How does the Millennial generation behave?

Deborah Dan-Awoh

The intriguing and unconventional approach to life seen in the millennial generation is a big topic and something worth studying. We take a look at how this generation behaves and what the future holds.

Young people holding hands together.

The Millennial generation took the world by storm with their intriguing and unconventional approach to life.

Before the name "Millennial" was devised, sociologists took many years of research to effectively categorise the group. The term was finally coined in 1991 by historians Neil Howe and William Strauss in their book 'Generations'. 

The millennial generation is one of the most analysed and researched groups.

Maybe it is due to their amplified social conscience fueled by early exposure to technology. This article intends to capture the personality of this vastly studied group.

When were Millennials Born?

The millennial generation was recognised to be born between 1980-1996. Although there have been varying accounts for the year they were born, it is believed they fall between the early 80s and mid-90s.

Millennials were born after Gen X(early 1960s and the 1980s). According to reports, in 2020, approximately a 1.8billion people worldwide were considered to be millennials. You can also call them Gen Y. 

Right now, the millennial generation is between the ages  25 and 40; if you are turning 40 this year, you are one of the oldest millennials alive! 

The Millennial Mindset

Millennials have been favoured to be champions of radical change and not just improvements. The older generation has seen it as a proud approach to life.

The Millennial generation witnessed the arrival of technology and innovative development thus, making them more forward-thinking and advanced than earlier generations.

For instance, a millennial prefers to make more money to increase spending power rather than cut back on cost. In the workplace, millennials would come up with a new approach than struggle with the norm.

Although, they made up the majority of the population before the Gen Z group toppled the numbers. Millennials remain relevant factors for consideration in innovation and technology around the globe.

Unique Characters of the Millennial generation

Millennials have been described as many things and in different ways. The preceding generation (Gen X) have called them lazy, unstable and greedy. 

And this is all because Millennials want flexible job schedules. It may sound harsh, but the stereotype surrounding this narrative of millennials is founded on decades of solid sociology research.

What research has shown

According to a Deloitte Millennial survey in 2021,  Millenials and their proceeding Generation Z came of age when online platforms and social media gave them the ability and power to share their opinions.

Social media also allows them to influence distant people, institutions and question authorities in systematic manners. These forces have shaped their world views, values and behaviours".

Attitudes of Millennials

Based on the persistence of technology in the lives of millennials. They have become familiar with change. 

A typical Millennial is flexible and wants to be in control of their life. All thanks to technology, they have access to tools that can give them this control.

Any millennial you see wants to be independent and not have to look up to any model figure. 

The attitude of the millennial generation is what has translated into behavioural traits, both positive and negative.

Some of the positive attitudes of millennials are tabulated below:

  • Millennials prefer to learn online than sit in physical classrooms

    It's a battle of screens against lectures. It is partly due to familiarity with the internet, thereby turning millennials into digital natives. 

    It is this orientation that informs the vital need for a community based both locally and international.

    That's why social apps have continued to thrive in this time. 

  • Millennial are ambitious

    Most millennials prefer not to get married till they have achieved a certain level of financial balance.

    The above is partly due to the experience of two major economic meltdowns(the great depression and Pandemic).

    Even when they get married, they don't have as many children as their parents because they are more focused on making money and building a career.

  • Millennials are innovative

    Millennials are innovative: Anyone would think that because they prioritize themselves and their comfort over anything else.

    So they use tools that make their life easy, e.g., alarms, schedule apps, Uber etc.

    A millennial speaks up during specific tasks if there's a better and faster way to get a job done with technology. The truth is Gen Y are one of the most hardworking people you will meet.

  • Professionals

    Millennials are passionate and ensure quality productivity at all times. They are task-oriented rather than time-oriented so getting quality results is the ultimate for them.

  • Millennials are industrious

    It's easy to interpret ambition as entitled, but most previous generations had little or no competition.

    Unlike now, everyone strives to make a name for themselves by creating professional digital profiles on LinkedIn, IG and Facebook. 

    It is only average for them to demand more pay, better positions and a well-organized work system.

    It's why millennials prefer to join startups instead of working for the government like the older generation.

  • Millennials are resilient

    They were privileged to grow up during the internet age and know that change is the only constant.

    It haves ingrained a consciousness that makes them adaptable to changing circumstances.

    Millennials have an innate ability to think on their feet. They also stand to fight for progressive change.

  • Millennials are team-spirited

    The bond of communal social networking has inspired the tremendous growth of social platforms.

    If you notice, millennials are reasons why open workspaces and brainstorming sessions are possible.

  • Millennials challenge the status quo

    Rebellion or defiance as a trait is primarily influenced by a growing urge to solve problems quickly.

    Most of the time, all they are after is to provide meaningful creative solutions that can birth long-lasting answers to the world's problems.

    The only thing is, they do it at the expense of others, especially superior authority.

  • Millennials are very confident

    And they believe in their power to drive change no matter what. Millennials are not afraid to speak up on their opinions, and they never allow anyone to box them into a corner.

    The millennials ability to connect over the internet has given rise to global change from #Blacklivesmatter to the #endsars protest.

    Millennials have remained frontline agents of social change that will birth a more sustainable world.

  • Millennials are concerned about climate change

    The majority of the millennial generation agrees that the earth is at the brink of chaos, and it will only be right to try and salvage what's left of mother nature. 

    It's a compelling reason why we hear about world conferences and summits on how to combat the depleting layers of the earth's protective covering.

    The above has also informed buying decisions of eco-friendly products.

  • Millennials eat healthily and work out a lot

    Most Millennials eat only veggies and go meat-free, maybe because they are either in their late 30s or already 40.

    They have also come to embrace the gym rat lifestyle to stay fit.

Millennials are confident and take bold actions.

On the other hand:

  • Millennials can be disloyal

    Others will see this trait as flexible but when it gets down to career, millennials hop from one job to another.

  • Millennials are easily distracted

    Suppose you are a millennial and grew up watching TV where you were bombarded with different information every 15 seconds. In that case, you are probably caught in the web of inability to retain focus.

  • Millennials are impatient

    When it comes to career growth, they don't sit around waiting. Millennials hop on the next available flight once they don't get value from the company; it's the same trait that affects their buying behaviour.

  • Millennials are mostly introverted

    Maybe it's because of technology, but they would instead send a text than speak, and they would rather make a video call than go out with friends.

The personality types of Millennials

A generation raised in the digital age. Millennials are idealists and desire to change because they can connect with individuals from all walks of life through social media. Thus making them empathetic. Millennials are mostly:

  • INFPs

    Also called idealists, people with this personality type care deeply for a few unique persons.

    They are also independent, creative and enjoy an adventure. Millennials mostly believe in authenticity and are emphatic.

  •  ENFJS

    People like this have a raw talent for understanding human dynamics.

    They are visionary and motivated. Most individuals with this personality are organized and inspire radical change.

Is it possible to be a millennial and Gen Z?

Technically speaking, it is possible if you imbibe the forward-thinking mindset of both generations.

You might exhibit some traits of Gen Z, but according to the year you were born, you belong to a generation.

Gen Z was born between 1997-2010, and they are currently between 11 and 24 years old.