Millennials - Talking About My Generation
Millennials, Generation X, Generation Z – we have all heard the terminology - and some of the discussions about the attributes, aspirations and attitudes of each group.
And, let’s be frank, many of these discussions seem keen to pitch these younger generations against the older generations, in a combative and an unhelpful way. There is no doubt that some anxieties exist – particularly among employers or potential employers – about how the generations work together and what these different generations expect of each other, and from their working lives.
So, we were delighted that one of JCP’s Trainee Solicitors, Clare Good, was called upon to be a panellist for a Myths & Millennials debate, organised by the Cardiff & District Law Society and by Yolk Recruitment Ltd.
It was a well-attended and lively debate about the negative connotations attached to the word Millennials – a term which typically refers to those born between 1980 and the mid to late 1990s. The group discussed what firms can do to attract and retain this generation. As the current chair of JLD Cardiff and South East Wales Junior Lawyers Division, Clare was there to dispel some of the myths and assumptions and to offer the Millennial viewpoint on what they want from their workplace, and how the generations can work together cohesively.
Clare says: “Like all good debates, I think this event prompted a number of people to shift their views, to soften their positions and to find ways of reaching accords that suit all of the parties involved, to some extent.
“The key message to emerge from the Millennials perspective, is that a satisfying work life balance is prized above salary and career progression, although there is still a desire to progress at the right firm. The value of flexibility was also highlighted by all generations. For example, Millennials expect to have options to progress in a non-traditional way - they may not have their eye on equity partnership, but they might favour having a clear path to become legal directors, consultants, or to take up other in-house positions, in time. The flexibility flows two ways though – in that Millennials are happier to mould their working hours to suit their employers too.
“As a Millennial myself, many of these aspirations and expectations ring true for me, and one of the reasons I was keen to work for JCP Solicitors is their keen focus upon actively promoting a sound work life balance within its teams. They also have a very clear structure for career progression, they take their responsibilities to nurture and to ‘grow their own’ talent very seriously, and they involve team members in company strategy whenever possible, to foster a sense of buy-in. These are all key topics and expectation that came up in the debate. The make-up of the company is interesting too – in that 48 percent of JCP’s fee earners are Millennials, as are 28 of directors - both of these figures are higher than the UK average. So, JCP has made the intergenerational relationship work well, both for the company and for its professionals.”
A follow-up to Myths & Millennials is planned on 7 March, going ahead at Tiny Rebel, in Cardiff, to continue the discussion between the generations. Further details will be shared on JCP Solicitors’ social media channels, about this informal networking event, closer to the date.