Millennials and Post-Millennial Generation
We are facing times or drastic, fast changes. Everything changes so fast that not everyone is able to adapt to the new world we are facing.
What is the future of people born between the years 1980 and 2000 (The Millennials)?
What is the future of people born between the years 2000-2020 (The post-Millennials)?
The Millennials are part of a generation who faces changes and new experiences all the time. We as Millennials, are used to grow up in multicultural families, divorces are not new, we have the freedom gained after the sexual revolution, a more open-minded society towards different styles of relationships and a whole new educational system. It is normal to be against domestic and child’s violence, racism, classism and sexism. All those were our parent’s problems and fights. Our parents are like that: The ones who fought to get all those rights and freedom, expecting the best for us. Also we still had a little bit of an economic stability that is already gone. There are not all the issues related to the post-war crisis. At the same time Millennials met the first videogames, the use of computers everywhere, the arrival of cellphones (as a luxury and as a basic tool), the general use of internet, the easier access to education, the globalized world, including a wider range of food, music and television . The access to travel and learn about cultures and languages is easier than ever.
The main cultural change is the access to huge amounts to information that other generations didn’t had. The change we are facing now is equal to the invention of printing, when suddenly people had access to books. The few people, who could read, highly increased their knowledge and the gap between poor, uneducated people and the educated ones became bigger.
But changes right now are too fast and the same generation is facing troubles that were supposed to be faced by several generations, like in the past. Let’s talk about cellphones as an example. When the first cellphones arrived, only a few people had them. It was a real luxury and only very important business people had them as a working tool. Then, more cellphones were produced and more people got one. It turned into a “toy” and people got one even if it wasn’t really necessary. Then times changed again and it became even more necessary than before, because everyone has one and everything is made using the cellphone. Now using a cellphone is as necessary as knowing how to read.
Why is this happening? We are in the middle of the 4th industrial revolution. The same way the world changed with the arrival or machines that replaced the use of animals, we are about to see machines that will replace the human work.
Millennials are already facing that trouble. A few years ago, any person without a career was able to work at an office as archivist. Also there was the need of a secretary, a receptionist and a telephonist. A single office may need these 4 workers and they had an average salary enough to live properly. Times changed and with the use of computers this work is now done by a single person. In a few years there won’t be even the need of that person. Now we have answering machines, switchboards, files saved on computers etc. There is not even the need of paper mail, everything is saved, copied and sent using internet.
It means that less people is needed, therefore there is more unemployment. Of course the human work is still needed, but we need a single person with a higher level of education. At the same time, this person will earn the same average salary.
The global amount of people with the access to university highly increased in the last couple of decades. At first it was nice, but then there was an excess of professionals expecting a great job. Let’s talk about lawyers. A couple of decades ago, there were much lesser lawyers than now. Those lawyers were full of work, they earned good money and were admired by everybody. Then people said “Oh! Lawyers get rich! I will study hard to be a lawyer!”. Now there is an excess of lawyers and they had to decrease their earnings and increase their studies to an average amount of clients. Now a lawyer will have an average salary and will be an average worker instead of “the pride of the family”.
With the access to more information, people prefer to make their own research before paying a professional. Years ago, people went to the hair salon to dye their hair. Now everybody does it at home. Years ago, people needed a carpenter to fix a cupboard. Now they just check a tutorial on Youtube and go to Home Depot or Walmart to buy anything they would need and fix it by themselves.
Years ago, hundreds of people worked at circuses and made a living out of it. They earned enough money to live and to support all the animals. Now circuses are dead and most of these people are unemployed. At the same time, a small group of developers create a videogame, sell it and thousands of people around the world enjoy it at a minimum cost. And those developers are earning a minimum amount of the total profits.
Years ago a few people went to school, graduated from university and as professionals, they were highly demanded for jobs at offices, schools and banks. They had better salaries and working rights. Of course, they were more educated, they knew about their worker’s rights and demanded a better treatment. These people are still working. They got a safe job for the rest of their lives and are waiting for their retirement. In the midst of that, every year, thousands of new students graduated, expecting to get a job for the rest of their lives and to have a nice retirement. But there are not enough vacancies for all those new professionals. In the urge for getting a job, they accepted jobs with a smaller salary or bad working conditions. After years, we see people working at banks, schools and offices with the same salaries as people without a university career.
