Millennials are the most recent generation to hit the workforce. And according to Deloitte data, by 2020 millennials will cover 75% of the global workforce.
Today my special guest is Wing-Yan Man, Millenial Coach and founder of 3310 School for Millennials. In this episode, we discuss key characteristics of millennials, challenges, and opportunities
· Wing-Yan Man journey and personal story of becoming a founder of 3310 School for Millennials.
The purpose of 3310 School for Millennials.
· Who are Millenials?
· What are Millenials key characteristics?
· In the business world, are millennials more a challenge or more opportunity?
· Millenials as a bridging generation
· How work is a part of identity and meaning for millennials.
· Key challenges Millenials are facing at work.
· What are the keys struggles to manage millennials?
· Most important tip for Millenial managers.
· Tips for millennials how to manage themselves.
· Old values, confusion of many ways to live your life & struggle of not having standards to live up to anymore.
· How Millenials are different from generation Z and what are their characteristics.
· Resilience of Millenials and Generation Z.
· Where the world is going with new generations
· New ways of defining what is a success.
· Best tip how we can make a world a better place.
Millennials: challenges and opportunities
Hello, and welcome to tea and business lounge podcast, Episode Three. My name is Elaira. And today I have with me Wing, Millenial coach. We will talk about millennials, who they are, what are the challenges and opportunities? Welcome ing. Thank you. So nice to have you here today. Thank you. So how did you get your current job?
I studied engineering. I’m a civil engineer at heart. And then I graduated as a Master of Science and I wanted to work in a corporate big corporate, I think that was what I thought was success, you know, and the big jobs and all that. So I went into corporate consultancy and mostly on it and because I understood how the company worked, and I knew what I wanted to do in the company, I was very Fast in growing in the company and have a career, at some point when I was at really high position, I think definitely for the amount of years that had experience with and the age back then I was think was 27. Some people told me, hey, maybe you should go to see the company doctor. And I didn’t understand why because of course, I was stressed. But you know, I had a good job, and I was having all these important readings and appointed people. And yes, I’m stressed, but I saw all the other people around me were also stressed. So why would I be different? And I went there. And then they said, at some point, I think you are in a burnout. And I thought, wow, I thought burnout will be for people that couldn’t get out of bed anymore. But I was perfectly able to do sports. I was meeting my friends still was going holiday. So I didn’t understand how I got burned out. And I think that is the danger of getting burnout. You don’t realize it because when you are less in survival mode, you’re constantly productive and only when you really take a stance Back, then your body would say, okay, right now, I’m allowed to rest. And then it really comes in, then you really realize that you’re mentally exhausted. Then I saw a lot of other young people like me, not per se getting burned out, but lose a lot of energy in the company. Basically, they started with maybe a traineeship, they were young and ambitious. And then maybe in half a year, their spirit just died down at some point. And I was like, wow, this is kind of sad, because we’re in our 20s and distribute the time where we should be living our lives and be so happy. But now they were just the say, bit numb. They just thought, Well, okay, this is the job that I have. I’m not really inspired by it. But you know, I’m making money. So this is it, apparently. And when I took step back, I thought for my own confidence, I want to start my own company. And I wanted to use this experience of my own burnout to inspire other people not to get burned up.
What is your job
and what is the purpose of it. I’m a founder of 3310 school. For millennials, and how I found that it is that I saw a lot of people from my age, which are millennials. While they miss certain skills that we did not learn in school and how to survive in this world, I think we grew up with technology. But technology has developed so fast. And a school we were not prepared for the things that came with these technologies. And the changes that we see right now in the world. For example, when internet came up, everything was more available, more instantly available, and was connecting, more connecting Yes, also. And you see that there are more choices. For example, nowadays, instead of how I looked at my parents that they had to choose where to go on holiday, we can just say, Well, next week, I just want to be there and buy a ticket. So it’s a totally different mindset. And I think with all these choices, and the things that go so fast right now that we did not learn the things that we should have learned at school, and with the school I would like to prepare at least this generation, I would call In between generation to learn the skills to be more confident and more self reflective, to be more aware of what you really want instead of just following others.
Yeah, so can you tell me more about this in between generation?
