I read and hear a lot about the “changing generations” and how the mixture of Web 2.0 and the Millennial market are going to change the way we do business. Many young people these days want to trade the fancy car for a hybrid, the corner office for a group table and the desktop for an iPad. As I’ve gone from job to job and met people at all levels of business, I’ve started to develop a bit of a concern about what business will look like when Millennials rule the world. I’ve met a lot of young people who seem to believe that everything about the world can be changed with the flick of a switch, and it seems to me that my generation is in for a big wake up call.
Tip #1: We don’t rule the world yet
The world is not a blank canvass with limitless space for the new generations to move in to. Every generation before us also has their place in business with their own goals and their own ways of working. Just because Mark Zuckerberg is changing the world with his business doesn’t mean that we can all do it too.
Tip #2: We don’t know everything
One thing that I love about my generation is that we don’t just do things the way they’ve always been done. The old way of thinking is not always the right way of thinking, and if something just doesn’t make sense to us we will challenge it. On the flip side of this, though, are those people who think that everyone above them is a dinosaur and that they are more capable of doing everything than the people doing everything now. Well, you’re not. There are a lot of things about business that you just can’t understand until you’ve been in your industry for a while. Ambition is a plentiful commodity, but skill is a rare one.
Tip #3: Change takes time
Barack Obama did a great job at igniting the spirit of change in Millennials. He played in to our misconceptions that change is easy and happens overnight. Unfortunately that’s not the case at all. Change is gradual. It takes trial and error, hard work, and yes, even politics to make change happen.
I can honestly say that I’m excited for the future of business, and that Millennials truly will re-shape the world. I am persistently impressed by many of the people that I’ve worked with and continue to work with today. I just hope for all of our sake that our generation runs the world the right way, and not just the way we think it should be run.
David Trahan is currently working at leading social marketing agency Mr Youth in New York where he develops innovative marketing campaigns for some of the world’s leading brands. He has previously held positions with the Ad Council, Goldman Sachs and others, and is a graduate of the Pace University Lubin School of Business. David is now a mentor in the Alumni Mentor Program at Pace and is a member of the AD Club of NY Young Professionals Steering Committee. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.