Today marks my tenth and final blog post on a study from the Kenan-Flagler Business School that gives us extensive insight about millennials along with some analysis by Matt Miller, a Forbes contributor (“Why You Should Be Hiring Millennials [Infographic]” 7/3/12). Reflecting on the totality of the study, plus his personal and professional experience, Miller describes the mindset of the millennials and their tendency to stir everything into one pot:
“A good portion of my Facebook news feed consists of my friends sharing information about their jobs, new products their company has come out with and events their employer is doing. Even when I look back at my own timeline 90 percent of my status updates are linked to Forbes posts. This tendency to share every aspect of our lives naturally translates to our work life. What we do at the office is just as much part of our lives as who we’re dating, what we had for breakfast and who we’re in a fight with, so why not share our work life like everything else?”
Each person must find his or her own comfort level with these dynamics. Ignoring them will not make them go away. The advent of social media coupled with the generation that grew up on it, all finding its confluence in today’s workplace has changed everything. I do think we have to be careful what we share and how much we share. Too much information can create embarrassment and even harm.
On the other hand, perhaps the millennial approach challenges us to a fresh authenticity that we have not seen in a very long time. Perhaps it will paradoxically cause us to embrace a deeper caliber of professional relationship that is stronger than it would have been otherwise. I do not know. All we can do is forge ahead into our collective future and see where it takes us.
I believe each generation is born for the times in which it lives. For millennials and for us all, that has never been truer.