Salon Sanctuary

Millennials – The Swear Word

There’s a lot of conversation going on about millennials.  Most times it sounds like people using a swear word. They say Millennials are entitled, Millennials are lazy, Millennials don’t care about anything but themselves, they are selfish. Then they finish with Millennials are in for a rude awakening, they’ll never hold down a job.

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Perhaps they’re right? By the time a Millennial is 25 they average working 7 different jobs.

But here’s the thing, Millennials are not lazy or selfish, they are not entitled but they are hopeful and they want what we all want, happiness. The difference is, they believe they deserve it and we are still trying to figure that out.

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Millennials are not just going to do a job for money. They will invest their time into something more meaningful. 50% would be willing to take a lesser paying job if what they were doing stood for something. 37% of those would donate extra time to their work for a purpose. Does that sound lazy or entitled?

Millennials came of age and entered the workforce during the height of an economic recession. Unemployment was at an all-time high and they had to choose crappy jobs to survive. They knew it wouldn’t be forever so they went through a few jobs looking for one that had good culture and Tribe status. They will continue to go through jobs until they find what they need or they will work for themselves. But ultimately millennials would rather be apart of a tribe and something meaningful.

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Reality: Millennials are nice, optimistic, earnest, idealistic and they are tinkerers and lifehacker’s.  They understand how to turn themselves into a brand, they are pro-business and financially responsible. That doesn’t sound bad, does it?

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So here is our rude awakening; Millennials challenge convention, they find new and better ways to do things, they do not respect authority but don’t resent it either. 70% check their phones every hour, they are deeply anxious that they are missing out on something better and they need constant approval.

What can we learn from this? Millennials will be your biggest asset in your salon.  They will believe in your values, your mission, your culture and the tribe. They will work harder for you, they will stay late or come early if it’s beneficial. They will embrace your systems but challenge you if there’s a better way. They want to work with you instead of for you. They do not want to be told they cannot check their phones, they love their phones (just not talking on them.) You will have to praise their great work, reward them for their effort and make your salon the best place to have a career so they are not concerned with missing out working somewhere else. Millennials will make your salon better, happier and a great place to be.

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Here’s the kicker; you have to let them. Let them give input and change things. Let them help you grow, make decisions and run your brand. They make up 21% of all consumers and have a huge influence over older generations, they know what they want and they are determined to get it. Steer that determination in to your salon and to your guests and you will grow.

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I am fortunate enough that I personally work with four Millennials. They are extremely hard-working, positive and optimistic. I am 39 years old, so, while I’m not technically a millennial I like to tell people I’m a cusp Millennial because I am with them. I want happiness and meaning in my life and I want to be with them when they change the world.

Angela

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