by Theerada Moonsiri
Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Millennial
“Kids these days are self-entitled brats who are all about fun and parties”
The standard dictionary definition of a “Millennial” is simple; someone who was born between the mid-1980s and early 2000s and became an adult in the first decade of 21st century. But the due to the popular negative view towards the millennial, it is perhaps more accurate to define the word with Urban Dictionary’s definition as “A term used by insecure morons to dismiss somebody aged 10-35.”
As a bright-eyed and faithful millennial of Bangkok myself, I believe that we Thais are no less capable of doing great and innovative things than other. The faithful first-jobber, the tech geek with their out-of-the-world startup projects, the fresh-faced ambitious adolescent inspired to change the world. It is us, millennial, that will drive the majority of the future economy and will become the seniors in the next 20, 30, 40 years to come.
To achieve better inter-generational harmony, let’s bridge the generational gap between us – please hear what we have to say. Who knows, this might make it easier to understand us – and perhaps even enjoy working with us heaps more?
1. We are young in age not in ideas.
Seniority has rooted itself firmly deep inside Asian’s working culture, and even more so in traditional, old-fashion companies. Paying respect to the elders is a startling norm that one learns to adapt to when first arriving in Asia. But, let us remind you that we are living and working in 2018, the year where millennial being leaders and CEOs in top companies can be found around the world. Perhaps, the reason why we sound like self-entitled devils is that we are trying to make you aware of the fact that young people too are capable of coming up with concrete, doable ideas – and that this creativity shouldn’t just be thrown thoughtlessly in the trash.
2. Let us introduce you to new technology
Let’s have a one-day Google Doc tutorial workshop in the company and save us all from the hassle of sending .Doc files over and over via email, or worse, LINE?! Let’s use live editing features, so we don’t have to save the file on thumb drives and have them lost in the process. No more chatting on Facebook groups – try professional work-chat platforms like Skype for Business or Slack, for a change. Technology has made things incredibly easy for all of us. It just takes a bit of time getting used to these changes. Let us help you do that.
3. Want it? Say it
That’s right, we believe that we have superpowers, but we are not telepaths. We don’t know what’s going on in your mind unless you communicate it with us. Simply tell us what you want, how you want it to be done, and what you expect the result to be. We do appreciate your frank and sincere clarifications, guidance, prep talks and constructive criticism. Rumor has it that the millennial are arrogant brats, let us dispel that myth once for all; we only need you to talk to us.
4. Together we can do this!
Due to our short working experience, every day is about adapting to new things. New plans, new people, new environments, and new technology – our biggest strength is being able to work outside our comfort zone. What we find hard to understand from the seniors is how prematurely a plan may be dismissed just because it seems foreign to their comfort zone. Restart the Can-Do Attitude, and wait for the unique outcome of success. The positive attitude not only makes things happen but also works like a charm on the morale of young teammates.
5. Actions speak louder than words.
All leaders need respect from their followers. Millennial are not as stubborn as you might think, but one thing is for sure – we do pay more respect to the action and its visible outcome than fairy tales. Not just millennial, but all of us are feeling less and less inspired by your daily long-winded speech. Lead by example, don’t just talk a good game.
6. Work/Life Balance is a must
You may decide to swim in a pile of documents at midnight or work through the weekend all you want. That’s how you manage your time, not ours. For us, Work/Life Balance is high on the list of essential things in our adult life. We make sure we kill it at work. We will build your castles if we can, as long as it’s during working hours. Once the day is done, all notifications will be off because our life is not all about work.
7. Sufficient breaks from work give us creativity
Survey results in Thailand show that Thais are not using enough of their given annual days-off, but I am sure the millennial is not in that survey group. Following this theme of Work/Life Balance, we never hesitate to book our paid leave because we value our vacation time. We come back with bright faces and fresh minds full of inspiration. Not only are these days-offs legally and rightfully ours, but they also add value to our productivity – and therefore to yours.