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For millennials, there is no real separation between work and personal life

Generation Y, often dubbed the lazy, spoiled, social media generation, has proven everyone wrong. Millennials, or anyone born between 1980 and 2000, are really stirring things up. Plagued with student debt, always connected and almost 100 million strong in North America, Millennials are in the workplace spotlight. Firstly, they are the first generation to grow up in the age of the internet. They also don’t believe in the work/life balance that baby boomers have been desperately trying to stabilize. Finally, there are more women in leadership roles, but still only make up one third of MBA students. These changes will have big implications for recruiters, human resource groups and company culture.

Growing up online

93 percent of millennials go online, according to the Pew Research Center report, “Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next”. For Generation Y, being constantly connected is just a part of life. Social media isn’t a phenomenon for them, it’s just the norm. These “Digital Natives” are proficient in sharing, liking and commenting, and they do more of it than any other demographic segment. This means that you’ll see fewer millennials sitting in meetings and sending faxes, and more connections happening through social networking and video conversations.

What work/life balance?

For millennials, there is no real separation between work and personal life. After all, much of the work they do is from home, from their smartphone or in the middle of the night. The mobility of millennials has shifted the typical nine to five job to a cloud-based, work-from-wherever career. Plus, the way millennials live is far different than their grandparents. They live in the city, they might not have any kids, and they probably aren’t married yet. The physical workspace has also changed dramatically. Work life has become more like personal life in the form of open concept workspaces in place of corner offices. Regardless of ‘rank’, millennials value a social work atmosphere, with opportunities to engage with co-workers. Some millennials prefer to leave the workplace altogether, choosing to telecommute.

Women on the rise

As of 2006, only 40 percent of grads were men. More women than ever before are occupying the boardroom, but still only one third of MBA students are women. According to Accenture, the biggest factors of success in the opinion of women, were being able to make an impact, and doing meaningful work. Other success factors included stable employment providing financial security, positive work environment and honest communication.

So what are the implications?

For Human Resources experts, millennials are changing the nature of recruitment and selection strategies, training, and career management. For managers, these facts may change the inherent culture about the office. More than 12 million strong in Canada, millennials are largest demographic cohort since the baby boomers and they can’t be ignored.

About The Author

Meghan Tooley is a millennial, commerce student and active online blogger from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She often offers her views on social media surrounding human resource development, as it relates to industry trends. She writes on behalf of Metric Marketing, a Winnipeg SEO firm. For more information about careers and recruitment services, visit People First HR Services.

Occasional Contributors

In addition to our regular guest bloggers, Inside Internal Controls blog published by First Reference, provides occasional guest post opportunities from various subject matter experts on the topics of risk management and best practices in finance and accounting, information technology, environmental issues, corporate governance, sales/marketing and operations, not-for-profits and business related issues in Canada. If you are a subject matter expert and would like to become an occasional blogger, please contact Yosie Saint-Cyr at If you liked this post and would like to subscribe to Inside Internal Controls blog click here.

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