LP Magazine

MAR-APR 2019

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

Issue link: http://digital.lpportal.com/i/1096225

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Page 56 of 76

WHY WE'RE ALL MILLENNIALS NOW G lobalization and technology have been shaping change since the dawn of time. But during the life span of the millennials, globalization and technology have undergone a qualitative change. After all, there is only one globe, and it is now totally interconnected. Millennials connect with their farthest-flung neighbors in real time regardless of geography through online communities of interest. But as our world shrinks (or flattens), events great and small taking place on the other side of the world (or right next door) can affect our material well-being almost overnight. World institutions—nations, states, cities, neighborhoods, families, corporations, churches, charities, and schools—remain in a state of constant flux just to survive. Authority is questioned routinely. Research is quick and easy. Anyone can get published. We try to filter through the endless tidal wave of information coming at us from an infinite number of sources all day, every day. Nothing remains cutting edge for very long. What we know today may be obsolete by tomorrow. What is beyond belief today may be conventional wisdom by tomorrow. Meanwhile, the pace of everything continues to accelerate. A year is long term, and five years is just a hallucination. Short term is the key to relevance. In a world defined by constant change, instantaneous response is the only meaningful time frame. Millennials are comfortable in this highly interconnected, rapidly changing web of variables. They've never known the world any other way. Uncertainty is their natural habitat. Globalization does not make millennials feel small. Rather, it makes them feel worldly. Technological change does not make them feel as if they are racing to keep up. Rather, it makes them feel connected and powerful. Institutions may be in a state of constant flux, but that's no problem. Millennials are just passing through anyway, trying to squeeze out as much experience and as many resources as they can. Authority figures and celebrities may disintegrate for all to see. But this doesn't make millennials cynical. Rather, it gives them faith in everyday heroes. The information tidal wave may inundate us all with more data in one day than anyone could possibly sort through in a lifetime. But this doesn't make millennials feel overwhelmed or uninformed. Rather, it makes them would-be experts on everything. The pace of everything may be accelerating to the point where we expect immediacy in all of our doings. But this doesn't make millennials feel slow. Rather, it makes them impatient. Right now is the only real time. Constant change means you can't count on anything to stay the same. But the timelessness of the Internet allows millennials to revel in nostalgia from any era. They are liberated to travel to any time at any time, abandon what bores them, embrace new things wholeheartedly, and reinvent themselves constantly. The power of diversity has finally kicked over the melting pot. The millennials are the most diverse generation in history in terms of ethnic heritage, geographical origins, ability/disability, age, language, lifestyle preference, sexual orientation, color, size, and every other way of categorizing people. But this doesn't make millennials feel alienated and threatened. Rather, they take the concept of diversity to a whole new level. (I call it infinite or total diversity.) To millennials, every single person, with his or her own combination of background, traits, and characteristics, is his or her own unique diversity story. Millennials feel little need to conform for the purpose of gaining entry to institutions. For millennials, difference is cool. Uniqueness is the centerpiece of identity. Customization of the self is sought after with great zest and originality, through constant Millennials don't look at a large, established organization and think, "I wonder where I'll fit in your complex picture." Rather, they look at an employer and think, "I wonder where you will fit in my life story." Every step of the way, millennials want to find a work situation they can fit into the kind of life they are building for themselves. 56 MARCH–APRIL 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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