In a world full of brands and labels, millennials seem to have earned the reputation as the easy-go-lucky generation who have nothing to offer but their fussiness on fashion, trends and superficial social media inclination.
In their own words, they are the generation of “no chill” (reckless and irrational behavior or lack of self-control), “thirsty” (wanting something so bad, too eager and desperate) and “turnt” (always ready to party).
Thus no wonder that people keep “throwing shade” (trash talk or give disapproval) at them.
But in their own rights, millennials can claim to be the “GOAT” (greatest of all time), “woke” who are socially and politically aware or simply “smol” (someone who is extremely small and cute).
But nah! They also dream to make the world a better place like the infamous heroes we all knew of.
Having spent many years of my life leading and working with millennials or those twenty-somethings (born to older Gen X’ers in the year 1980’s to 2000’s), I have come to realize and appreciate many things that are unique to this generation.
I have jotted down four things that speak of their character, behavior and attitude towards themselves and others, which can be beneficial for any business or organization:
1. They are “Daring.” How dare you think this is only about physical attributes!? Of course, the daring-ness of the youth goes beyond their just revealing fashion and provocative self-expression. Millennials are bold about their thoughts and feelings, and always have the courage to take risk. They face problems without worry or fear and without being too concerned about the consequences of their actions and decisions. And when they fail, they simply pick up their pieces and try out again. Who would have known that the many things we enjoy today were possible it were not for millennials who are never afraid to dare?
2. Can do Multi-tasking. Millennials’ mind are like computers programmed to process several tasks concurrently. They have the capacity to maximize their time by thinking while keeping their hands busy and accommodate multiple demands especially at work. They have mastered the art of juggling a full-time job, home-making and studying all at the same time. And being productive in all these areas!
3. Well-Connected and Engaging. Relationships and social life are important to the young. You cannot confine them in a box. They spend time to talk to people, make friends and develop networks. They find spaces where they could express themselves and contribute their skills. They can easily connect with one another under common persuasions such as art, technology, trends and language. Young professionals can be more productive if they are in a company of people who they feel comfortable and can relate with.
4. Always Wanting. Theirs is a hungry generation always wanting for something new. They love to innovate new things, explore new paths and try new challenges. They are oozing with energy, dynamism and fresh ideas. They have many dreams and expectations for themselves and they work so hard to achieve them, which has brought many young individuals to the world of success and fame.
Though misunderstood most of the time, it is undeniable that millennials comprise a big portion of the workforce and society. Many of the things that have drastically changed the course of history – be it in the field of business, education, politics, culture and the arts – were born out of these young, bold and daring minds.
Working with this generation requires the use of certain language, attitude and yes, tons of patience.
The truth is, millennials are not without issues and struggles. But they can be the most productive generation if given proper perspective, guidance, training and opportunity to better contribute and express themselves.
Exactly today, September 15, I and Shai are celebrating our half-year of being married. Yay! Today, I am also launching the FACTalk series or the “Family and Career Talk” dedicated to reaching out to young couples and professionals like us to engage them in important matters that seriously affect their lives.
I promise not to talk so much about the casual-and-virtually-unlimited-love-and-emotional issues (as you may already be fed up with them in social media). Instead, I wanna tackle more on practical matters about your current relationship – either with your special someone or with your career – to help you make it more effective and rewarding through the inspiring stories of individuals and couples that I will feature in our FACTalk.
So for the first part of our series, allow me to share a brief chronicle of our own journey towards marriage and our continuing pursuit of success in our chosen profession. (This is more like a reflection. We will delve into more practical topics in our next FACTalk episodes).
Preparing for Marriage. I and Shai are grateful that we are able to achieve our dream wedding through the provisions of God. Our preparations started as early as we got engaged in January 2013 (a little more than a year before our target wedding day). We chose March 15, 2014 as the date for our wedding, which coincided with our fourth year anniversary of being together. It’s been six months since that day and I still can clearly remember every detail of our 200-guest, country style-coffee-themed wedding.
But hey! There’s more than just preparing for the wedding. Every couple has to prepare even more for the marriage. While it’s important to make your once-in-a-lifetime wedding experience extra special (whatever kind of wedding you want), it is important to note that both of you must be ready to face the life that awaits beyond the wedding day.
Marriage is a life-long commitment that you make before your husband or wife and before God. Thus it also means embracing the changes in your life and the serious responsibility that comes along with that commitment. “As long as we both shall live”, so does the vow say.
I and Shai are trying to live out that commitment.
Establishing a Career. In Filipino culture, having a permanent work especially for men is a requisite to getting married. But it should not always be the case. The wife can also be the provider for the family. Or both the man and woman can decide to work and share with the responsibility (depending on their agreed set up).
For our case where both of us are working, we’ve come to realize that pursuing a career is essential not only for our material and economical needs but also for our individual personal growth.
I am blessed to have been promoted at work shortly after we got married. From Senior Supervisor post, I was elevated to an Operations Manager position in my company. Shai is also turning five years with an oil company where she works as a Data/Financial Analyst and gets a pretty decent salary.
In the face of starting a family, we also have to establish our own career and find our place in the rat-race society in order to survive. And this means working not only for ourselves. Both Shai and I are one of those who decided to move out from the province to Manila in order to look for better job opportunities and support our families. We are among those we call “yuppies” who brush elbows with thousands and millions of other young professionals in the workforce.
Our story is a story of all other young people who dream of having a better quality of life. Ours is a story of hope and aspiration of many young Filipinos who dream to be productive citizens of the country, contribute in the economy through our skills and have a good future for our own family.
As a young couple and young professionals, I and Shai are excited to see our fate unfold itself before us. We honestly know that we have so much to learn from this journey but with the help of God and with our openness to explore possibilities, we hope to be faithful in our commitment to grow older together both as partners and as individuals.
We’re forever grateful to all those people who have been and will be part of our journey.