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The Facebook Generation: Who are They, Where do They Work, and How Do They Get Things Done?

April 13th, 2012

The Facebook generation, also called the Millennials or Generation Y, represent the youngest members of the adult workforce. Whether we position them between the ages of 18 and 25 or between “recent high school grad” and “less than five years on the job”, these are the newbies. They grew up in a digital age, they don’t remember a world before email, and they were born closer to the millennial transition then the rest of us (though the true millennials won’t graduate for a few more years.)

Sometimes younger workers demonstrate common characteristics regardless of their era, and like all young employees, millennials are known for their energy, naiveté, and optimism. But there are a few trends that seem to set this crop of young workers apart from the rest. Recognizing these patterns can help managers better understand what drives millenials, which can help companies effectively coach, develop, and retain them.

The Facebook Generation: Where Do Millennials Work?

Millennial workers are comparatively well educated, and most of them are aware of this and proud of it. According to the Pew Research Center, 69 percent of them already have or are working toward college degrees. But like all generations of young workers, their jobs don’t often require degrees. While they’re still in school or just after they graduate, a large number of millennials hold non-degree positions in retail, hospitality and food service. So they know what it’s like to work hard in low-paying manual positions, often because they’re still doing it.

Facebook Generation: Ambitious (In Ways We Sometimes Weren’t)

Millennial workers list technology, education and finance among their top ten preferred fields. But they’re drawn to fun and flexibility, which means they don’t always enjoy the rigidity of traditional corporate workplaces. Many millennials navigate this by taking their skills in an entrepreneurial direction after they graduate from college. A disproportionately high number of them steer clear of Fortune Five Hundred employers and place their focus on starting small businesses. They want to own their own enterprises and are often unafraid of the requisite risk.

Millennials: The First Generation to Truly Mix Their Personal and Professional Lives

Facebook can be a business tool as well as a toy, and many millenials are finding ways to turn social media to their advantage at work (like for example, Youtubers can use the services offered by 1k Views to get a big reach within a short span of time that can make them famous too). But even when they aren’t using Facebook to build client contacts or stay in touch with their teams, they still spend time on it during working hours. Wise managers recognize this and find ways to ensure that employees, while staying connected, are making the best use of company time.

For more practical management tips and insights into the millennial generation, contact an employment agency in Fairfield County at Merritt Staffing. We can help you find ways to coach younger workers, channel their energy, and offer them the support they need without losing focus on your company’s long term goals.

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