Young Guns Fire Away

How well do you know millennials–those born in 1982, or after? Fast Company purports to.

Millennials aren’t interested in the financial success that drove the boomers or the independence that has marked the gen-Xers, but in careers that are personalized. They want educational opportunities in China and a chance to work in their companies’ R&D departments for six months. “They have no expectation that the first place they work will at all be related to their career, so they’re willing to move around until they find a place that suits them,” says Dan Rasmus, who runs a workplace think tank for Microsoft.
Thanks to their overinvolved boomer parents, millennials have been coddled and pumped up to believe they can achieve anything. Immersion in PCs, video games, email, the Internet, and cell phones for most of their lives has changed their thought patterns and may also have actually changed how their brains developed physiologically. These folks want feedback daily, not annually. And in case it’s not obvious, millennials are fearless and blunt. If they think they know a better way, they’ll tell you, regardless of your title.
Meet any of the millennials now embarking on their careers, and this picture comes to life. Impatience with anything that doesn’t lead to learning and advancement? “Nothing infuriates us more than busywork,” says 24-year-old Katie Day, an assistant editor at Berkley Publishing, a division of Penguin Group USA.
Fearlessness? “I don’t have time to be intimidated,” says Anna Stassen, a 26-year-old copywriter at the advertising agency Fallon Worldwide who treats her bosses like “the guys.” “It’s not that I’m disrespectful; it’s just a waste of energy to be fearful.”

They don’t sound all that different. I hate busywork, and I don’t fear my bosses.

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About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.