The Philosophical Differences That Set Millennials Apart

The Philosophical Differences That Set Millennials Apart

The Philosophical Differences That Set Millennials Apart

In the next few years, millennials will constitute almost three quarters of the working demographic, and as such, a lot of attention is being directed towards evolving and customizing workplace cultures to get the most out this distinct generation. In fact, trendy sectors such as photography, videography, online services, and digital marketing are already benefiting from millennial creativity and innovativeness as notable brands in the industry such as prove.

More than any other generation, millennials are willing to accept less pay to work for firms that understand and cater for their needs. What is more, before taking a job, 47% of them consider inclusivity and the level to which an employer upholds diversity. In light of this, the two biggest philosophical differences that set millennials apart are concretized.

This is not to say that baby boomers and generation X do not care about these things; they do – but to a significantly lesser extent.

Differences in the definition of diversity

Non-millennials define diversity in representation terms. The majority look at it in terms of religion and demographics with almost a quarter focusing primarily on equality. Millennials, contrastingly, look at it in terms of personality accommodation and the room to express oneself.

They center more on the respect workplaces place on diverse identities without looking to change and alter them to nudge those considered different towards the accepted models. To millennials, it makes no sense to embrace diversity, only to erode it through integration by optimizing individuals to fit the status quo.

How millennials look at inclusivity

Millennials view inclusivity chiefly from a teamwork perspective. They consider achievements and overall team member satisfaction as the yardstick for measuring functionality. For them, everyone should feel valued in a team setting through being given room to exercise talents and contribute maximally. Business impact and cultivating a culture of connections, which marry neatly with the inclination towards performance-oriented teamwork, are also a big concern.

On the other hand, non-millennials look at inclusivity from a point of tolerance and acceptance. From this angle, integration becomes essential to ascertain effective working relationships and stable working environments. Furthermore, non-millennials are likelier to evaluate fairness based on opportunity access and resource allocation thereby tending towards equality in the truest sense of the word.


Baby boomers and generation X are more about achieving their life objectives – which are mostly materialistic – by all means. As such, most of them chose careers based on income levels as opposed to the degree to which they felt suited to a particular profession.

In contrast, millennials choose lines of work based on a forecast of how a profession might fulfill their sense of purpose. They care more about whether a job will give them joy and a chance to contribute towards the greater good; and to this end, as surveys have unearthed, they are even willing to take a pay cut to make this happen if they feel they are in the wrong line of work.

The authenticity factor

The fact that millennials value authenticity is undeniable. They want to stand out and be accepted for who they are as opposed to what they can, or should be relative to societal expectations and the status quo. This is reflected not only in the jobs that they opt for, but also in their performance in spheres that encourage individual expression.

Non-millennials, conversely, are more concerned with maintaining the accepted way of doing things, mostly working towards system improvement rather than overhauls. They are more willing to conform and toe the line without comprehensively questioning setups especially if they work.

Measuring results

Non-millennials value statistics and use them to determine performance in various spheres of their lives in certain terms. Therefore, they mostly work towards statistical goals. Millennials, antagonistically, give more weight to fresh ideas, insights, and unique perspectives. They do care about numbers, but just not as much. What is more, millennials place a higher premium on the sense of belonging.


The difference between millennial and non-millennial philosophical points of focus are best depicted by the life priorities of each group. For most millennials, happiness, inner peace and living a life of meaning matter more than outright financial power. For non-millennials, the opposite is true.

Final thoughts

In no area are the differences between millennials and non-millennials more crucial than at the workplace. Millennials transfer their philosophical outlook to work, the effect being that they thrive to different degrees depending on the level to which particular work cultures embrace what they care about.

In environments considered satisfactorily supportive of millennial dispositions, millennials are more willing to engage, share and exchange experiences. They take it as an opportunity to experience the inclinations, approaches, and way of life of others who were not given equity preference at the workplace not so long ago hence impelling teamwork.

This brings about a remarkable output increase in companies and sectors that are aligned accordingly at a policy as well as actual level. In fact, in millennial-friendly company rankings, firms in the upper third all have above average returns.

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