Brighter days and sunny skies for PHL millennials

The 2017 Deloitte Millennial survey, released by Navarro Ampar and Co, concluded that 89 percent of the Filipino millennials have a more upbeat and optimistic outlook about the economic growth of the Philippines in the year to come compared to other countries.

The global average is 45 percent, and 53 percent belongs to Southeast Asia. And it does not stop there—80 percent believe they will be financially better off and 76 percent happier than their very own parents. Still a very high mark compared to the rest of the world. Interestingly, the top 5 issues of concern to them are terrorism (40 percent), crime (35 percent), health (29 percent), environment and natural disasters (27 percent), and unemployment (24 percent). Contrast this data with that of European millennials, who are worried about economic instability, Brexit, terrorism and the resurgence of rightist ideology amongst its leaders. Very encouraging
and inspiring results, indeed.

But what are millennials, in the first place? They are children born during the years 1980 to 2000 of baby boomers and the older Gen X parents. These were the years where birth rates surged, when the world was undergoing more economic progress and technological breakthroughs. Millennials are typically heavy users of and intimately knowledgeable in information-technology infrastructure, communications, digital gadgets and social-media apparatus. Those who are not IT savvy are not cool, do not belong and even ostracized. They are also commonly described, at least in the Philippines, as the selfie generation. Every activity in their daily lives—from school, organizations, church or office are documented, broadcasted and circulated to their “stakeholders” online or through other digital means.

Template characteristics of this group are self-centeredness, expressiveness, love for fun/adventure, restlessness and tolerance for differences and diversity. They constantly seek for ways and means for life to be easier, convenient and instantly gratifying. With an increasingly borderless world accompanied by free flow of goods and services across jurisdictions, millennials have abundant choices and options so they never keep still with the status quo. They are interested in politics, social causes and advocacies, and will not hesitate to air their views. Neither are they afraid to experiment and change careers, work partners and even shift to all sorts of relationships in search for personal fulfillment. Too much stability unsettles them. Happiness cannot be suspended or sacrificed.

But these characteristics are precisely the best targets for booming businesses nowadays. The millennial market is extremely attractive and has been the focus of product innovation and marketing strategy. Technology, travel, food, sports/ hobbies, fashion, entertainment, condominium living are niches that currently drive and excite commercial enterprises. Moreover, connectivity, passion for knowledge and training, high expectations and goals for themselves, positivity and constant hunger for change are now the competencies that employers are looking for, and, basically, millennials fit the tab.

There are so many psychological, medical, management literature and even parenting tips on how to treat and handle millennials. It is a recognition that each individual is necessarily and logically a product of a particular epoch, historical, social stage or phase from one generation to another. But there are values that are timeless, like respect, generosity, gratitude, kindness and compassion. Amid all advancements in commerce, science and technology—“matters that matter” to the growing number of millennials, our obligation as a parent, friend, officemate or community member is to consistently remind them of one basic thing that is constant and which stands the test of time—character. And that, to my mind, is nonnegotiable nor debatable.


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