Hot Topic Series
Stop Treating the Millennials As Children
Today, over half of the workforce is aged under 40. Over 60% of those in a management position is millennial. They are not children. They decide your future.
Stop Treating the Millennials As ChildrenBy CommonWealth Magazine
Chief editor of CommonWealth Magazine Sara Wu once did a cover story called Seventh Graders* Coming Through! in 2003. That was the year when 310,000 born from 1981 to 1990 have begun to swarm in the workplace. For many fourth, fifth grader* bosses at that time, it had been overwhelming.
(*Translator’s note: The 70s of the Republic’s Calendar refers to the period of 1981-1990. Those born within this period are called seventh graders. Same logic, fourth graders refer to those born from 1951 to 1960.)
15 years have passed since then. These people have long become the backbone of the society. Yet the baby boomers are nonetheless treating them as children, oblivious to the fact that these born-in-1980-2000 millennials, now aging from 18-38, are grown-ups standing as core pillars of the society.
Every generation has its own challenge, dilemmas, and happiness. The millennials should take the courage to be themselves, to be responsible, and to go full steam ahead. There’s no need for them to hold themselves back, to blame and complain about the older generation. Some sociologists say that the older generation should be held accountable for shaping this fallen, hateful, Generation of Can’t Commit. However, it is exactly because these millennials are given this challenge that they should stand up for themselves, change their destiny, and create a new era of their own.
Today, millennials make up 50% of the workforce, 62% of supervisory positions. In the coming 20 years, this shift in proportion would sooner or later shift the society, as these people are taking over the steering wheel. How their values differ from their parents is the focus of CommonWealth Magazine Vol.644 (Chinese only).
Shenan Chuang, Chairwoman of WPP Taiwan, has exclusively shared WPP's latest survey report of millennials in Taiwan, analyzing their characteristics that can be summarized as the following key words: emphasis on participation, sharing, collaboration, and pursuit of meaning. Growing up in an era of social media, they yearn to be noticed, to be influential. They started the first wave of natural supporters of Taiwan independence, eager to let Taiwan be recognized by the world.
Two millennials at CommonWealth Magazine: senior journalist Jenny Cheng, and reporter Fenchieh Wu, have worked together to write the cover story of Vol. 644, where an interview with global marketing thinker Simon Sinek was featured.
Sinek has pointed out that the millennial generation is significantly shaped by three major factors: overprotective parents, the ubiquitous reach of distracting technology, and easier access to seize-the-day entertainments. He advises supervisors and parents to drop their worries, and encourages the millennials to be more focused. Multitasking is not real, he stresses, while being distracted is. A millennial needs to be a problem-solver, an accomplisher, in order to become an influencer. Sinek has also been critical of those at the management level who put numbers before talents, performance before communication, those who would never be able to motivate the millennial generation.
So how can this generation be motivated? What is driving this new generation? To understand them, we must look from their perspective.
Born in Hong Kong, raised in USA, the founder of the most potential Taiwan-based unicorn startup, tells you how he led his team of Taiwanese youths to the global stage.
They’ve been derided as the “strawberry” generation, but Taiwan’s 30-somethings defy stereotypes. Born into an era when freedom began taking root in the country but economic growth slowed, what motivates them and how do they see their futures?
Millennials or Generation Y is projected to be the biggest part of the working force. They are, however, facing great technological, political and social challenges at the same time. How can they thrive in the future?
Like many young Taiwanese entrepreneurs, this CEO of a men’s skin care company had to break out of his shell to find his way and now hopes to create an environment in Taiwan that values talent more highly and dares to reach out into the world.
Translated and edited by Sharon Tseng.