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4 Paradoxes Of The Millennial Generation

Millennials outnumbered any other generation in the workforce starting in 2016. While this shift didn’t happen overnight, this generation’s challenges are surfacing as major workforce issues for employers to consider.

  1. Financially they face struggles. Household earnings are up, while individual earnings are down. They have not invested in their futures as much as their predecessors. Over 87% of Millennials carry at least one type of long-term debt. They typically face a tremendous amount of student loan debt as they have pursued an education that would allow them to foster a passion in their work. Millennials should focus on a four-step, basic approach to getting a hold of finances, including: controlling and managing debt, focus on increasing income, controlling excessive spending, and ensuring that future financial aspirations are considered early.
  2. They take care of their own health while avoiding use of the traditional healthcare system. While Millennials are more cost conscious in making decisions in healthcare and are more likely to do their own research about health decisions, the impact of the long-term ramifications of this approach to healthcare are still unknown. Most Millennials do not schedule preventative care visits with their primary care physician. They are much more interested in holistic healthcare, non-traditional medicine practices and herbal supplement use, and wellness. They are also more likely to visit urgent cares or express clinics and are in favor of using convenient services through telehealth.
  3. Their risk of burnout is high, though trends in connectivity are increasing. This generation is extremely connected to work because are always “on” due to having their personal devices at all times. In one study of Millennial workers, about 75% of respondents indicated they were working over 40 hours a week, and about 25% were working over 50 hours a week. Also, having grown up during the rise of social media, creating a personal brand for themselves has been a way to stand out and compete in the marketplace. The downside of this, of course, is that Millennials spend so much time documenting their daily lives that they constantly stayed connected to a device that often houses their work email/communications. These habits can lead to burnout if there are no opportunities to disconnect.
  4. They do not want to be in an office setting, yet most jobs exist there. This generation would rather schedule their own work in their own time and space rather than be confined in a cubicle. In this Forbes article, the paradox of current work environments and the disconnect from the way Millennials find the most enjoyment at work is highlighted. They may appear to be easily bored without being given a challenge to work on. They would much rather work hard in a shorter amount of time than punch in and out without achieving anything.

So, in light of these trends, how are organizations adapting? Will the workplace adapt, or will Millennials need to change their mindset to fit the status quo?

4 Paradoxes Of The Millennial Generation
Jackie Boyle

Jackie is a full-time pharmacist and career coach at TheHappyPharmD, where she helps pharmacists live life by design. She loves her family, changing the world and the profession of pharmacy.