multi-generational, multi-cultural, global workforce that loves wicked problems like decoding the values, passions and struggles of an entire generation. This article is part of a series we’re writing about the Wicked Millennial Workforce Problem.
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