Let’s talk about an example. When my mom graduated she found a job at a hospital’s laboratory. It was very hard to study all that chemistry and biology. At a laboratory there is no place for mistakes, especially while working with newborn’s blood. When she was working there, she found out that the woman in charge of cleaning the hospital earned the same as her, while the Chemist, the one in charge of the entire laboratory, with a super high responsibility and a doctorate earned just a little bit more than them. My mom asked why, if she studied so hard to be a professional, salaries were all the same. The janitor said that it was a dirty job that nobody else would want to do. She did it because she had no education at all and needed the money.
Then my mom realized that she needed to find a job that nobody else could do. Once she found her main ability, she got into a better job, even if she didn’t study for it.
At the same time, people are looking to develop technologies to avoid those undesirable jobs and to ensure that human errors are kept to the minimum. A long time ago miners had the best salaries. It was dangerous, but uneducated people had the chance to earn good money. After so many deaths, humans created machines to do that job and now the use of human work is reduced. At the same time, thousands of people around the world became unemployed. These people are poor, have no access to schools and usually live on isolated places. If they don’t work at mines anymore, they have no other work offers.
We as Millennials are learning from those experiences. One of the main characteristics of Millennials is that they are not looking for a high specialization on their careers. They are not even trying to find a job for their whole life. Millennials jump from one job to another, one area to another.
This is a shock for parents who think that their children are immature and feel worried because their children won’t have a stable life. The parent says “Having a good life is to have a stable job, a house, a car, a family and a safe retirement”. Millennials say: “A sad life is to go to the same job every day, do the same things without growing in the company, see the same people, live on the same neighborhood and grow old without having exciting adventures”.
When parents noticed that having a university career is not enough to ensure a good job for their children they started looking for “extra” abilities a child may learn. So they sent the children to lessons after school. We have children who learned about music, languages, math etc. but higher prepared children just created a more competitive world. Then life gets harder while expectations increase.
These children grow up, knowing that they are highly prepared to have a great job and an outstanding life. They feel the pressure of being successful, of fulfilling expectations and fear of failing etc. But they go out to the world and realize that their career will give them an average job with an average salary and they are lucky if they can fulfill their minimum needs. Then they feel frustrated, burdened, disappointed, embarrassed and get into depression. It led to an increase on suicides and addictions between the middle and high-class youth.
This was the main topic of the last World Economic Forum called “A world without jobs”. Our society changed too fast and looks like the newest generations are not adapting fast enough. So professionals, from all around the world, gathered to talk about the main problems, the changes expected and the possible solutions.
The researches show shocking data. 65% of children in elementary school right now will work in jobs that don’t even exist yet. The problem is that schools are not ready for those changes. As an example, in the future we will need people to work with 3d printers, but there are not schools for that yet. At the same time, there is new software to make graphology studies, the robot may recognize the writing and do the psychological analyses without the chance of human errors… but schools still teach graphology to psychologists. In less than 10 years, 40% of the jobs at offices will disappear. What will we do with all those unemployed?
Due to the increase of the life expectation, people will work after the age of 65. This situation is creating an unbalance in the countries’ economy. We have young people with the need of studying more years. Instead of starting working at the age of 18, like before, they need to study until their late 20’s and even 30’s. We will have older people working, but already needing more health care and works specialized in the care of elders and children. It means less job offers for the young graduates. People will need to work more years and save more money to have a retirement, and there are still risks.
Looks like retirement system won’t work. Now the retirement system in Europe is paid by the young working population, but the population is aging and soon there will be more old retired people than young workers. This unbalance will make the retirement system to fall, soon or later. Countries are trying to get rid of that system since now, because it will be impossible to keep going on.
If the current population between 40 -50 years old is on a risk of not having a proper retirement, what would we expect for Millennials and Post-Millennials?
For years, specialists have been trying to find out a solution for a world that may collapse at any moment. We hear it again and again “If things don’t change now, we will fail as humans and the whole world will collapse”.
In the forum, specialists talked about the main issues and the possible solutions for Millennials and Post-Millennials. Most of the solutions are focused on children in elementary school. Why aren’t they focused on the Millennials?
