Mentoring a Millennial is said to quite different than past generations, as young people of the past decade are attempting to blend the world of technology with traditional values still held dear in our culture.
As Millennials pursue educational opportunities and possible career paths, these factors influence their decisions. Mentors impact Millennials in a profound way, and seek to make life more understandable throughout this confusing period for many young people. According to the Harvard Business Review’s research back in 2010, Millennials not only expect a lot out of their mentors and employers, but of themselves as well.
See, most young people at universities and entering the workforce have been working their butts off since birth, knowing that they must overachieve academically and often socially in order to attain a spot in top universities and companies. For Millennials, having a strong work ethic and setting achievable goals is just a way of life, an adjustment to the reality of stiff competition for higher education and jobs.
When talking to a longtime counselor of Millennials at Clark High School in Plano, Texas, these qualities were proven true by an experienced educator who wished to stay anonymous. During our conversation, she told me, “high school students entering the real world are aware of the economic situation they’re going to experience as young adults. Older generations don’t give young people a lot of credit as far as being aware of their surroundings.” By paying attention to the trends of the political and economic climate, Millennials can better prepare themselves for the future.
When asked what the most difficult part of mentoring young people was, my counselor replied, “Definitely sparking their interest and then having the sense to cultivate it in a positive way. Some kids are inspired but then feel like they don’t have the work ethic to forge their own path. I tell them, ‘You’ve already proven to me that you’re capable of seeking out what you want. Why else would you ask me to mentor you?’”
It’s evident that many Millennials have enough confidence to pursue their interests to a certain extent, yet seek encouragement when it comes to taking the next step towards higher education or a potential career path. The challenge of so many mentors is to individualize the way they coach their students and recognize the limitations of their younger counterpart.
With Millennials, it’s allowing them to make their own decisions while patiently advising them to consider the options that may improve their education and job prospects as they grow older. The more experiences I collect through both successful and not so successful endeavors, the more this notion rings true. Having an understanding mentor who inspires you to aspire is essential to success in education, the workplace, the world. Utilizing the wisdom and advice of those that came before us is a tool that Millennials must use if we seek to make the positive impact that our planet so desperately craves.
Haley Samsel is a Featured Blogger for Mobilize.org’s The Millennial Report. She is a high school freshman in Plano, Texas where she is involved with Partner’s PE, a program that allows students to help special needs kids to earn their PE credit while making friends and gaining confidence in themselves.
Haley Samsel is a Featured Blogger for Mobilize.org’s The Millennial Report. She is a high school sophomore who lives in Plano, Texas, which gives her a pretty unique view (in her opinion) on politics and Millennial issues. Outside of the Millennial Report, Haley enjoys playing basketball, reading biographies and watching cooking competition shows, among other things.