I have two Millennial children at the very youngest end of that generation’s age range. So, this is really the advice I am giving to my own children. I hope the rest of you find it useful, I think you should. 

First Things First

There is a lot of shade thrown at you Millennials. Why? Because frankly, you seem a little aloof and lazy from lookers on. I actually know that’s not really true, at least not for most of you, but clearly, there are some slackers, so what? I’m an older Xer and slacking was sort of our thing as we carried our latch keys. It works out for most as we get bills to pay. Anyway, the slackers aren’t reading this, so let’s move on.

There is also an idea that you are hard to work with. I think that carries some weight. I talk to dozens of managers and business owners every year, a common refrain is that you require a lot of hand-holding early on and then demand independence and some authority shortly after “getting it.” 

Here’s advice number one – you’re smart, so find a way to bridge the divide between how you learn and how older folks teach. Remember, they didn’t grow up on the information superhighway, they rode their bikes. You are the junior person in most cases, so be understanding and humble, but keep forging along, gain experience, hone your skills and build connections in person. There’s going to be a lot of opportunity for you as the Boomers finally retire over the next decade. 

Here’s something else I hear from others and experience in person. You sure do need a lot of affirmation.

I played that video because it’s old SNL and old SNL is the best SNL. Why is old SNL the best, because I’m getting old. Remember that. And remember not to grab people without some sort of real permission, it’ll get you kicked out of Congress. 

If you get a chance to read Beyond Reason, you’ll understand a lot about what folks need emotionally and figure out that there are ways to build win-win situations. And, you’ll also realize what the one personality trait that creates the most jerks is; hint, it’s folks that need to be acknowledged as the big dog over and over (don’t be that person, just earn other’s respect). #2 is find the time to read Beyond Reason.

Here’s the thing that makes older folks a little more uncomfortable with you than older folks usually are with younger folks, you live your lives differently than older folks have and are. Not just a little differently, but very differently so far.

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