Six traits of successful and creative millennials

You’re millennials and you’re revolutionising business processes, says Parinaz Samimi.

The impact of the financial crisis known as the Great Recession is still felt almost 10 years later.

Your generation, born between 1980 and early 2000s, also known as Millennials, were among the most affected by the crisis. As a result, you and your peers learned a unique set of traits positioning you for success in both work and life in a post-Recession world.

You are pragmatic

The financial upheaval of the last 10 years reinforced the difference between needs and wants, making you hypersensitive to resource and asset management. This pragmatic outlook enables to you create realistic goals using the resources you have.

Or, as the authors of the Brookings paper ‘How Millennials Could Upend Wall Street and Corporate America’ noted, “The desire of Millennials for pragmatic action that brings results will overtake today’s emphasis on ideology and polarisation as Boomers finally fade from the scene.”

If given the time and opportunity, your pragmatic, goal-oriented thinking makes businesses more innovative and productive.

You adapt to change

As a result of navigating the start of your career through a sluggish economy, you had to learn to retool your skillset to fit the job opportunities available. Because of this experience, learning a new tool or skillset on the job doesn’t faze you at all.

You have come to expect and anticipate change. This makes you ready and willing to learn what is needed to get the job done right.

You are scrappy and frugal

Resilience in the face of adversity is your jam. You know that nothing good comes easy and you are willing to put in the time and effort to see your dream (a realistic one, of course) come to life. In the workplace you fight to make your work more value to your clients and your company while being cost-efficient.

As the Brookings paper notes, “A report by UBS Wealth Management in the Americas described Millennials as ‘the most conservative generation since the Great Depression’ with regard to its saving habits.”

You solve systemic problems with innovative solutions

As a Millennial in an office job after the Great Recession, you are aware of the negative impacts of working in a broken system. You seek ways to rethink company processes and policies that may be causing more harm than good—but haven’t been changed because ‘that’s the way they have always been done.’

Being willing to question the status quo of any company you work for enables you to see easy opportunities for growth that others overlook.

As reported in a study from Bentley University, 95% of Millennials say a company’s ethics are important to them—with 22% specifically concerned about a company’s environmental policies. “This focus on the environment has caused many companies to change their existing programs in favour of stronger sustainability policies and practices,” concluded Gloria Cordes Larson, President of Bentley University.

You value relationships over a paycheck

Because you have likely worked many different jobs before hitting 30 and worked with many different types of people, you have learned what you do from nine to five doesn’t define you. What’s more, you have found that any true meaning you find in your work is based on the relationships you create—with your coworkers and your clients.

Because you value the quality of relationships you create at work, you are able to bridge gaps in company culture through, if not friendship, at least camaraderie.

You take care of yourself

Not only is self-care the best care, but it is essential for preventing burnouts. You know this because you did burn out once—or several times.  As a result, you know how important it is for your mental and emotional well-being to have a well-rounded diet, to leave work at work, and to get a good night’s sleep.

“Some research suggests that as we dream, we process through negative emotions (such as stress, anger, or anxiety) experienced during the day. As our sleeping brains digest these emotions, we are able to move past them, setting the stage for a more positive outlook in the morning,” responded Sarah Brown, a sleep expert.

By prioritising your health, and setting and enforcing boundaries, you are able to consistently give your best to your job and your relationships.

For all the flack that your generation gets for being lazy or narcissistic, you and your peers have characteristics that are sorely needed in any company that wants to be competitive in the future. Because of what Millennials bring to the table, they are changing how we all do business.  


About the author

Parinaz Samimi is a certified yoga instructor, wellness expert and sleep researcher from


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