Well, there’s official term millennials when you were born between 1981 and 2000. As you can see, that’s a really wide range in age already, I think the oldest will be right now. 38, and then the youngest will be 18. So also, of course, in human development, when you’re 18, you make different choices, or you deal with different things when you’re 38. But what I would say this generation is still born with growing up in an analog world 3310 my school says where the the Nokia, most for most of the people, it’s the first phone, we know how it is not to live with a mobile phone, but right now we cannot live without it. And that transition, I think it’s very characterizing this generation is also the first generation that needs to go to the doctor. market in that sense with this technologies and the changes in the businesses that also has a lot of consequences, I would say in how we live and how we work nowadays.
So what I keep hearing turistic of millennials,
I think if you look, the characteristics, is how we grew up with is that we are always multitasking. Because we grew up with technology. We can do many things at the same time. And we’re always busy in our heads with something else so you can see it and how, for example, we watch Netflix, you probably watch Netflix, but you’re also working on your phone, and you’re even checking your emails for your work, or I don’t know what you’re doing. Maybe you’re cooking. So we’re constantly doing multiple things at the same time, which is a strength, because it makes you accomplish a lot of things. But it also could be harmful for the focus because it’s hard to focus at some point and then you might not get always things done and also your head might be overworked. That sense. Yeah. Another thing is that we do like flexibility. We need to be free. We don’t want to be limited with choices. We grew up in a world with choices, and therefore, we want these choices always been there. The downside of that part is that too many choices. Of course, you’ll never be happy with the choice that you make, because you always compare your choice with other other results. But we don’t want to be limited, at least you say, right now, we have to say 10 types of milk and we say tomorrow, you have to actually it will probably be healthier, but it would not be preferred by millennials. I know. Another thing is that we see everyone as equal as there is less authority. Everybody is a person we all see each other as in you have your strengths, you have your talents, you have your personality. And there is even though if you might be a top at some firm or your appear, we all communicate in the same way in a very informal way because it’s easiest for us to do you see that Bobby in how we started communicating on Amazon is very informal, and we like to keep that vibe. Another characteristic I would say is that we want all kinds of success. So we want the old values, the money, the status, the security bunnies on the hand, you want the purpose, the happiness, the striving to make the world better, I would say everything is that we wanted. I think our last characteristic, a key characteristic is that we strive for impact, have our own identity and to really leave something behind. I wouldn’t say that any other generation doesn’t have it. But we want to do things on our own. We want to accomplish something. We don’t want to have things been given to us anymore. And that the downfall is that because we want to do everything by ourselves. We don’t like to ask for help. And we don’t like to say no or we don’t like to show weakness because it means that even though you had all these things that has been given to you You still do not succeed. And that’s what I see a lot in a workplace that it’s hard to ask for help or to actually say that you don’t like you’re scared to maybe get fired or that people think you’re weak or that you cannot do it, by actually creating these boundaries, of course, by saying what you don’t like what you do, like case, more clarity, also for the other person to help you and to help you where you want to become. Yeah.
What do you think, in the business world and organization? Are millennials more that challenge or more opportunity?
Or is an opportunity?
And so many of our challenges,
there are so many challenges, but I would say you need a middle generation, like I said, From the start, it’s a transition generation. And they are basically the bridge between, let’s say, the analog and the digital so they understand how all processes worked, and how to, for example, where we had MS DOS, we do understand a bit of computers and they To understand a new generation where they come from, and you need them to be that bridge and to translate that into a new world,
right? So you mentioned about this identity that for millennials, job becomes more identity thing, not just the work making money. Mm hmm. Can you elaborate on that?
If you look for millennials, I think, Well, most of the millennials have studied. And we have a lot of life experience already. If you compare it in that sense with our parents, because we could have traveled a lot. I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of life experience. Of course that comes with the years that’s a different thing. Because we know how it is to basically already enjoy life. Then we also want to enjoy the work because like I said, working doesn’t stop at 5pm anymore. It goes on the whole day. And Bobby Yeah, then then you want to feel connected and the importance there is you want to develop yourself more. I would say for millennials, that’s a big value to learn how to deal with To learn what you feel that’s right for you how to make better choices
here. So what are the key challenges Millennials are facing at work in your point of view?
