Technically I am earliest installation of Millennials. What that means is that, we can use digital devices but had to learn how to use them. It is not something that has always been part of my life. Majority of my friends are from Generation X and my frame of reference has always been more from that side. So to put it to movies context, I am more “Straight Outta Compton” than “We Are Your Friends”.
Age is nothing but a number, but generally I found that there is more to learn from younger people than old geezers. Old age brings experience. Experience brings predictability. Predictability brings cynicism. Which means that every year brings you closer to become a truly whiny and bitter bastard. No need to beat around bush, that is where we all are eventually heading.
The behavior of real millennials (not from older end, like me) is shaping the future. If I think about my own parents they have eventually turned out to all things early adopters first pioneered, whether it is Netflix, smartphones or Finnish hip-hop. You cannot learn about stickers by reading about them, you have to observe people who are actually using them. There are lots of things to learn from younger generation, but how to meet them? I have three methods to try to pick brains of millennials:
- Be available mentor
Whether it is a company initiative or someone is approaching you for help, try to be available and meet different people. Bad experiences are valuable experience as well and when you mentor someone you most likely learn even more from you mentee. Millennials might think that you have something valuable to contribute, so be helpful. One coffee can make a big difference.
- Try to talk to the students
Today I was talking to marketing students in SMU. They were super active and smart bunch. Questions were sharp and made me also think from different angle. When you are at beginning of your marketing career it feels that you are actually thinking more straight and clearly. All the marketing jargon has not yet totally polluted your brain. Well, there is time for everything.
- Go where the young people are
I don’t actually know where young people nowadays are and I would not dare to go there even if I know. And I don´t really want to know. Clubs are too noisy. I just want to hang out at home, listen to vinyl records (from when I was teenager) and enjoy a good glass of wine. So two out of three is ok as well.
If you don´t know what millennial is and you don´t know if you are one, check this Vanity Fair guide. Funnily (or sadly) in the latest Vanity Fair, there was a letter to the editor by (younger) millennial. She referred to VF as a magazine, she envisioned to be reading when she would be over 30. Damn, I have read VF from when I was 20.
I must be the most failed Millennial in the world.