Clarus Conversation: A Millennial perspective

Below is Millennial Candace Phillips’ response to last week’s blog on Baby Boomers:

There is a word that today’s employers utter with caution: the “M” word (Millennials, or Generation Y). This is the generation I proudly call home. My generation has collected workplace stereotypes of being needy, entitled, foolishly ambitious, and disrespectful. And while some of these judgments may be perceivably true, at the core of this generation is a driving force that is changing the marketplace as we’ve known it. Behind this force are technological advances and a progressive, generational entrepreneurial spirit (just look at Silicon Valley nowadays).

I entered the workforce about a year ago, and while I (thankfully) have no experience with the “Dark Ages of HR”, I would be reluctant to “throw the Boomers out with the bathwater.” In fact, I would appreciate the opportunity to learn from their experiences.

I admire the Baby Boomer generation and their entry in the workforce as a self-taught crash course. That experience is an invaluable resource. However, although I admire more experienced generations, we can’t ignore that the landscape of the workplace has changed. Dramatically. With technology as a key driver, the global business environment no longer evolves in real time; instead, it changes at warp speed. Because of these shifts, employers have had to make reluctant but necessary adjustments to maintain viability in their organizations.

I believe the same potential and (dare I say) work ethic of Baby Boomers also exists in Millennials. Contrary to Generation Y stereotypes, I don’t believe I’m entitled to a step-by-step guide on how to enter and succeed in the workplace. On the other hand, I do believe that today’s young professionals need mentorship and coaching in order to cultivate their talents.

So, all that to say I agree with Cathy. It takes experience to have experience.  Even so, we are eager to learn from you, our wiser, more experienced colleagues because the transfer of knowledge is critical to us all.

After all, the Dalai Lama once said: “Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.”

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