Millennials, Diversity and the Workforce

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Millennials, the generation that is just now starting to surface into the real-world and develop themselves as young professionals, are not always understood. I’ve heard millennials called several different things — entitled, lazy, antisocial. Millennials have a negative connotation that they’re the generation that has been handed everything and constantly have their heads in their cell phones. Millennials do bring a fresh, new and unique perspective to the world — especially in the public relations field. The good far outweigh the bad when describing a millennial and here’s why.

Technology.

Millennials have had a privilege like no generation before. They’ve grown up with amazing technology. They advanced and grew right alongside the technological advances that have surfaced within the last couple of decades. They grew up using it so they ultimately mastered it without realizing what they were doing it. Millennials are the generation that grew up with social media and have mastered the art of tweeting, posting pictures on Instagram and using Photoshop to design an infographic. They grew up with laptops and learned how Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel functioned. They grew as technology grew and that is something no other generation can say.

Open Mindedness.

Millennials are known to be very open-minded. Millennials are young, full of expression and creativity. They like voicing their opinions and expressing their ideas. Their open mindedness and willingness to take on different tasks, as well as head down several different avenues, really helps them stand out — especially when it comes to PR. PR requires an open mind, the ability to see different viewpoints, offer your own insight and to not be afraid to speak up about something you either agree or disagree with.

Creativity.

Millennials are known to be very creative. Their fresh perspective on the world and the things around them allows them to brainstorm and conjure up fresh and exciting ideas in the workplace. They’re quick, witty and passionate. They think on their feet and allow new knowledge and unique ideas to enter their minds.

Creativity in the public relations world is essential. How can I make this press release stand out? I wonder what I can do differently to this infographic. Here’s a cool idea for a social media campaign.

Creativity leads to innovative ideas and possibilities, which can lead to something the world has never seen before.

Knowing your role.

People talk about millennials being entitled and having everything handed to them but I think it’s the opposite. Millennials must prove themselves day in and day out in the work force, because they’re so young and are just getting their feet wet. Millennials are good at knowing their role and what I mean by that is: they know what they need to do and they’re willing to do it. In the world of public relations, millennials face a significant age gap. With that age gap comes the need to climb the ladder. It’s not very often that millennials walk into a PR agency for a job interview and leave with an account supervisor position. No, millennials know their role and know that they must overcome obstacles such as age, gender and not having opportunities in a certain part of the country.

Millennials have an obligation, like the generation before them, to advance the future generation. To use their fresh ideas and unique insight to advance the world in any way possible. To put themselves out there and to not be afraid to fall. What do you bring to the table as a millennial? Comment below!

Riley Nordquist is a Senior at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Riley is a member of the PRSSA National Industry News and Current Events subcommittee, and serves as both the vice president of Strategy and firm director for his chapter of PRSSA. Connect with Riley on Twitter @riley_nordquist and LinkedIn.

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