Millennials—the generation born between 1981 and 1996. A group of individuals who make up around 22% of the United States population, have witnessed the rise of the Internet, experienced 9/11, and dealt with the ramifications of the 2008 economic collapse and recession. Millennials often touted for their confident, ambitious, and achievement-oriented attitudes, are now enduring yet another crisis—COVID-19.
For a relatively young generation, millennials have gone through quite a bit. They’ve experienced an ongoing technological boom, a world divided by terrorism, and an economy that has had numerous ups and downs. By and large, these folks have been fairly resilient, taking each challenge head-on and pivoting to new norms.
During and after the recession, millennials threw themselves into work. They went to school, got jobs, and began to climb the corporate ladder. Millennials pushed away from previous generations and demanded financial security—oftentimes, at the expense of social norms created by earlier generations. For example, exponential student debt and a strong desire to earn more money have led millennials to marry later and have fewer children.
So how are they fairing during the COVID-19 pandemic? It is, yet again, another crisis this generation must face.
Millennials are staying home and embracing the work-from-home mantra we’ve all had to adjust to. In many ways, for the first time, millennials must learn to be more domesticated. No longer are the days of staying at the office till it’s dark and grabbing take-out on their commute home. No longer are they traveling every weekend to visit their friends across the country. They are embracing home-life and learning to be content with the home being a place for everything: work, eating, socializing, exercising, and relaxing. Every day, within the confines of their apartment, townhome, or house, they must find a way to balance connecting and disconnecting from everything outside the home—a routine they’ve never had to grapple with.
The pandemic has caused a major upset in most areas of our lives. We all wish things would go back to “normal.” But what if “normal” is something we can never achieve again? And what if we need to pivot and recreate what “normal” looks like?
For the first time, millennials are home 24/7. They are learning to cook, clean, and perform home repairs. They must designate time in their schedule to detach from work and find a sense of calm in all the chaos. Perhaps COVID-19 will teach us all, no matter what generation you fit into, to cherish your time at home and find ways to live more simply—more resourcefully. It’s no surprise that millennials’ domestic abilities are being tested and many would argue for the better.
Derek Rundell, is a successful business leader, operator, and serial entrepreneur. Derek has founded, managed and sold businesses in the technology, media and finance industries. He sits on several boards and serves as an advisor/investor to numerous established businesses and startups. Startups are Derek’s real passion, and in addition to building his own portfolio of technology, media and financial ventures, he invests in and mentors startups and entrepreneurs. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and helping other businesses succeed.