The main problem of this generation is the abuse of alcohol, drugs and the suicide rate. This generation grew up hearing things like “You have a better life than the one I had”, “You have more opportunities, therefore you have to be more successful”, “We gave you every possible tool to be successful, you can’t fail with everything you already have”. But these Millennials received tools for a world that doesn’t exist anymore, then the outcomes are not the expected, they feel depressed and commit suicide or get into drugs and alcohol that are just a slow suicide.
The huge problem in the world, right now, is the uncontrollable increase of addictions in the younger population. Youth fell into a cycle of feeling depressed and getting into addictions to avoid their reality. These substances make a negative effect on the brain’s chemistry that makes people feel more depressed in a long term. Then people get more into their addictions. Addictions create bigger problems that lead into a worse depression and the cycle keeps getting worse.
If things don’t change and we don’t stop the addiction level in the world’s population the whole generation is on risk. If we sum up the deaths related to addictions, like suicides, car accidents, deaths by overdoses, other accidents, violent reactions while being intoxicated etc… we get much more deaths per year than deaths by starvation, war or illness together.
The worse fact is that we are losing the younger population, the ones who can work, create and drive reforms in the world. We have a population that asked for education, health care, natural resources and when they are in the age of working and being productive with everything they received, they get into drugs and die young or do nothing good to the society, even harm the whole society.
This generation is going to school until their late 20’s, they start working at their 30’s and plan to get married and have children around 35-40 years old… but they are getting into addictions while being teenagers. If we consider that most people needs 8 years to get deeper and deeper into the addiction before realizing they have a problem, and about 8 more years to either get out or to get to the deepest point of the addiction…. It means that we are losing people around 40 years old, exactly at the age of having small children.
There is an alarming growth in the rate of children born with the addiction to certain substances because their parents were addicted during or a little before the conception of the baby. It also includes the death of newborns while facing withdrawal symptoms and abandonment.
Here, the discussion on the forum turned more into an ethical topic. While one side said that we have to make a drastic change and lower the addiction level and every non-saved will be a regret in the future for the rest, also we will face the side effect for many years, because the effects of a single active addict affect the next 3 generations of his descendants, while the effects of an ex-addict affects 1 generation of his descendants. Another side said that it is too late for this generation and we should let them to die soon, we shouldn’t divert resources needed for other areas, on helping them to face the side effects of their addictions, anyway we live on an over-populated world and we have to see it as a “natural selection” and a way to lower the population at a faster rate.
There was no conclusion about this topic.
If things don’t change, we will have a whole generation of children suffering the effects of their parent’s addictions or the absence of them. Every time is more common for small children to have an image of their parents as intoxicated or drunk, especially in middle-class children.
Years ago it was common only for children growing up in small, poor populations, were people had no access to information and education. Now the addiction problems are getting worse in the middle and high classes, where they have access to the information since a young age.
The future generations will look back at us asking “Why didn’t you stop it while it was still possible?”. The main objective right now is to stop the huge amount of deaths in young people related to addictions. The second objective will be to stop the increasing amount of people facing the side effects of the addictions, the ones who don’t die. I am talking about people with brain damage due to an overdose, an attempt of suicide or damage to kidneys, liver, lungs and other organs that incapacitate people from working or even being independent.
We are about to cross the line into being a “lost generation”. Lost generations usually are the children raised in the middle of war, facing death, traumatic situations, starvation, and see a completely destroyed world, causing them to grow up without any hope, severe traumas and deep psychological problems, together with extreme economic and health problems and no expectation to have a better life for them and even their children.
Then why would the Millennials be a lost generation? If they are not facing any of those extreme situations.
The Millennial generation is in a deep depression, thinking that is too late to fix the world and they live in a hopelessness state. This new generation didn’t get into addictions because of a lack of information; they did it because they didn’t care about their future. A society where any addiction is common and generalized is a failed society, nothing to be proud of, and it is a sign that things have to change immediately, but who and how will things change if population just gave up and drowned into addictions?
So the forum focused on the 2 urgent changes needed: 1.- There is a need of controlling the addiction levels in population. 2.- There is a need to drastically decrease the population level before the natural resources are insufficient and societies start to collapse one by one.
Once we can control these 2 problems, we can start working with the newly needed abilities on children. The first conclusion is that we shouldn’t focus on universities, degrees and diplomas, because things will keep changing too fast and we will need new careers all the time. We have to focus on “abilities” more than diplomas.
