What is Success for Millennial Generation: Their Relation to Work, Relationship and Personal Identity

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The study of human behavior remains the epitome of human existence, which include many aspects and topics to research on. Generational theory is one of the most common studies of human behavior as humans believe they are different based on when were people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively. This research will explore more around the Millennials in relation to their behavior, relationship with their work, their manager/bosses, work ethics, leadership style. Our behavior created different traits from generation to generation which is influenced by various attributes like economic climate, Social issues, technology, politics, globalization and diversity which will be explored at length later within the scope of this research. As generation come and generations leave the workplace there will always be an overlap of multiple generations in the workplace and the challenge will always be the ability to create an amicable and cohesive working environment where different generations will always have to encounter each other. According to P Buckley and D Bachman (2017, July) stated that, by 2025, Millennials Will Comprise Three-Quarters of the Global Workforce; People between the ages 15 to 24 make up almost 20% of the world’s population.

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They account for more than 15% of the global labour force. For companies to be more productive and remain relevant they are required to work on keeping the employees happy by finding an amicable working environment between different generations. Corporations must invest a lot in understanding the millenniums. It is evident in the advertising and marketing industry where companies are studying the buying patterns and behaviors towards products. By acknowledging different generations within one working space, Corporations are encouraged to invest in the study of millennials behavior in the working environment and how to work with them. Review of the Literature In this section we will look at the aspects of millenniums as already mentioned. The research aspects experiences confirmed by the literature or research findings will confirm the findings which agrees with the stereotypes and research conclusions which are true, valid and applicable will be mentioned in this section. Generational dynamics will be outlined in contrast with the millenniums as they are forming the majority workforce and population. Finally, the section will draw the leanings from personal experiences and the research which outline the strategies that will be implemented to manage the millennials in the workplace more effectively. Living with parents Millennials are seen to be more independent and they like to explore life on their own, however the world economic high inflation and high unemployment rate has played a huge role in restricting this reality to them. Fry R indicated that, as of 2016, 15% of 25- to 35-year-old Millennials were living in their parents’ home. This is 5 percentage points higher than the share of Generation Xers who lived in their parents’ home in 2000 when they were the same age (10%), and nearly double the share of the Silent Generation who lived at home in 1964 (8%). This world phenomenon is also influenced by the lack of financial literacy, as there are similar trends which highlights the financial decision which millennials make that influence staying with parents. The views from personal experience indicates that millenniums in South Africa are failing to start saving early enough for retirement, the lack of understanding the finance products and the fees which come with them, young South Africans appear to be taking uninformed decisions around their finances. Most millennials are unaware of the fees they are paying to service providers and they believe their fees amount to be less of which they underestimate how fees can lead to lower investment outcomes in the future. There is also an observation of how parents are more accommodative and supportive to this generation. A contradictory view is parents are also worried that millennials will never learn to be financially independent if they continue living with them. Millennials are also forced to live with parents as it makes more financial sense to save more and prepare to be independent. Staying with parents influences the millennials to be more focused in the workplace as they work towards being independent. Politics Millennials are seen not to be more involved in politics unlike their predecessors.

The political land scape has evolved overtime and millennials feel like they are not represented by leaders of the government. Most millennials don't believe politics will solve the problems they face, and mostly they see public service as an honourable profession. Ellen M. Broido, 2016 has highlighted the increasing polarization in the political identification of the millennial generation. Even though pollical environments differs from country to country, the common trends Millennials will only be when they participate in politics when they feel included and represented in the government as their challenges involve policies and social climate that is different to their predecessors. This can mean that managers don’t see the influence of politics in managing millenniums as it more of a social issue than day to day work related issues. MarriageMillennials want to have families and kids just like their predecessor’s however there are several factors like unpredictable economic climate and high inflation rate which influences their decision of not getting married. Millennials are aware of the costs involved in having a family especially when kids are involved. Fry R, Igielnik R and Patten E, March, 2018 states that about six-in-ten Millennials (57%) have never been married and when members of the Silent Generation were the same age as Millennials are now, just 17% had never been married. Still, about two-thirds of never-married Millennials (65%) say they would like to get married someday. When asked the reasons they have not gotten married, 29% say they are not financially prepared, while 26% say they have not found someone who has the qualities they are looking for; an additional 26% say they are too young and not ready to settle down. EconomicsThe volatile and unpredictable world economic trends like negative interest rates, underemployment and unpredictable market forces seem to be putting millennials under pressure to live a desired lifestyle. Joseph J, 2018 indicates that millennials are participating a lot in the world economy and are continuously contributing to the growth. In his journal he also indicates that despite all the challenging economic climate 69% of millennials employed South Africans are starting to save money and are becoming more conscious of how they spend their money. The world economic inflation has made the cost of living to remain high and which influenced the income value of millennials current salary to earn less than the previous generations. As an example, the practical products like fuels costs, houses, bread and vehicles have increased substantially in comparison to the prices in the 80’s when millennials were born. This seems like the eager to make more money speaks a lot to the lack of job loyalty as millennials are seeking for more opportunity catch up with the high inflation rate. Millennials will want employers and managers that will support their financial wellbeing and provide them with a sense of economic emancipation. Creating social networksIt has been perceived that millennials are tech savvy however the reality observation is, they are more dependent in technology.

