A Study of Today’s Youth
Across the globe, ‘Generation Y,’ also known as ‘Millennials,’ have started to find their place in the working world. They are considered the generation that is smart and savvy and this is no wonder given that, in being born between 1981 and 1997 (or 1982 and 2002 – definitions vary), they have grown up in an era of ‘smart’ technology.
Millennials are hooked on technology and, through their use of modern devices, they have turned the world into a smaller, more accessible entity. With screen vision they have become global travellers without needing to be mobile, and they have developed a knowledge – and contact-base – that was unfeasible for their parents and grandparents. In so doing, they have nurtured wide interests, encompassing things they see at home and abroad, and cultivated international aspirations for the future.
Researchers are discovering that Millennials have clear personal goals. They are vocal about these and not afraid to seek advice, be that from professionals or their peers, who, after all, are a simple click or text away. And, because they are accustomed to quick and easy communication, they have developed a ‘need-to-have-right-now’ attitude.
Deloitte Global’s annual Millennial Survey (2017) showed that 2016 was a somewhat turbulent year for Millennials in the working environment. In the previous year, said the survey, many of them seemed to be planning near-term exits from their jobs, but, in 2016, they showed anxiety about leaving their employers and concern for the future. Apprehension had primarily risen from events such as the European terror attacks, Brexit, and the contentious US presidential election. The survey also highlighted that terrorism and conflict had replaced the environment as top personal concerns.
This is not to say that Millennials discount environmental concerns: they remain determined to reduce their ecological footprint and to make a positive impact. They participate actively in what they see as good causes, especially when enabled by employers.
On the job front, Millennials want the best of both worlds: to have the same flexibility as a freelancer but with full-time stability. They have been educated with laptops and iPads, and use texting and messaging systems. They are therefore comfortable in careers that embrace the digital world and that present elevated STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) elements. They are also excited to problem-solve, and choose careers that reflect this, including jobs in advertising, social media, data analysis, the sciences, and therapy.
Whatever their chosen profession, Millennials also crave mobility. If their work takes them travelling they are less likely to change jobs. Their demand for good wages, which they compare to others not just locally, but globally, impels them to be intrepid and energetic travellers. Being constantly exposed to images and accounts of far-away destinations, they also yearn to immerse themselves in new cultures and eat exotic foods. A new focus on fitness has resulted in them not minding physically taxing journeys and adventures, or backpacking and camping.
The majority of Millennials exercise at least once a week, and smoke less and eat healthier than their parents. They prefer to be outdoors, pushing for open-air experiences and finding in these a way to bond with others – including former strangers they meet through online ‘shared interests’ groups. They take part in group fitness classes, run, cycle, and push the limits of sports, challenging and encouraging one another.
Island lifestyles are not discounted, for it is here that Millennials can satisfy many of their needs: healthier eating habits, outdoor water and nature-related exercise, environmental and social good causes, and, most importantly, connectivity that allows them to work and roam as global citizens.