Woods is a Baby Boomer, and an unabashed advocate of the Millennials he employs at his northern California-based construction firm, DPR. A recent survey reports only about a quarter of Millennials believe their employer is taking advantage of their full potential.
Woods recalled being interview by the president of the company back when he started out: "He asked what I wanted to do; I said I wanted his job," Woods laughed. "I hate that where I used to work, the leader used to talk about people weren't ready because they didn't have enough gray hair. To hell with that! There's some really smart people out there. Work with 'em and let them help you grow."
"You're a Millennial at heart? I think this is why this is working out for you?" Tracy said.
"Maybe!" Woods laughed.
Yet for all the talk about Millennials, we learned from Woods' employees that millennials don't talk much about themselves. Michael Pearson says they never use the term "Millennials," and don't much like it.
DPR's millennial employees may not embrace the label, but they confess it sometimes fits: "Yeah, at times, I certainly am a little bit impatient," Pearson laughed. "If that's a characteristic of our generation, then that's why I'm it!"
The way Deepti Bhadkamkar and Brian Bolandi see it, those traits are nothing to apologize for.
Tracy asked, "The whole idea of 'Everyone's a winner,' 'You can be anything you want when you grow up' -- did you hear those things growing up?"
"Kind of, yeah," said Bhadkamkar.
"Does it set you up for disappointment, though, at some point when you realize there is a limit?"
"That's life!" laughed Bolandi. "You're not always going to get what you want, but you can, you know, if you set your goals higher than are really attainable and if you fall short, you've still done great."
And now that Millennials are settling into the office, it won't be long before they get to work on worrying about the next generation.
"I'm 28 years old and I found myself saying, 'Kids these days!'" laughed Bolandi.
- Will childless Millennials turn America into Japan? (CBS Moneywatch, 04/28/15)
For more info:
- Jean Twenge, Department of Psychology, San Diego State University
- "Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled - and More Miserable - Than Ever Before" (Revised and Updated edition) by Jean Twenge (Simon & Schuster); Also available in eBook format
- Follow Stefan Van Engen on Twitter (@stefanvanengen)
- Broke Millennial (blog)
- Follow Erin Lowry on Twitter (@erinklowry)
- DPR Construction, Redwood City, Calif.