In this recurring series, the partners and consultants of MRA Global Sourcing share their learnings, observations, and the occasional rant cultivated from years of experience in recruiting and placement for supply management functions.
At MRA Global, our mission is to help companies secure the right Procurement and Supply Management talent, and help qualified candidates find the right opportunities. We work with individuals of all generations, but for this discussion, we’ll focus on one subset: the Millennials. Defined loosely as people born between the years 1980 and 2000, this group of the population is said to have common traits that set them apart from older generations. They tend to be more bold, outgoing, and confident – as well as very tolerant and open-minded. But in our line of work, “Millennial” can have a pretty negative connotation – describing someone who is self-centered, entitled, and lacking the sensibilities that have historically effected success in the workplace. Now, of course this is not a blanket rule, and every person born between 1980 and 2000 is going to have different qualities, and may or may not exhibit those traits we associate with Millennials, positive or negative.
The Economist recently did a special feature on the youth of today. It’s a global perspective covering everything from education to careers to family and mobility. It’s quite telling that there continues to be extensive coverage on the Millennials as the debate rages on about what is perception versus reality when it comes to their place in the world. It’s interesting how these themes are framed up simply as what’s important to the older generation and how those notions are holding back the youngsters.
Almost 1.8 billion people in the world today are between the age 15 and 30 and live in a world that offers more freedom and education and recreation than it ever has in the past. And don’t even get us started on how the technological advances are unparalleled and only increasing by the day in terms of what they offer from disruption to revolution. What is common with hitherto generations is also not uncommon, i.e., unemployment, housing, and global volatility to name a few. However, the changing demographics as the population continues to grow and live longer have shifted the balance in many countries to the older benefiting at the expense of the youth. While it’s true that the former have subsidized living conditions and social programs for the latter, it can also be said that the pendulum has shifted to the point where it’s not fair and equitable anymore. The bulk of public spending is going into retirement and medical care costs – which implies that more resources are flowing from young to old when the old have more money.
Maybe it’s iniquities like this that are causing the youth to flock toward ‘Feel the Bern’ political machinations as they feel that only a Socialistic set up would ensure parity. That obviously would be a mistake but so is the laissez-fare approach the youth take in terms of impacting this reality. They can take an easy first step in this regard. In countries like the US to Indonesia to Japan, only 20% of the Millennials come out to vote whereas over 60% of the seniors partake of their civic duty and that plays a part in ensuring they can keep their favorable policies intact. Where the youth are fortunate enough to be living in democracies that allow them to vote, they need to exercise that right to force their governments to pay heed to what’s important to them.
More on this unusually oppressed minority in subsequent musings as there’s plenty more to dissect.
‘Til then - Save Big and Prosper…
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