5 Dominant Traits That Make Millennials Unique

There have been many instances where I couldn’t help but concede to the common stereotypes about my generation. It made me often question if there are any benefits to being a Millennial in today’s world.
Our generation, also referred to as Generation Y, is often portrayed as lazy, narcissistic, selfish, greedy, delusional, and the list goes on. But doesn’t every generation has its ups and downs?
Yes, we do approach things very differently compared to previous generations, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
If anything, I believe that Generation X and baby boomers have a lot more to justify. How about you explain Donald Trump? Just kidding. That is not my point here. I simply want us to reflect on the positives of Gen Y because the truth is that we are here to stay, and you’ll have to deal with it — whether you like it or not.

1. We Are Goal-Oriented

My generation of people firmly believes that there is no limit to what they wish to achieve. We have witnessed multiple great examples of people who have seen insane levels of success, like Mark Zukerberg, Facebook’s founder.
The fact that he went from being a college dropout to becoming one of the world’s youngest billionaires just proves that anything is possible if you simply put it in work.
More and more millennials choose the entrepreneurial route because they wish to break from the “safe” and traditional path for them to escape a dreadful 9–5 life.
One doesn’t need to get a college degree or work for decades to start living the life they’ve always dreamed of having. If our expectations are not being met doing what other people have done in the past, we won’t hesitate to look for opportunities elsewhere.

2. We’re Not Afraid to Challenge Traditional Approaches

This is pretty much related to the previous point regarding the achievement mindset. It’s something that you’ve probably witnessed yourself.
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash
Not only are we not afraid to challenge traditional approaches, but we’re also not afraid to question authority. Many may find it disrespectful in some settings because they fail to understand that we are driven by impact, unlike gen x and baby boomers.
In other words, we want to feel that what we’re doing is meaningful. The last thing we would want is to hold on to something for the sake of stability. Always striving for the better by taking actionable steps towards our dreams is our preferred approach — no matter how far they may seem.

3. We Value Life Outside of Work

In other words, we tend to favor flexibility in work environments to allow us to spend more time doing activities that do not revolve around work.
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash
We want to travel, spend time with our loved ones, and simply have fun without letting our work stop us from doing so. The older generation calls it being “lazy,” but I bet to differ.
Think about it for a moment.
Would you rather adjust your work schedule to fit your life or the opposite? I would rather belong to the “lazy” mentality if it meant a good work/life balance.
Older generations have learned this lesson very late in life, and I’ve seen it myself. When you ask them about the things they regret the most in their lives, you’ll almost always hear something along the lines of:
“I wish I didn’t wait until retirement to enjoy life.”
“I wish I had spent more time with my family instead of working.”
“I wish I had taken more chances in life.”
Millennials know that there is life outside of work. A work/life balance is so crucial that “75% of millennials claim it is the key thing they look for in a job”, according to a study conducted by the US Chamber of Commerce.

4. We Are Tech-Savy

This should come to no surprise, given that we grew up with tech. You can say that we have become dependent on it that we can make it work for us.
The key here is that we know beyond the basics and that always gives us an advantage over older people in the workplace. Technology is continuously evolving, which is why companies can highly benefit from having people who can adapt quickly to those changes.
Besides, we constitute the driving force behind all the technological advancements. This has resulted in the development of incredible tools and devices.

5. We Crave Feedback and Guidance

Last but not least, we are a generation that craves attention.
The internet culture created this desire for instant feedback and speed. As a result, we have come to expect the same when it comes to life and work.
We need to know if we are doing well so we can aim for better. We want to see results because we’re driven by achievement. It helps us manage our uncertainties as it creates clarity and direction.
Success is about working smart, so we try our best to avoid the mistakes made by those who came before us by tracking our progress and requesting feedback.

Finally, millennials will soon form the majority of the workforce, which is why I believe it is crucial to understand the traits that define them.
Just like every other generation, Gen Y does have its strengths and weaknesses. But it seems to me that we often magnify the negatives to an unreasonable extent while ignoring all the positives that have contributed to the advancement of our society.
My hope for millennials is that we would never lose our sense of purpose and curiosity. Let us not give up on leaving a positive impact through meaningful work. Most importantly, let us teach the world how to live more and achieve more.