Thursday, October 30, 2008

Millennials In The New Millennium

Make Way For The New Power Generation
By Sammi Richardson

I am part of a generation where luxuries are handed to us on a silver platter. Regardless of whether we make any effort or not, we receive rewards. Not just our needs are fulfilled, but most of our desires as well. We are a generation that wants an amazing job and still have time left over at the end of the day for manicures and pedicures and drinks with friends. We want to be able to do it all and have it all. We are referred to as Millennials and Echo Boomers.

Millennials are a definitive group of people born between 1982 and 1995. They make up much of the US population and spend an estimated $170 billion a year of theirs or their parents’ money, according to reports

In September of 2005, CBS 60 Minutes aired a program titled “The Echo Boomers.” As CBS correspondent Steve Kroft reported, “Echo boomers are a reflection of the sweeping changes in American life over the past 20 years. They are the first to grow up with computers at home and a 500-channel TV universe. They are multi-taskers that possess cell phones, music downloads, and Instant Messaging on the Internet. They are totally plugged-in citizens of a worldwide community.”

The Millennials represent a large population who spend freely. If business people want to achieve success, they realize they have to cater to this new breed of spenders.

“I think this generation of people might be the most effectively socially conscious generation yet,” says Max Smith, 24 of Queens. “There are more people in this generation trying to improve the world for others than in any previous generation. More people are defending and protecting our country than ever, but it is overlooked by the generation’s frivolous spending,” He said.

Matthew McCurley, 26 of Brooklyn had an interesting perspective. “This new generation that wants it all and whose parents encouraged them to demand it all, are still very much dependent financially on their parents,” he said. “Instead of living at home, which some still do, they have their own apartments and jobs, but are still supplemented by their parents. They are not quite making the salaries they need to achieve the lifestyle their parents made them accustom to, so the parents are helping pay for the luxuries.”

McCurley says that instead of waiting until they can afford the lifestyle on their own, they are getting a head start. In the past, it would have been a stigma to acknowledge the dependency on a parent financially; however this new breed doesn’t have any shame.

Two years and three months after the first airing of 60 Minutes’ “Echo Boomers”, a new follow-up program was broadcast titled “The "Millennials" Are Coming.” As reported by Morley Safer, “They were raised by doting parents who told them they are special, played in little leagues with no winners or losers, or all winners. They are laden with trophies just for participating and they think your business-as-usual ethic is for the birds. And if you persist in the belief, you can take your job and shove it.”

Stephen Hand, 20 a student at FIT says, “I do believe that we are a gimme get me society. Our parents encouraged us to strive for and demand more this is true. But, they also want us to do better than them, and to achieve more success. In this instance I do not believe we are any different than our grandparents’ generation. They wanted more for their children as I believe I will want more for my own some day,” Hand said.

Millennials are the future leaders of America. They are smart, technologically equipped, and passionate about their views. They are goal oriented and driven to succeed. It’s likely that they will create a positive change in the workplace because employers may be less willing to under pay them, or not recognize their hard work. Or is that every Millennial’s hope?

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