We may not know what careers we will need in the future, but we can know which careers will disappear or decrease, so we shouldn’t focus on that.
Firstly we have routine, easy jobs at offices will disappear as soon as possible.
Jobs at “Maquilas/Maquiladoras”. These assembly factories are already declining in countries like Mexico since year 2000. In Mexico, a maquiladora or maquila is a manufacturing operation in a free trade zone (FTZ), where factories import material and equipment on a duty-free and tariff-free basis for assembly, processing, or manufacturing and then export the assembled, processed and/or manufactured products, sometimes back to the raw materials’ country of origin. Those jobs were usually taken by the most vulnerable members of society: Teenage, low-class, single mothers without an education. In the last decades, the rate of single mothers and people without basic education has been reducing, and every time less women are willing to do such jobs while factories are getting machines to do the jobs at a lesser cost and complications.
Mass production in Mexico, Bangladesh, China and Africa.
It is the same case with miners and builders. Now most of the job is made by machines.
The next area that will face a drastic decrease is the area of arts, sports and entertainment. With the use of internet, globalization and the generalization of English as a second language, a single artist and entertainer will reach a world-wide audience instead of having local entertainers. Television is about to disappear and people will prefer entertainment on videogames and virtual reality, instead of humans.
The next area is everything related to law. People are having more knowledge about their rights than before and they don’t need to ask a professional for small questions like before. At the same time, laws are changing all the time and it will be really hard to lawyers to adapt to the changes.
Another area that will face a reduction of demand is everything related to maintenance and small fixes at home. Every time more people know how to fix their own problems without the need of calling an electrician or plumber.
What are the already existing jobs that will keep growing on?
In a smaller amount, we have education. People will keep learning things, as much as they can. Maybe they won’t have the same economic level as actual teachers, but they will still be able to find a job.
Jobs that will increase and will always be essential are the sellers, business management, and international business.
Still there is a lack of geniuses, so the world will still need architects, mathematicians and engineers and everything related to robotics.
The next conclusion is that the Post-Millennials won’t have enough with a university career or even a higher degree. What other abilities will they need?
A basic ability: Languages. We already live in a globalized world and we need to change our minds to the fact that we will have to meet new cultures at any moment.
Everybody will need to speak at least 2 languages, but the most common will be to speak 3 languages. The most needed language is English. There is no doubt about it and no way to run away from it. It will be a necessary language for everybody around the world, because English became a “neutral” language to communicate everywhere. Still speaking English will not be enough.
Then people asked. What languages should we learn?
It depends on the area we want to work.
The most spoken language in the world is Chinese with 1,119 million speakers. It is useful if you are interested in business and economy. Also if you are in that area it will be helpful to learn Arab, as they keep most of the world’s wealth.
The second most spoken language is Spanish with 559 million. It is important because Spanish speakers are spread around the world and you will find them wherever you go. It is important because of the number of countries who speak Spanish or with a high population of Spanish speakers. If you are into a business that depends on reaching a wide clientele, you should focus in Spanish.
If you are into literature, public relationships, diplomacy, laws, human rights, etc. you will need to learn French. France has been the starter of the main mind-revolutions in history.
The same way if you are into psychology or philosophy you will want to learn German and study in the original language everything was written. Also if you are into medicine, engineering, chemistry etc, as far as Germany controls the medicine market.
These specialists made a list of “new” abilities needed:
Deep reasoning and adaptive thinking: People will have access to a huge amount of information, but they will need the intelligence to know what is important and what is not. Specialists focused on parents trying to get their children into more schools, trying to give them more tools to have more opportunities in their adulthood, but specialists were talking about not to “saturate” children with and excess of unnecessary information and responsibilities. Let’s say, a children will need English for sure, therefore English lessons are ok, but if the future need engineers, it is useless to get every child into ballet. We should give children useful, practical and realistic tools. If children start facing frustration too early, they will be “burn-out” or tired at their adulthood.
When children are too overburdened with responsibilities that don’t fit their age, they get into depression and have anxiety problems that will make them weaker towards addictions while being teenagers and adults. There is an alarming rate of depressed children committing suicide at ages about 8 and 10 years old due to the high level of responsibilities they are facing.