Social networks help the Millennials to have a sense of identity and the disruption of these through life changes and having to adapt to new circumstances. Millennials depend more on online media sources than baby boomers. Religion Religion has always been associated with the identity of a person and a believe conforms to that religion. From one generations to another generation the culture and religion of an individual has always being linked to their behaviour. In African context the millennials views on religion is influenced by various influences. Johannes J. Knoetze is (July 2017) clearly highlights that “Many African millennials find themselves caught-up in traditional beliefs through rites of passage that older generations expect them to perform especially in sickness, child birth, initiation, marriage, death, etc. They are also the generation that experiences the full impact of modernism, since we find that many of them are the first or only the second generation who have tertiary education. To complete the picture, they are also the African generation that are mostly influenced by postmodern thoughts through the electronic media” Johannes J. Knoetze is (July 2017) 5. Who are the disciples? Identity perceptions about millennials and the church. The role of the media has significantly influenced how religion has evolved over the years, and Millennials have their own views, opinions and interpretation of their own religion they have adopted from the previous generations. Millennials are seen to be more conscious about their religion and they strive to ensure employers acknowledges their religions by ensuring employers provide them with facilities to practice their religion especially with Muslims and Christians. For managers to ensure millennials are retained in the workplace they need to ensure they provide flexibility and accommodate the time to practice religion within the working environment and by acknowledging diverse religious believes. Racial and ethnic mix of millennialsMillenniums have adopted to embrace diversity differently and in a better way than their predecessors. The 60’s to the early 80’s have seen a lot of hostile racial protests and activism across the world, which led and opened the environment for Millennials to adopt gradually and embrace diversity. Schooling systems acknowledged multiracialism which exposed younger generations to different cultures.

Urbanisations has played a big role in terms of racial mix especially in countries like South Africa, where a lot of black majority started to cohabit with other ethnics like Whites and Indians into the inner cities. Millennials grew up in the era of media socialising unity amongst different racial groups which creates more awareness with thin communities and schools. With the evolution of embracing different cultures, it has made the workplace environment to be more conducive, seems like managers are finding it easy to work with different cultures, race and religions as the millenniums do not find it difficult to adopt and socialise with their colleagues unlike the previous generations. Social issues (legalization of marijuana)Marijuana has been used over centuries for different purposes and most countries like in the US, European countries, Africa and Asia has always regarded marijuana as an illegal drug. The usage of Marijuana grew popular within Millennials and Emma E. McGinty, Hillary Samples, Sachini N. Bandara, Brendan Saloner,Marcus A. Bachhuber, Colleen L. Barry 2016 June, states that in 1969, only 12% of American adults thought marijuana should be made legal; by 2015, that percentage had risen to 53% overall and 68% among millennials (ages 18–34 at time of poll). The policy landscape of marijuana has been evolving and we have seen governments starting to endorse the usage of marijuana and they are currently trying to regularise the usage for recreational purposes. Some states in the US, Canada and recently in South Africa has lately changed their policies to legalise Marijuana for recreational purposes. Even though it is argued that marijuana has positive effects, it also has negative effects on young adults. Marijuana is also seen to be influential to addiction problems which can lead to more dangerous drugs. The high usage of marijuana in millennials especially after it has been legalised create some lots of uncertainty in terms the behaviour on a social level. The effects of marijuana will bring in reservations on how millenniums will solve the social issues like unemployment, low pay, and other social problems relating to the working environment.


Millennials success is not defined by stability and security. They have defined success differently and education to them is not prescribed in the textbook like the conventional education system. They don't want work life balance they want work life integration, sustainability, they consider hard working, flexibility, purpose, motivation. They are not defined by blue print, job titles, education, relationships or wallets. Millennials success is about shaping individual identityThe steady speed of demographic change can provide insights about the future workforce. While tomorrow’s workforce won’t look completely different from today’s, the challenges of the future workforce are still today’s challenges. Understanding these demographic changes and directions, along with the changing nature of work and jobs, could be critical for business and government leaders.

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