Tag Archives: Millennials

So this is the generation that will change China?!

Fancy-Hair-Boy-Edit1Behold the Savior of China’s future.

Recently I was talking with a young friend who told me that the management of her company was considering to organize a workshops on “how to communicate with Millennial’s”.  I found it incredibly humorous, but it was this moment that it became clear to me how different the younger generation is from their older coworkers.  I was also recently made aware of another interesting example is that of a Chinese general  saying that this generation kids are way too spoiled, weak, and even went as far to refer to them as effeminate!

pekin opera [1280x768]

“Whatever, we’ve been cross-dressing for like, 5000 years!”

 Along with several other aspects of their upbringing, international exposure has caused this generation of young people to start questioning the values of the traditional system in China.  In face of the relentless chiding of the older generations, They often eschew tradition, shaking things up without causing the kind of revolution that their grandparents enjoyed so much.

cultural revolution Look at them, just a bunch of crazy kids out having fun.


Being employed by a famous company is becoming less of a motivational factor for this young people to make them work hard, complete boring routine daily tasks, let alone to think about staying with said employer until the day they retire. Instead they are looking for challenging and meaningful work. This is becoming a perceived threat to managers who are unable to produce those challenging and exciting tasks at the speed the Millennials request them. These people pose a significant challenge to their managers to be creative about creative tasks and responsibilities. HR Departments are often shocked to receive so many CVs of job-hoppers (which was previously the No 1 item on  their “Do Not Hire” list ). Furthermore,  the turnover rates are high compared to the time when the older generation began work, making HR professionals wonder “What’s wrong with these young people?!” The traditional management structure that worked for decades, no longer works for these young people who are looking for motivation, learning opportunities, and challenges that will help them get promoted faster. For many of them the biggest challenge in their work is that there is no challenge at all.   This often leads to office ennui and many hours spent perusing the internet.

dilbert Not at all like western companies.

This generation is leading a revolution of thought, and I for one, support it.  Seeing their creativity, learning about their dreams has inspired me to do what I can to help these young people to achieve their goals.  Since we are starting a creative brand for the young people, we decided that helping the youth in China to achieve their dreams through realizing their creative confidence,  should be our primary mission.  That’s how the ALBA Fan Club was born.

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Changing Values

Six years as an English teacher in China have provided me with the opportunity to meet people from different generations and industries. I have gained a clear insight into how different generations exhibit different values towards society. I have come to the fascinating realization, that the Millennials of China are radically different from any generations prior to them.

In the west, there are certain differences between generations, but they’re not as pronounced they are between generations in China. There are a few reasons for this. In traditional Chinese thought the Confucian concept of filial piety dictates that the first born son is responsible for the well-being of the older generation. The introduction of the one child policy in China has forced this burden upon the first and only child of a family, and has made parents put “all their eggs into one basket”.


As a result, the parents (and grandparents) focus completely on a single child’s wants and needs, which in turn has led to the creation of “little emperors”- children used to getting everything they want.


Some are not so little.


As China’s economic situation has rapidly improved over the past 40 years, so has the standard of living. Parents now have a wider range of options of things to provide their children with that they themselves never had a chance for. This has instilled in this generation a level of confidence and self worth that is impossible for the previous generations to match. Furthermore, with China’s rapid technological advancement the Millennials have reaped a bulk of the benefits as China finally catches up to the Western world. This includes unprecedented global connectivity which has given them opportunities to connect with people around the world, and to have immediate access to information through micro blogging. With all these competencies, the Millennials are in for something different.


i.e.- Not this.

Perhaps the last generation to enjoy the benefits of the “iron rice bowl”, China’s Generation X and generations prior developed their self worth through hard work and loyalty to their employer. They took pride in working for a famous employer. Their personal values are often a reflection of the employer’s values. In comparison, pampered and doted upon since they were born, the Millennials grew up assured of their own self worth, which has made them feel confident if not entitled. Their search for values began within themselves. For them the focus of self-worth has shifted from outside (e.g. companies, society) to inside (i.e. self). They don’t share the dreams of their employers, they are more inclined to pursue their own dreams. Even if they don’t know what they want, when they start their first jobs, they usually have an insatiable, voracious thirst for knowledge and experience which will help them to realize their potential and show others that they can make a difference.

Everything said, when these children get a foot in the door of their first employer, and are faced with a traditional system which solely reflects the values of the older generations, these young people are often able to confidently reply with a “ No thank you, I am individual, not a drone. I deserve to be treated as such. ”


Kids these days.


Realizing this trend, It is now very clear to me that China is slowly breaking away from the tradition, and it is exactly this generation that will make a difference in the future.

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