by Loren G. Edelstein | February 01, 2017

 

Our latest survey, which elicited the career priorities of younger vs. older professionals in the meetings industry (click here to see those results), encouraged further comments from respondents, a sampling of which appears below. 

We asked Millennials: 
How would you describe your career goals?

• I want something that challenges me personally and professionally, offers a variety of experiences, allows a comfortable work-life balance and opportunities to travel.
• Achieve a position with a sense of purpose -- likely owning my own business, because I can dictate an agenda that isn't strictly profit-driven, and because it's the realization of an "own not rent" philosophy. So far with my employers I perceive I'm receiving less compensation than my contribution merits.
• Impact the industry to be more tech integrated; work with clients who can afford to be creative
• I want to build a reputation for being one of the best in the industry.
• BIG
• Career goals are in general to make a wage to maintain my lifestyle and get out of all student debt. Have a healthy family relationship that is not overshadowed by work. I want the majority of the days I work to be "work because I enjoy it." The minority of my days should feel like I have to work to live.
• I am currently a marketing events manager for a medical device manufacturer. I would like to have my CMP certification within three years, so that I can move out of the devices industry but remain an event coordinator. It would be great to work in a company of event coordinators, as opposed to working as the only event coordinator for a company.
• My career goals are to become an independent meeting planner who can complete a meeting from start to finish without oversight.
• I would like to pursue writing as a full-time position in the future.
• I want to grow professionally, but not at the expense of work-life balance or feeling unfulfilled by my work.
• Entrepreneurial
• Want to become a director of my department eventually!
• Working my way up through management
• Learn and grow and repeat
• Changing as I learn more about the industry
• Focused, with slow incremental steps
• Flexible, intertwined with my personal goals
• I want to continue to grow and learn so my input is valued, but I don't want to run the department -- too much stress.
• Do something that I enjoy, with people I enjoy, for a boss I like, which provides a good work/life balance and also provides a competitive salary. I am more concerned with having a good work/life balance with a job I enjoy on a reasonable salary, than making a lot of money with a job I hate and keeps me from doing the things I like outside of work.
• I own my own business as a side hustle while working full time. I make more in salary doing that than I do at the nonprofit that fulfills me personally and still lets me grow professionally. I still strive to move up into high-level leadership positions at the nonprofit over time as I strongly believe in the mission and the wonderful organization that it is.
• I'm highly ambitious. I would like to continue in my current role, collecting more responsibilities and experiences, and eventually lead my own team.
• I plan on being a visionary within the advertising industry.
• I strive to push myself and my team members to be the best that we can be both personally and professionally, since that has a great impact on our overall career success. I love being a mentor to my peers and seeing individuals grow around me as well. In the long run, I want to know that I inspired people, had an impact on their companies' success and loved my job every minute of the way. In the hospitality industry it also allows for creative freedom, which helps drive my motivation as well.
• Would like to continue "moving." I don't necessarily know where I want to be, but I know that I do not want to be in a career path that is stagnant. I need that constant ladder to keep climbing to keep pushing me and see what I'm striving for.


We asked nonmillennials: 
What do you most like or dislike about working with Millennials?

