Millennials Still Optimistic

Despite a failing economy, employment woes and countless other concerns, a key segment of Millennials – people who were born between 1980 and 1990 – remain confident about what 2009 will have in store for them, according to an omnibus survey conducted by StrategyOne® on behalf of Pepsi.

Among the findings:

  • four out of five Millennials are hopeful about the future
  • 95% agree that it is important for them to maintain a positive outlook on life

I can confirm the findings of this study with my own millennial, home from college for the holidays. On more than one occasion over the past several weeks, I found myself commenting on her unbridled optimism about her ability to make a positive difference in the world. No shock, my Christmas gift, followed the theme – Animal, Vegetable, Miracleby Barbara Kingsolver. The book shows how we can all improve the world one meal at a time by growing our own food and eating locally grown products.

“Children of the ‘80s and ‘90s inherently feel a strong sense of optimism in the future and their ability to shape it,” says Lisa Orrell, generation relations expert and author of Millennials Incorporated . “This age group feels refreshingly unencumbered by history or tradition, a feeling that they can accomplish anything they resolve to achieve.”

According to the survey, Millennials spend more time enjoying life than worrying about it and this group is most optimistic about their overall well-being and relationships with friends and family. Other findings include:

  • 74% find that supporting causes make them feel more optimistic
  • 77% of Millennials report having a strong sense of optimism about their careers
  • 95% make positive associations when they think of the word “change,” associating it with “progress” (78%), “hope” (77%) and “excitement” (72%)
  • 67% say that the election of Barack Obama is making them feel optimistic about the future of the country

In 2009, communicators will be challenged to acknowledge the stress and concerns of the country at large while tapping the enthusiasm of this important generation.