Well, what you can see, if you look at big companies, of course, change is hard. I think, if you compare, of course, with a startup and to a corporate, is that the startup everything’s more free, it’s an alternative. And everything’s more fun, or at least more informal. And when you become bigger, and you scale up you, of course, you want to have processes in place, because you want to scale up, you want to be bigger. So there needs to be rules, there needs to be standards. And you need order, basically, what you see what bigger companies they have that order right now. But in a world that is changing so fast with technology, mostly, you don’t know how it’s going to be in five years. But the companies cannot change as fast because they’re already fixed, in essence. And I think when millennials come to a company, they will think well, there used to change all the time. So they would see like, Oh yeah, this company that I Go with, probably everything that I want right now is going to happen in the next, let’s say a year or two. But the processes just don’t change as fast as we think we would. The challenging part is to have that patience and to realize, okay, when I do something here, right now, it might take a couple of years to actually develop, or it might take a couple of years to actually come to result. As millennials, we’re not used to that we’re definitely an on demand generation. We want things now because we’re so used to have everything’s now and everything at hand, then we become impatient and frustrated, that struggle between these different generations not understanding each other, that the millennials want things faster. And the older generation just thinks, well, you know, sometimes you just need to take time, actually, sometimes time is a good thing. I think that also frustrates a lot and there’s a lot of miscommunication there.
And I can see that a lot in the world.
So what are the key struggles for baby boomers or
their managers how they are dealing with And what are they frustrated,
I would say I’ve done a couple of generation workshops where we put different generations in one room. And what I’ve seen there actually is understanding among each other. And also the values are not as much different from any other generation because we are humans and we have certain needs, for example, recognition, we want to belong we, we want to be happy with ourselves, and we will identify with our workplace. But I think the way to reach all these things in these values is different. So what I’ve seen with the older generations, for example, they have been taught that you grow in a company in one company, basically a job for life. So you start from the bottom, you work your way up, the younger generation doesn’t see like this. Basically, we grew up with Google, all the information that we think is there, we just can Google it, right?
If you don’t know as Google
Yes. So and, and I would say that, I think with that difference We don’t assume so much from older generations. Because if you look back in, in millennials childhood, where we were raised with internet, our parents were working, but we had a lot of time at hands to be on the internet and to search for things. And even our parents came to us to, to understand how internet works and how to how to send an email, for example. So we see people more as equal, because apparently older doesn’t always mean wiser. I wouldn’t say that’s not true. But I think with that mentality, I really don’t like to be assumed what other people tell us because we can look it up ourselves. And we do want to learn what I’ve seen that the older generation might think that you don’t want to learn anything because they don’t assume anything that they say. We do want to learn. We just want to learn in our own way. And I think the base for that is because we’ve been given so much we grew up in wealth, we could buy anything, we can travel anywhere, we can study what we want it and right now, all that wealth is feels like it’s been given. And we don’t feel like we actually made it ourselves. And now I think we have a time where we want to do it ourselves. I really have the feeling okay, I accomplished something. And when someone tells us, hey, this is how you should do it, and it’s what I’ve always been done for the next 20 years, then it doesn’t feel that you’ve accomplished it yourself anymore, you know, then you It feels like you needed some help again, and then you feel weak. So we want to figure it out ourselves. Yeah, how to how to get basically.
So what is your practical tip or all the generations how to manage this? Because we bring in the issue where like what to do with it? Yes.
In a while, always offer it, never push your knowledge to them. Don’t see them as you’re unequal. See them as equal. We all have our own authority. We all have our own talents and our own strengths. And as an older generation, offer your help and ask not telling but mostly asking work related questions will be like in how do you do this and why do you do this? Tell me what you need from me to bring you further. For example,
yeah, so in other words, seek to understand instead of a forum,
yes, because at some point when you get respect from a millennial they will listen to you. But it’s the first part is getting that respect. And you usually don’t get as much respect as you want if you just tell them what to do.
You know, for millennials is not about titles anymore. It’s not about status anymore. They respect you because of who you are and what you bring on a table. Instead of you know, what title you hold.
