What Do Millennials Want?

What do Millennials Want?
What do Millennials Want?
What do millennials want? This seems to be the burning question for employers, politicians and academics. This group of individuals, who span the ages of roughly 20 to the early 30s, will soon represent the biggest chunk of the American workforce. By next year, millennials will account for 36% of the U.S. workforce. By 2025, they will account for 75% of the global workplace.

Everyone is trying to figure them out. A now infamous Time Magazine article from last year described them as narcissistic, lazy and coddled. This seemed a little harsh, so I set off to separate fact from fiction. Luckily for me, Informatica has hired a large number of new college hires and interns, so I went straight to the source. I asked them what was important to them, what values they hold dear, and what is important to them in a dream job. Hold onto your hats, their answers may surprise you.

My first question was on a motto they try to live by, and I was struck by how similar what they said was to earlier generations: Family first. Live by the golden rule. Do unto others as they would have them to unto you. Where was the selfish, grasping millennial?

Another advised that “You should never think that you are the smartest person in the room: Ask questions and listen!” he said. Where was the raging narcissist? Yet another advised that you should try to make a contribution to the company beyond what you were hired for. “Get involved, participate, and work for the greater good”, he said.

This was a group of millennials who believed deeply in making a difference. Many of them appreciated that Informatica has a community giving project, and that employees were encouraged to volunteer and organize “giving” events outside of work. They understood that they would have to do some routine work in order to get to the good stuff. All of them recognized that not every day would be a day of scintillating learning. They appreciated that all of our executives have an open door policy and that we work in teams. That collaboration was not just a buzz word for us. Wow! Again, where was the raging narcissist. It would be interesting to expand my study to a greater control group, but in the meantime, I left the meeting feeling energized and really hopeful about this new generation of talent at Informatica.

As an extension of that day, and in the spirit openness, we thought it would be great to have our new hires speak directly to all of you. Our college hires work across several of our business functions Many of them use their technical skills to contribute to our world class data integration products, others flex their analytical and creative skills to dive deep, looking for new answers to old problems. Whichever team our new hires work for, they make an impact. And, to highlight their unique experiences, we’re bringing you a special blog series, “Informatica Interns Ideas: 2014.

We hope you enjoy it, and look forward to hearing your thoughts on what millennials really want.