• I like to see how they are using social media.
• Question misses the point: Every workforce has had to face a new, younger demographic. Bigger issue: We now have nearly seven generations in the workplace (from age 20 to 70). There is very little that a 50- to 60-year demographic span will have in common, especially in planning meetings and events. Multigenerations in the workplace should be the focus, not just a single group.
• I am not one to generalize, but I do love their personalities and perspective. We need to be listening to Millennials and Gen Zs if we are going to remain relevant.
• I think in general they have great ideas, and as a baby boomer I'm excited to learn from them. I appreciate their desire to go where they are needed and want to work rather than staying in a role they are suited for with a company that doesn't fit them. My generation and my parents' generation stayed at a job for security; we are learning from Millennials that we don't have to do that.
• Always the last ones to arrive and the first ones to leave, yet complain they are overworked. Ridiculous amount of personal time-wasting on the job. Never around to share in the heavy lifting (literal or metaphorical). Complain they are not taken seriously but don't put in the effort to be taken seriously
• I love that they dispel the biases about them in all they do. Their willingness to challenge the stereotypes about them is so refreshing -- speaking "truth to power"!
• They are selfish, inconsiderate of the older workers, want everything their way, not loyal, somewhat lazy, only want to do certain things, don't want to help others, will only do what they feel will place them in the limelight to be seen by others.
• Don't want to work hard to get ahead
• They are always on their phones, they ignore protocol, and they do not know how to dress for a business environment.
• In general, I've found that they have a misguided sense of how they will work their way up the chain in their field. Some expect to be promoted after only six months, others seem put off when given "grunt work." However, they don't realize that doing grunt work is how one learns the intricacies of a job field, and that the job description for entry-level positions is largely comprised of grunt work.
• I like: bring a new energy to the work environment; very computer savvy; very social-networking savvy; offer mentoring opportunities for seasoned staff. I Dislike: "know it all" attitude; not interested in historical knowledge or data; not collaborative; don't have strong understanding of level of command in an office setting; tend to push for conclusion without proper due diligence
• No time schedule
• In general, they lack a attitude of hard work. Always want to "play." Need to learn not everyone wins. Sense of entitlement when most of the time they haven't earned it
• Difficulty with understanding the big picture of a business. Not realizing the integral part they play as a staff member -- that their work performance affects others, especially the client!
• They don't necessarily want to travel within the company guidelines and think they can do it all without assistance and then call because they need help.
• Their youthful spirit is contagious. Seeing things from their prospective
• The two I currently work with seem to be team players who easily collaborate with others. While I believe some characteristics can generalize this generation's "label," I still believe we are all unique individuals, coming from a wide variety of diverse backgrounds and current (life) circumstances.
• Energy and enthusiasm for something they believe in
• They have a positive disposition for the most part and are more balanced in their lives.
• They seem to be a mile wide and an inch deep. Talk a good game but cannot deliver and then blame you for their failure. They bench-warm, underperform, can be deceiving and will not accept personal responsibility for their actions.
• I like that they are unafraid to dive into projects/software/situations that are new to them -- no fear! I dislike that they seem to be a bit socially and personally immature even into their 30s. Most of the Millennials in my office still live at home and rely on their parents for laundry and food!
• That they feel they are owed something.
• Their la-di-dah affect; their interaction with their "devices" rather than other people. 
• They're lazy, pretentious, unmotivated, tardy and have a very poor work ethic.
• Lack of work experience to know how to collaborate. Written and verbal communication skills are not honed.
• I work directly with a Millennial, and what I experience is that he always tries to find the easiest and or fastest way of getting a project done, not taking into account quality or paying attention to detail. He feels more concerned about getting the job finished and out of the way.
• I like working with Millennials. They bring a fresh perspective and provide powerful ideas.
• I feel like they could just get on with it more often; their need for feedback can be exhausting.
• Arrogant sense of entitlement
• Eager to learn, not focused on time served with company
• While I do not want to generalize an entire group, many require constant and repeated praise for minimal efforts, e.g., thank you for showing up to work, thanks for doing the least amount of work...
• They don't seem to want to work. They don't seem ambitious, and they don't seem to be able to make decisions on their own.
• Like: Millennials are very tech savvy. Dislike: They feel they are entitled to positions and responsibility without putting in the time.
• Millennials are self-absorbed. Few care to be informed. Even less read a daily paper -- in print or online. All they do is Facebook, video, tweet.
• Lack of professional dress and social skills
• They call in sick a lot.
• They truly have a different perspective of a workday. They embrace technology and are happy to share their learnings with elder coworkers. They are a very sensitive bunch and require a lot of coddling. While a very teachable group, it's exhausting to constantly praise them for each task they complete successfully. Also, items that are simple to the older generation totally baffle Millennials, e.g., paying bills, writing a check, shopping for food, cooking meals that aren't frozen. I guess we learn from each other.
• They feel like they know best, and their way is the only valid way to get the job done.
• Not ready for the real world
• They are very driven by $$ more than anyone. Also they have a lot to contribute with tech advancing. They also are frustrated with the lack of technology in hospitality as a whole.
• The dynamic often morphs from employer/employee to parent/child. As your employer, I don't care if you are having a bad breakup, so don't ask me to comfort you as if I were your mother.
• As a manager of Millennials, I find their job-progression expectations to be unrealistic from the culture of the companies that they choose to be employed by.
• Positive: They have energy that helps make the workplace more exciting. Negative: Some do not value the importance of experience.
• They are not willing to pay their dues. They think they can do the job without any experience, and they think they know everything.