17 Feb

Who are the Millennials, What do they want, and Why do they Matter?

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Hello Everyone,

It feels so good to be writing again. I have been so busy with something really special and important to me for the past few months and finally…I can openly talk about it.

I’ve just written a Book! Yes, a solid book that you can hold in your hands and savour. I researched on this Book for the last 10 years and have been writing it since 2015! It has indeed been a long journey so you can understand why I’m so excited to share this. And as you may have guessed, the Book is about the Millennials.

It is entitled Empowering Millennials: The 5 Step Sequence to Design a Life of Fun, Freedom & Fortune.

The Millennials, according to most researchers and academics, are typically born between 1980-2000. They are the largest generation entering the workforce in the U.S with an estimated population of 80 Million. as well as in Singapore, where they account for 1.2 Million (Source: Human Resource Consultancy Aon Hewitt)

Millennials have been called and named several things, both positive and negative. However, I think that whatever we hear or read about the Millennials are more of subjective opinions that have, thanks to popular media hype and generational labelling or ‘reverse-ageism’ turned into serious stereotypes. What I’m more concerned with are the facts. It is important for us to wonder, ‘How did the Millennials get labelled?’ and based on my research, I’ve found that it all comes from one basic but serious problem.


It is quite shocking to learn, based on 7000 Millennials (international) surveyed through the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016, that Millennials expect to leave their current jobs in the next 5 years, with 44% planning on leaving within 2 years max! Millennials are taking up jobs with one foot out of the door. Rather than climb a career ladder, research suggests that Millennials are more comfortable riding a ‘career wave’. Working for 40 hour weeks seems to be something of the past for them. Currently, Singapore ranks as one of the few countries that has a 48-hour work week, second to India with 52 hour work weeks. (Source: Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision).

In my Book, I write more about how the world we live in today has changed. Technology has developed so rapidly in the past few decades that the possibilities are endless. The definitions of Success have been re-written. No longer do Millennials care about the 5 C’s. No need for Car (now we have Uber/Grab/Ryde etc for transport), Credit Cards, Country Club Memberships, Condominiums, and Cash. No, they don’t really want ownership. They want Access. They want experiences. They want to live life to the fullest.

Having grown up watching their parents stick to one job, only to be retrenched and treated as a ‘number’ in the company after over 10 years of service… when the Economy is down…has made them realise that there is more to life than sticking to one company. If they do join any company, it is one that is in alignment with what they want out of life.

So what do we Millennials want?

Millennials want to live a life on their own terms.

In other words, they do not want to die with regrets. Hence the creation of terms like #YOLO. Millennials grew up during a time when the book, ‘The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying’ by Author Bronnie Ware went viral and they totally buy it.

1. They see no value in living a life that is expected of them, which they hold no value for.
2. They see no value in working so hard, spending their best years saving up for a retirement that is seemingly harder and harder to reach (not-so-fun fact: 14% of Singapore Millennials believe they will have to work until their death. Source: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/05/millennials-working-till-we-die)
3. They see no value in holding back when it comes to speaking their mind. Many of my Manager friends have experienced this!
4. When it comes to maintaining friendships… it’s much easier for everyone to stay in touch thanks to platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. In fact, it has become a #filtered world where Millennials want to look good and share their awesome and perfect life. It also explains the popularity of apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat – they’re all visual and the best ways to show off your various (travel, food, work) experiences to the rest of the world.
5. Millennials definitely want to be happier than the previous generations. In some ways, they want to place their Happiness first before the Company’s. It’s not our fault – Long Term Service does not have the kind of perks Millennials are looking for. It’s a fact.

I can break this down into 2 portions.

What Millennials want for their Personal Life as well as what Millennials want for their Professional lives.

Personal Lives

Millennials want to have Fun.
Millennials want to have Freedom.
Millennials want to have Fortune.

However, they currently face these problems.

1. They don’t know what they want or don’t know what they’re really passionate about
2. They do not have the work life balance they crave for
3. They are not being promoted as fast as they would like to, to design a lifestyle of their dreams

My book covers the 5 Key Competencies Millennials need to develop to overcome these challenges. I cover the these aspects in greater detail in my Book.

Shameless Plug: If you would like know more, please download my first chapter for Free, or Pre-Order a copy. To do so, please click the link below.


Professional Lives

Corporations are also puzzled because they don’t know what the Millennials want. The Job Hopping Phenomenon has gotten them to pay more attention to the Millennials and ask them ‘What do you want?’ There are multiple articles out there that touch a few points here and there but none that helps you understand the holistic picture of what Millennials expect from an Organisation.

In the next few weeks, I will be rolling out the answers to the ultimate question of ‘What do Corporations need to do to Attract, Retain & Engage the Millennials at the Workplace’

I have come up with 7 FUNDAMENTALS which I believe will help Corporates understand more on how they can tweak their hiring process such that it will be swarmed with the right type of Millennial Employees. Every Week, I will dive deep into each Fundamental because all of these are based on personal research as well as research from supporting academic papers.

So why do Millennials Matter?

The Millennials are here to stay. They are forming the Majority in the workplace and the numbers inevitably add to their influence. As the Baby Boomers begin to retire, the world is looking at the next biggest generation as we move ahead. The faster we understand the Millennials, the better it is for everyone involved.

If you like what I talk about or my style of writing, feel free to follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. The links to all of the above can be found here on my website www.vivek-iyyani.com

You can follow my company ‘YOU! Training & Development’ on LinkedIn here and this is our Facebook page, where we encourage conversation on topics around Leadership and Millennials.