“Cracking the Millennials Code” has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Whether it’s a discussion of how millennials negotiate, the issues that crop up when millennials have job interviews, or the reality that sometimes older is better, millennials are a tough nut to crack.
Yes, I’m old. Yes, the millennials closest to me are quick to point that out when I ask about this stuff. But the idea of cracking the millennials code stays with me—because that’s just who I am.
And because regardless of anything millennials will eventually be running the world. And as a business change consultant, I need to be “on it”.
I recently reached out to one millennial I know pretty well to offer her work. It’s possible she doesn’t like me. It’s possible she’s way less of a go-getter than I’ve been convinced she is. But with those things revealed and acknowledged I have to say I don’t think there’s a problem with either my analysis of this young lady or our relationship.
But it’s clear I’m missing something. I spoke at length with this person on February 17. I sent her a note to answer some questions and explain a few things on the 20th of the month. She answered me on the 25th, opening the way for some more clarification. I answered on the 28th. And then … crickets.
Cracking The Millennials Code
As I said, maybe I’d made a misstep of some old-and-rigid sort. Or maybe my e-mail had not made it to her. On March 16 I texted to make sure I hadn’t fallen through the cracks. In under an hour, it was clear that wasn’t it:
Haven’t had the chance to look …? No response for over two weeks to a person offering you work? A person you know, no less? Let’s assume I’d done nothing offensive and that this gal is as smart, driven and capable as I believe. What’s going on here?
If all assumptions are correct, the answer lies somewhere between I have no idea and cracking the millennials code is even harder than it looks. I think it’s the latter.
Many years ago, one of my businesses was approached by IBM to do some work. It had nothing to do with how great our product was. IBM was trying to crack the SMB space, and we looked like a good way in. We had to think long and hard to see that’s what was happening. IBM is still trying to crack the SMB code.
The difference here is that we all need to get serious about cracking the millennials code.