Courting Millenials for Development Work in the light of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Part 1

I know as a former millennial myself that you have a short attention span so I will try to make this short and simple. Let’s go!

How do we court Millenials for development work in the light of the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Paano ba manligaw? Uso pa ba ang harana or PM na lang?

Let’s play a courting game. How will Mr. Development Work (DW) court Ms. Millenial (MN)?

My aim is to make you engaged. Ang target ko ay hindi lang mapasagot si MN ngunit maging matagal ang aming relasyon. #Bagay na bagay ba tayo? Let’s see.

There is a difference in ways of courting from then to now but what stays the same is that it will start with the simple “getting to know you” stage.

Who are you? I am searching. Are you my ideal girl or wife?

Because of the Millenial generation, job recruiters or headhunters like me are no longer buyers. We are now considered as sellers.

This is a snapshot of you (Snapchat for you).

Millenials are known as Generation Y because it comes after Generation X. It is a generation of people born between the early 1980s and 1990s.

They are teenagers, twenty-to thirty somethings who have been dubbed the Millenial Generations or simply Millenials.

Some feel it is the rise of the “trophy kids”, the “kiddults” and the me, myself and I generation. You will be the majority of the workforce by 2020.

As the name indicates, Millenials grew up during the Millenium period, a time of rapid change. Naturally events that took place this period have shaped them, giving them a unique set of priorities and expectations.

You bring with you a new attitude about work and different approaches on work should be done including doing two things at the same time or jumping or hopping from job to job.

Work place satisfaction matters more to Millenials than monetary compensation. For you, work and life fit is not only important. It is defining. Social impact is another.

You are perceived in a number of ways. Some perceive Millenials as lazy, tech addicts, narcissistic, and socially and politically disengaged. Why some perceive you as being more open minded, confident and receptive to new ideas and ways of living. You are good employee advocates, providing honest, free and convincing communication and public relations.

There is a spirited, if not tiresome, debate about whether Millenials are self-entitled narcissists, lazy or open-minded. Surely the truth lies somewhere in between.

For example, in a recent study, Millenials at work appear to prioritize culture and look for good company image.

Mostly, the Millenial generation is very progressive. You grew up in an electronics-filled world. A study in 2007 found that one of your top defining characteristics is to embrace change and innovation. You grew up constantly connected with the world.

However, this age of technological revolution has left you with such a short attention span that even a goldfish can hold a thought for longer. If I tell you a story, I have five or maybe eight seconds to get to the point which also make you impatient.

Even so, Millenials are down to earth and practical who have been raised to believe they can accomplish anything and feel personally responsible to make a difference.

It is believed that Millenials are the hope of the future but they won’t do anything without a guarantee.

They prefer to understand the value of doing something and know what they are going to get out of it.

Still, they are compassionate and suppose that it is essential and very important to help others.

They feel obligated to do their part to make the world a better place and believe they can. With that being said, they like working in groups because they believe that teamwork is far more effective than doing it alone.

Part 2

Now, let’s go to the ‘I like you stage”.

If you’re going to court a person, of course, there’s a need to assess if you really like that person. So, you have to consider everything about her. SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) sets in this time.

For example, in the Opportunities quadrant, one is about “translating online noise to real life action”. It is challenging to make people get out of their houses and immerse in communities or go to events or join a protest when clicking like and share is very comfortable.

Yet for Millenials doing humanitarian work, these challenges pale in comparison to the priceless rewards of their job.

Next in the Opportunities quadrant is “impatience to propel us forward”.

This generation wants what they want when they want it, now. Millenial enterpreneurs, however, can use impatience to propel us forward. You notice very young people with business start-ups and are self-declared social entrepreneurs. They are restless in non-leadership positions and want to get going already.

Let’s see the Threats portion such as “reality bites”. Now that they are awakened, what’s next?