In Mexico, the used terms is “Breaking down the child”. It means “breaking down” his nerves, his feelings and his childhood with an excess of responsibility and taking away the time to play and discover the world by himself by molding his mind into a square. Childhood is the best stage of life and it will never come back. We have to be especially careful about not depriving children from it. “Breaking down” the child is something that we can’t fix when they are older and will lead to problematic teenagers and adults. A healthy child will lead to a healthy adult. Even if the adult has problems, there is still inside a happy child that will help the patient to get better soon.
One of the found solutions is widespread use of coaching. Future workers will face a lack of motivation and discouragement into doing new things and will work without passion, they will just keep going on like a robot. They will need coaches who will work to keep their emotions alive and a connection with their passions, fears and feelings. They will work on avoiding the so called “death of the soul” that is another of the main causes of addiction, depression and suicides.
The way of learning is changing. Now there is no need of going to a school every day with a teacher to learn something. There are several ways to learn from distance and we have free information everywhere. The Post-Millennial children will find unorganized, abstract information and they will need to know how to process it and when/how it will be useful. The same way they will need to find new ways of thinking and different solutions. They will need to get out of the established known system/routines and create their own new ways. That’s why it is so important not to get all the children into the same schools and lessons when they are still forming a criterion. The main tools future children will need are originality and imagination to make things in a different way.
Also they will need to be interdisciplinary. It means that instead of being very specialized in a certain area, they will need to know a little bit of different areas. It will be harder to find a job so they will need to jump to different jobs and areas, or a single person will have to do the job of several people. Let’s an actual CEO studied only management, but in the future a CEO will need knowledge on laws, psychology, international relations etc.
They will need to adapt to jobs with different systems, schedules and structures. Computers let us to work from home and to communicate with people far away.
Also it is very important to learn how to manage money, to have a self-control about spending and saving money. Children must be familiar to money since they are small children and parents must talk clearly about it with them. One of the main advices: Learn to live without debts. And I am talking from small debts to mortages. We don’t know what to expect about the global economy and the interest rates keep increasing fast. So keep in min: Don’t spend money that you don’t earn yet, especially of you don’t know if you will earn it. In a consumer world, don’t try to feel richer than you are, it is important not to let yourself to be carried by trends.
They will need something called “Social Intelligence”. Every time people will interact less and we will lose certain social abilities. Then, children will need the “Social Intelligence”. It means the ability of communicating with people in a deep, direct, clear way, knowing how to express ideas so they can be understood by people even from different cultures.
We live in a globalized world, we need each other, we need each country and each culture. We can’t close out minds to other cultures and the most open countries to other cultures will be the most successful. It was one of the secrets of USA to become that powerful.
In the forum somebody asked: “Why is United Kingdom facing so many troubles to adapt to the new global system, while USA is not? Both are supposed to have the same culture”.
And the answer was clear:
USA interacts with every country, culture and gets a little bit of everyone. It became a multicultural country. Americans don’t face huge troubles to adapt to a different culture, to learn a new language, to coexist with foreigners. A person may go to a good university and move to another country without any problem. They learn new languages and are open-minded towards other cultures. In USA everybody is an immigrant, so in their mind, people move from one country to another all the time.
Here is where racism sabotages the own country. UK has a small group of population with a specific lifestyle: They are high/middle-class, they have access to the best universities of the country that are also the best in the world. They go, study hard and get a diploma. But their ethnocentrism won’t let them to open to other cultures. Even if they receive a good job offer in a third-world country, they won’t accept it or they will desert it soon because they can’t adapt to the new culture. At the same time, there are immigrants (or descendants), who study hard and also get their diploma. Due to their background they already speak 2 or 3 languages. They already have the experience of moving into a new country and once they get a good job offer, they have more abilities to get and keep the job.
At the end one of the main abilities is the “ability of being highly productive in the middle of a different culture”. How do we develop this ability? Learning to work in harmony with foreigners even while facing the walls of language and cultural shocks.
It means the ability to communicate, create and organize a project and keep it running for a short and long-term with a person/team from a different country and without a common language. And don’t tell me that it is impossible.
It is possible to have a communication with a person under this situation. It is very clear when a person opens his mind to a new culture, then it is easier for the person to learn a new language. Once we learn to fit with the other person and keep the project running our brain will open new ways of thinking that will let us to think different and find new solutions to the new problems.
These abilities are not taught at schools and are the needed tools to face the future. Keep them on mind and start working on it.