Millennials started turning 40 in 2020, just in time for the COVID-19 Pandemic. (It figures).
As of this writing, it’s showing precisely zero signs of going away anytime soon, and even if the virus itself is eradicated, its ripple effects will continue to stay with us for a long time.
Around this time last year, I happened into a certification program that brought me back into the life coaching world, and I felt drawn to focus on working with members of my own generation.
At first, my basis for what defined a “Millennial” was based in the whole “avocado toast” collection of stereotypes and interests (my logo for my service even includes an avocado), but I knew there would have to be more. I spent most of the rest of the year in that inquiry, sorting out just what it was that I was missing.
It’s only recently come to me that my error with the Millennial “niche” was in focusing too much on the marketing aspect, on the shared interests, assumed values, and stereotypes.
The fact is, on the individual and street levels, Millennials are fundamentally no different than any other cohort: they have a wide variety of interests, they span the political spectrum, and they are too large and too diverse to be contained within a few stereotypes.
And, just as fundamentally, none of that stuff matters anyway.
Because who Millennials are is of far less importance than what Millennials are here to do, what they — we — are facing as a generation.
That also means not looking at the people around today, but at the world today, and seeing what we need to face.
The challenges should be predictable by now: the pandemic is the immediate one, social and economic justice is the next, with the climate emergency being the biggest of the three fish.
Will Millennials face these challenges?
And if so, how?
It’s on us, after all. We’re now entering the age bracket in which people typically begin assuming the reins of power in governments, corporations, and other institutions. We will soon literally have the power to remake the world.
The discourse ought not to be about whether or not we’re “killing” mayonnaise or professional golfing, or our supposed “entitlement” complex or any of those other Instaworthy things, but on just what kind of world we’re going to…