The generation brought up on social media must now accept the real work for change, of influencing politics and policies, of limiting state power and curbing political excess lie outside electoral politics. It lays in strong leadership, strong movements and continuous participation. Volunteering or working for non-government organizations, posting on social media, organizing around Twitter hashtags, without more, will not create the caring society that the Millenials dream of. Hence, you are the agent of change, motivated by passion to reshape the nation.

Millenials stand ready for action but they know not how beyond their Twitter hashtags.
In the article ‘Why do millenials join NGOs?”, it says “when you are young, you are usually very idealistic but in the NGO world, you will see that even if we intend to do good things, there will be barriers. So the challenge is to lose not your flame and to keep pushing for what your organization is fighting for”.

Okay, nakilatis ko na si MN at liligawan ko na sya.

Since it’s been decided that you will court the person, there comes a point in time that the person you’re courting will get to know you as well. This is the “serious getting to know you stage” or the “recruitment phase”.

Surrounded by the five (5) trends that shape and shift the future of work, I will introduce myself to you through time. These five trends are: 1) changing behaviors which are being shaped by social media entering the enterprise; 2) new collaborative technologies; 3) a shift to the “cloud”; 4) Millennials soon becoming the majority workforce; and 5) mobility and “connecting to work”. I am a job with meaning that aligns with your values. I offer opportunities that make a difference. I am a community of motivated co-workers. I will challenge you and give you a sense of responsibility.

But, of course, I have to think about whether you’ll like me or you deserve me. So I will have to consider everything about myself as well.

To find a perfect fit, I will present development work’s SWOT analysis. In HR recruitment language, fit means “person-culture-job matching”.

For example, in the Strengths quadrant, on “alignment”. “Bagay tayo!” You are socially aware and believe that it is essential to help others. While I am a job with meaning that aligns to your values.

You feel personally responsible to make a difference. While, I, offer opportunities that make a difference.

I will challenge you and give you a sense of responsibility.

You highly prefer a sense of unity and collaboration while development work consists of a community of motivated co-workers.

Part 3

I know that you need the right leaders and supportive mentor. You want “mentoring”, I will give you that.

But how do you keep the relationship? Paano ba ito matutuloy sa engagement o marriage?

The question is how do you engage Millenials in development work in the light of the Fourth Industrial Revolution? What are the “terms of engagement” or “terms and conditions of work”?

The answer is by simply giving them a sense of inclusion. Millenials have this sense of “specialness” since they are perceive to be the hope of the future. They would like us to feel that they are important and want to see where the relationship is headed. This is the “career planning stage”. Promises such as “I will marry you after five (5) years” or “I will take you out on a fancy dinner and etcetera” matter a lot here.

Also, we’ll have to constantly communicate in the relationship. This is “constant monitoring and communication”. “Kumusta ka? Kumain ka na ba?” and other monitoring tools and “sweet nothings” are essential. I will keep those kinds of cash or cheque deposit in your emotional bank account.

Moreover, you’ll have to be consistent with your efforts. This is “rewards management system” such as buying you flowers and etcetera. Likewise, we’ll have to recognize and uplift them. “You look beautiful today and etcetera.” This works in all relationships.

Finally, it is essential to be able to do all this since this will keep the healthy “employee employer relationship” between the Millenials and development work.

My final question is: Sasagutin mo na ba ako? Tayo na ba?

Before I end, let me pose this challenge to Millenials.

Do not be afraid. If that’s what you really want. It can fee at times that it is a thankless job. You don’t get public recognition. It’s tiring. But it’s worth it and you’ll find meaning.

While young development workers have different reasons in joining NGOs, they are united by their common goal: Change. It is their burning desire to create ripples of change in society.

Stereotypes about Millenials suggest they’re not interested in old-fashioned markers of success. But when it comes to the fundamental desire for the basic anchors such the value or meaning of work, there’s strikingly little difference between the generations. Ultimately, one cannot see different values among generations. They may have different ways of expressing their values, but what they want in life and work is pretty similar. So let it go and break the negative stereotypes and general archetypes of Millenials.

Think out of the box and don’t be afraid to do things a little differently and be the change you want to be in the world.