Yes, the hard part with millennials is redo actually value things that we grew up with from our parents. Our parents have told us you know, being successful is you are educated, you get a good job, you get a house, you start a family, all that basically the old values, but millennials come to the workplace, in a new world where things are more driven on purpose on having impact on being happy, and your identity. So I think The difficulty with VLANs is that we wanted all we do want the, you know, the status, actually, we do want the stats, we do want the money, we do want the security, but on the other hand, we also want to happiness and everything being great and living my life as I want to. And I think that is a struggle, because at some point, you have to realize that you cannot have it all. And that is, of course not what millennials want to hear that they cannot have it all because they were raised that they can have it all. So that feels like a failure if you cannot have it. If you look right now, Millennials feel that they are to blame for themselves that they couldn’t get the job that they wanted, even though they studied and maybe had like two or three masters. It’s not always their fault, but they feel like they have failed because they were raised with an idea that if you get a diploma, you’ll probably get success. And that is not the case anymore.
All right. So what is your tip and advice for millennials themselves? We talked about how to manage them, but how can they manage themselves better,
I would say take more time to listen to to yourself, it’s really hard and just to be offline for for a couple times a day, I think the problem is with our generation that we never sit still. And if we sit still, we take our phone, we’re always online, really just be offline and just breathe in and just feel like how do I feel like right now? Do I feel good or bad? It doesn’t matter. It’s more of being conscious of and how you feel like because once you are more aware of that, you also usually know the answer. So if you don’t feel so good, you know what to do. But if you don’t take the time to do that, then you probably don’t acknowledge your feelings and just running away from them. And at some point, you might get burned out, because your body is telling you that you need some rest, but you’re just not listening to it, to come
back to yourself and listen to yourself and to see who you are in this moment of circumstances.
Yeah, and I think it’s hard because even though I think rationally we all know the social media, and that says, not healthy that we compare each other with someone else’s image, and we also know that the image that we see online is not always the truth. But I think emotionally we do get affected by that. We do feel like when we see a picture with someone on the beach, you think, hey, why I’m not there? Or when someone, I don’t know, start their own company, you will think why I’m not starting my own company. Just shut yourself off from that comparison. And to think, what do you find important? I know it’s easier to follow when there’s so many examples to follow. There’s so many ways to live your life, but to really choose how you want to live your life. I think that takes a lot of courage and strength. But once you have that, it also gives you more energy, and therefore I think you’re happier.
Only you are your own comparison, right?
Yes. And yeah, the problem with millennials is that we strive for a certain approval because there are no standards anymore where we can live up to basically, for a lot of the millennials, they’re the first generation that get to study and so you’re ready in some ways more successful. than your previous generation, and then you don’t know what is success at some point anymore, because you already achieved that. And then you compare yourself maybe with your parents. And then yeah, you might realize when you’re in the end of your 20s, that you still don’t have a house or a family. That is kind of hard, I think for millennials is now is the time to create the standards, the new standards of how to live your life, because it’s going to be, I think, in that sense, a better world because become a more about happiness and purpose. And you need to set the example for next generation to live up by that and not to follow just your values that we were raised with.
I like that. Let’s talk about that coming generation. So how Millennials are different from generation would they call it Gen Z. So and what are their characteristics?
I wouldn’t say I’m an expert on Generation Z. But what I could see that they’re, of course, even more tech savvy than the millennial generation, everything is definitely more instant for them. And the thing I think I’m afraid of is that millennials least have a certain luxury to make mistakes without getting exposed when they were a teenager and going out or experimenting with funding and boundaries that say drinking, for example, during your days when you’re a student. For millennials, it was a certain safe space still, because you want to be afraid that a picture would show up online or be on YouTube because there was no platform yet nowadays, I would say everything is more exposed because you have more comparison. And of course, you’re still very young that says, easily influenced by what other people think and what other people do. You are, I would say more afraid to make mistakes. And when you are not making mistakes, of course you don’t learn as much when you get a setback, then it’s become a really hard because you’re not used to deal with setbacks. You see that with the millennial generation a little bit already. So for example, with burnouts, I think the pressure you put on yourself to prove yourself that you are successful in the picture of what you You’ve been taught and so being successful in a job, I have a lot of money and all that, and not being able to do that. That is a setback and cost a lot of energy for people to realize that actually, maybe that life is not for me, but at least, I don’t live up to the standards that people expected for me. And that is a real big setback. And that’s, I think, one of the causes of burnout. And when you have a younger generation that’s really not used to having these mistakes. I would say it would be very hard for them, even if it’s a small setback, for example, get rejected by someone or rejected for a job. I think that will be really hard for them.
Yeah, because they even less trained to have resilience.
