An outlook on Generation Now!
As published on How Cool Brands Stay Hot on October 28, 2014. Together with De Morgen, InSites Consulting took a deep dive into the world of Millennials, more specifically 1,000 Flemish Millennials (aged 20 to 29). We talked about their dreams, how they see the world, their work ethic and much more, in order to find out what really sets this generation apart from previous generations. Throughout the past weeks, De Morgen already launched the first results of this study in their restyled newspaper (and accompanying website). In what follows here, we share the results on 4 topics that struck us the most.
Working 9 to 5?
When asking Millennials about their ambitions for the future, 38% says: “Have a family” while only 13% regards building a successful career as a personal goal for the future. Had their parents or even older siblings been asked the same question, a flourishing career would have been much higher on the priority list.
After diving deeper into what Millennials are looking for in a job, social relationships with colleagues as well as a work/life balance appear to be very important criteria next to making money, of course. Although the average Millennial works a standard 38 hours a week, 55% occasionally has to work overtime. GenYers who work overtime are remarkably less satisfied with their work/life balance.
In short, Gen Y seeks for a stress-free, decently paid job with cool colleagues and which allows for a good work/life balance.
See the world
While Millennials are perceived by many as the travelling generation which seems to be more abroad than at home and which takes sabbaticals after graduation to explore the world, this seems to be contested by the Generation Now study.
More than half of the GenYers spends an average of 2 weeks or less on holidays. When asked to what extent they think about planning a big trip before they start working, 27% of GenYers indicates not being interested in such a trip. About 1/3rd is indeed interested yet doesn’t have the money to cover it. This financial hurdle also surfaces when asking about their annual travel budget: 30% spends less than €500 a year on traveling.
Let’s talk about…
Millennials hold fairly traditional views on love and relationships. Living together with a partner and having a family are two things that (would) make this generation very happy, more so than exploring the world or having a successful career. Nearly 2/3rd also believes in true love and has a traditional view on the sequence of different stages in life: marriage and buying a house come before having children.
However, there are some less conservative ideas among GenYers as well. Even though they strongly believe in true love, it appears they haven’t found it yet. All Millennials, even those currently in a relationship, expect to have more relationships coming up in the future. Furthermore, 22% believes having unprotected sex is the most normal thing happening and topics like S&M and polygamy are perfectly fine to talk about.
With regard to homosexuality, 90% thinks this is something very normal. Joeri Van den Bergh (Gen Y expert at InSites Consulting and co-author of How Cool Brands Stay Hot) states this generation of 20-year-olds is “the most tolerant generation ever”.
When it comes to family, Millennials attach a lot of importance to a good relationship with them, especially with their parents. More than half describes this relationship with parents as very good to 19% even stating it as perfect. While their own parents couldn’t wait to leave the parental house, Gen Y likes living under the parental roof.
It’s a new world
The high level of tolerance in Millennials also surfaces when asking them how easy they believe it is to be friends with people from other origins. 75% states this is easy. This leaves us with 25% stating that this is difficult to very difficult, with 11% of GenYers not having any friends from another origin at all.
Moreover, 27% perceive intimate interracial relationships as taboo or as a topic they know nothing about. Homosexuality, yes. Interracial relationships, not so much. Next to that, they are very skeptical about the idea of a society in which people from different cultures will live together without issues. And although they grew up in a rapidly globalizing world, a society with faded frontiers is not something they see happening in the next 20 years.
The results of the Generation Now study surprised us, GenYers, and probably many of you as well. The belief that Belgians in their twenties are open-minded globetrotters who seek the thrills in life is contested by this study. Instead, Millennials look for stability in life, their own family, love, happiness and a stress-free job rather than a trip around the world and a ravishing career. In a sense, we could call them the traditional hippies: open-minded and in search for a balanced life full of love and happiness, yet wanting a certain level of security by having a family and their own house.