10 Millennial Characteristics to Leverage for Your Dream Job

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 3 January 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you look around any workplace, you may observe that millennials are the largest working generation. They form a large percentage of the workforce, adding some diversity to the organisations they work for. If you're a millennial developing your career, you can highlight your core characteristics in a confident and positive manner to increase the likelihood of impressing potential employers. In this article, we list some core characteristics of the millennial generation and share tips on how you can leverage them to build a successful career.

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What are millennial characteristics?

Millennial characteristics are the common traits of the millennial generation or Gen Y. In a broader sense, the advent of the Internet and social media shaped the people of this generation. As a result, they identify themselves as progressive global citizens on various grounds. They are often ambitious, achievement-oriented and intrinsically driven. With great collaboration skills, they can also be excellent team players.

Millennials are often adventurous and require challenges and reasons to stay in relationships, the workplace and life. Most millennials value experiences over material gains and appreciate minimalism as a way of life. They also prefer a flexible working style and are ardent proponents of work-life balance.

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10 common characteristics of the millennial generation

As with every generation that comes before them, millennials also associate with a set of unique qualities or characteristics. Here are some of the common characteristics of millennials:

1. Being tech-savvy

As millennials grew from childhood to adulthood, several of them witnessed the expansive advancement of technology. Because of that growth, millennials seem to have developed the ability to adapt and change easily according to new and modernised technology as it becomes available. Most of the generation is aware of innovative technology and spends more time in the virtual world. They are also quick learners of advanced technologies and digital tools, including smartphones, artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency, virtual reality and interactive tools and programs.

2. Value learning

Most millennials also seem to possess an incredible passion for learning new things. This generation exhibits profound curiosity about the world and shows the desire to further develop skills and knowledge that can help them in their personal and professional lives. Often, millennials also seem to understand the importance of goal-setting, both for personal development and career advancement.

3. Value authenticity and meaningful work

Millennials seem to prefer an authentic and genuine workspace. Having the freedom to express themselves can make them more productive and successful. They also prefer jobs that allow them to express their views, creativity and passion and contribute to the world through their work.

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4. Adaptive and prefer the flexibility

Millennials also prefer workplaces with flexible timing and dynamic workflow. They also appreciate having autonomy in their work and trust from their supervisors that they can complete their tasks as required. They often adapt well to changes and look forward to the challenges in everyday tasks. Workplaces also prefer such individuals who're open and adaptive to changes.

5. Value teamwork and social interactions

Millennials also place great importance on working within a team environment. They look beyond individual gains and believe that teamwork can bring better results for any institution. Collaborating on projects, problem-solving with diverse viewpoints and creating innovative ways to work together may be cooperative endeavours that millennials often undertake when working together with a team.

Besides productivity, it may also seem that most millennials also desire a social environment in the workplace. They generally tend to flourish in a fun, relaxed and comfortable work environment. So organisations can consider creating a secure and enticing company work culture to attract more millennials.

6. Appreciate feedback and recognition

Rather than waiting for annual or biannual review meetings, millennials appreciate regular feedback. They value input and mentorship from their supervisors, and they seem to be receptive to continuous feedback regularly. Similarly, millennials also appreciate the recognition and look forward to small wins in both personal and professional life. They generally appreciate knowing that what they are doing is making a difference and employers value their talents. More and more firms are noticing this millennial trait and readjusting the work environment accordingly.

7. Think like a global citizen

Globalisation, internet technology and social connectedness have shaped millennials into global citizens. They think alike and have similar progressive values without any physical and cultural differences. Most millennials are inclusive and liberal with their work and life ethics.

Read more: Starting Your Career Virtually: Tips for Gen Z in the Workplace

8. Values meaningful motivation

Often, millennials strongly value meaningful motivation. Creative work motivates them and they believe in making an impact on others, within and outside their communities. You can observe this characteristic in a millennial's approach to their career. Many millennials aim for goals that offer ways to further their meaningful work rather than financial gains. As a result, they often find ways to help others, impart inspiration, work to improve a particular community or fight for a worldwide issue.

9. Open and adaptive to change

Most millennials are not only adaptive to change, but they also embrace it. Often, they have been the ones leading changes in technology, economy and business. Being adaptive helps millennials to advance in the continually changing atmosphere and take on a variety of roles.

10. Free thinking and creative

Often, millennials are more imaginative and creative in their thinking process. It could be because they grew up in a modernised and technologically advanced environment with a huge number of technological mediums around them. If problems arise in their work, millennials typically have the ability to find creative solutions to fix them.

Tip for leveraging your unique characteristics for better results in your career

All the millennial characteristics are universal to the millennial generation and vary only in their degree across different societies. Every generation has its own positive and negative traits. Preparing for a new job is all about identifying your positives and channelising them towards better experiences and accomplishments. Here are some tips to help you leverage your unique characteristics to accomplish significant results:

Leverage technology

Learn relevant digital and soft skills and update them as needed. Then, apply the newly learnt skills to enhance your job application and include them in your CV, cover letter and work portfolio. Think beyond formal education and earn skills and certifications that can help you excel in your dream job. Immerse in the experiences of learning new things to keep yourself updated and well-informed about the latest trends and developments in your industry. Create a strong professional social media presence on the platforms that suit your dream job.

Grow your network

Use social media and other networking sites to your advantage through networking with companies, mentors and fellow people who already work in your dream sector. Hold discussions, seek feedback for your ideas and make genuine contributions to your connections. Connect with experienced people in your network for better feedbacks and use the opportunity to brainstorm new ideas for your next career move.

Always look out for and follow people and companies who resonate with your values of inclusion and progressive ideas about class, gender and race. Choose to create work experiences and collaboration opportunities with diverse groups. Also, engage yourself in projects that amplify diverse voices.

Being adaptable and flexible

Adaptability and flexibility are important skills and attributes required to succeed in today's work environment. Invest time in doing passion projects, volunteer works and internships and feature them in your resume. Being flexible also allows you to extend your job search radius by going beyond your geolocation. This can help you actively look for virtual opportunities and work from home options.

Set goals and have a vision

Use your values as a compass to envision your dream job. Have a clear vision and build a resume and job profile that reflects it. Use cover letters and interview introductions to demonstrate your true self. Build personal and professional habits and characters that resonate with your ideal job life like reading, conscious living and spending. Also, set short-term goals in your job hunt and frequently review the goals to prevent distractions. Learn to celebrate your small wins along the way.

Build skills relevant to the job

Review the job listing multiple times to identify skills that are relevant to the job you're applying for. Highlight your problem-solving capacity and examples of overcoming adversities while introducing yourself to professional networks. Also, draw attention to your leadership roles in group projects and other relevant college events on your resume. Such specific details during your educational and job experience are worth mentioning.

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