Yeah, having an opinion already is different than the generations before. And then right now, we in the world are in a bit of a I wouldn’t say chaos. I think it’s good chaos, but we are setting new boundaries and what is right and wrong. Basically, if you look at for example, the agenda discussion or the hashtag Me too, there is a lot of discussion on what is right and wrong and To be more inclusive, and I think the next generation, in that sense, more striving for more inclusion, everybody is okay with who they are. But that also maybe blurs the line and what is really right and wrong because everybody apparently, when they feel something or think something, it’s okay to feel that, but some things are just not right. Because it might hurt people.
Yeah, makes sense. So where do you think the world is going with all those generation shifts? And what I think are the trends towards long term future?
That’s a good question. Actually, I mostly look at the millennial generation. I would say right now what I see with Milan, those that are, let’s say, having a first wall as a second or third job right now, so a bit older generation. I think they have the feeling that they really worked really hard for success that they’ve maybe had since they were young or when they were a student, have that good job, have the position have all that and might realize right now, maybe this is not it. There’s it’s getting more conscious as an maybe it doesn’t make me happy even though I’ve worked so hard for it, I have this idea that I need to become this. And now I have become this. I might not be so happy.
Yeah. Because we know that old ways of definition of success doesn’t work what you said, what we don’t know. So what else not. So we are pioneering the way redefining how the world runs, what is
important and values and purpose.
Yeah, I think the good thing about that is that millennials should also realize that we are very young still. And we actually have succeeded already in so many aspects in life. So there’s still a lot to learn and to come and not to be afraid to strive for what really makes you happy. Because you still have a lot of years, we’ll probably never stop working. You think, well, if you look at that, not that we don’t want to work but it’s more like, like I said, it becomes more of a lifestyle. And I think we all want to contribute any human wants to contribute. And I think for millennials, it’s even more like a set because we want to achieve something Not on our own, that mentality will not stop. Even though you’re at the retirement age, we still have the mentality that you still want to have impact.
Yeah. And you want to learn and grow. Yeah. So what would be your best tip to make the world a better place?
The best tip such a millennial question.
To make the world a better place, I would say, rather a couple things. So one is, it’s all about communication and to have more compassion towards each other, and yourself be more offline. What I see is that we communicate so much more digitally, which is faster, but we all know that human contact really is more valuable, more valuable than anything. I think there needs to be definitely more trust. I always compare it with when we were younger, and we had to meet someone we call up someone say, Okay, let’s meet there, right? Then we just trust the other person to show up. And nowadays where we are Be each other while we text Oh, I’m going to meet there we send our location, we already sent a location how I’m traveling. So someone can already see the updates where you’re traveling. And when you’re there, you already say I’m here. You don’t even take the time to really wait for five minutes and to see if someone shows up. So I think we need we want a security. But I would say if you trust other people more that they do the right thing, or at least what they think is right, then there will be less pressure. And I think when you open up more and be more vulnerable to each other, and show more compassion to each other, you always reach common ground, that relationship will be very valuable because I think a lot of millennials feel lonely because they think that they are the only ones that have certain thoughts or certain problems. But we are all figuring it out and having each other and knowing that other people have the same thing is so nice because at some point, even though the millennial generation doesn’t like to be called millennial because we want to feel special. I do think we all want to belong, and I think that’s a good way to belong.
So to summarize, Millennials are People who grew up with technology. And even though they don’t like to be categorized or labeled, the key characteristics are they really multitasking all the time. They like flexibility and freedom of choice. They see everyone as equal. They’re having an allergy to hierarchy and authority. They respect people because of who they are. And they want all kinds of success. What we discussed all values plus new ways of being and new ways of defining success. Millennials need to learn a little bit more patience with the change and implementation because they are on demand and they used to have everything on demand. They need to learn ask for help more, and allow the help more and advices because they don’t want to be told what to do. And they don’t want to be given the wealth and success. Because they want to figure it out themselves and create success themselves. So the best tip for managers would be seek to understand and treat them like equal. And the best tip for millennials is stop, connect to yourself. stop comparing yourself to other people and a lot of possibilities and decide every moment who you truly are and want to be and open up and be more vulnerable. Because we all want to belong. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with others. Leave a comment and subscribe for future episodes. And remember, if you want to create a better world, it starts first with knowing and realizing what kind of world you want to live in.