If past generations dreamed of the prestige and perks that come with a corner office in the executive suite, the dreams of my generation appear to be somewhat different. The millennial generation, also known as Generation Y, has fundamentally redefined the concept of happiness & success that has worked for many generations before.
The dreams of my generation appear to be somewhat different
Instead of investing in expensive status symbols, we TRAVEL THE WORLD. Instead of buying a big home, we rent apartments. Instead of climbing the career ladder, we strive for HAPPINESS! We forego safety for ADVENTURES, because EXPERIENCE is our new form of ownership. In a way, you could say that we are all vagabonds collecting MEMORIES from around the world. In the light of our aspirations, we are labelled as “dreamers” with a lack for realism, but in fact this is our creative strength.
Many of us are well educated, studied at Universities and gained degrees that opened the doors to prestigious career paths and still, not seldom, we trade lucrative jobs to fulfill our passion. We are more willing to seek the risks and face the challenges that come with the entrepreneurial path. A survey released by the Bentley University suggests that only 13% of respondents said their career goal involves climbing the corporate ladder. By contrast, almost two-thirds (67%) said that their goal involves starting their own business. The internet & social media have enabled an unprecedented entrepreneurial revolution that allows the start of a business independent from capital, solely relying on a creative idea and the skills to influence crowds. It is an unprecedented need for self-fulfillment that drives the entrepreneurial spirit of our generation, but where does it stem from?
67% said that their goal involves starting their own business
A plausible explanation can be found in the “Maslow pyramid” also called the Hierarchy of needs. Maslow distinguishes between 3 successive levels of needs, of which each is activated as soon as the prior level has been fulfilled. First, we aim for basic needs, which include physiological needs like food, water and the need for safety. As soon as these basic needs are fulfilled, we long for psychological needs. We all want to have a feeling of belongingness, to be loved and to be esteemed for our accomplishments. As the last step in the hierarchy, we strive for Self Actualization. Since all prior needs like financial stability & safety have been fulfilled for our generation, we logically long for the top of the pyramid – Self Fulfillment.
A Challenge to the System
Our need for creative self-realization implies more complexity for many parts of our society. Employees are no longer able to attract the best talents just by luring with high salaries. Our demand for freedom & creativity in work habits is challenging established firm structures. Communication & Marketing agencies increasingly need to focus on experience-driven events to catch our attention. Established corporations need to adopt their concepts to new trends set by influential start-ups. We are less rational than previous generations and for our parents it is sometimes hard to comprehend that their daughter is still living at home – at the age when they were long settled down with a house & family.
Our generation unravels and challenges the existing system in many ways. But we also offer some of the biggest potential & opportunities. As the innovative force, we dare to “Dream Big”. We are willing to take a risk in finding a new path for ourselves and to exploit our full potential. Experiences from travels expand our horizon and foster our ability to think outside of the box. The Internet connects us 24/7 and allows us to maintain friendships & resourceful networks around the globe.
We might be vagabonds or dreamers, we might be difficult and sometimes hard to understand, but the creativity and courage that millennials bring is one of the most valuable enrichments to our society.
– I am Proud to be one of you –