“The workplace has become a psychological battlefield and the millennials have the upper hand, because they are tech-savvy, with every gadget imaginable almost becoming an extension of their bodies. They multitask, talk, walk, listen and type, and text. And their priorities are simple: they come first.” -Morley Safer
‘As a millennial myself, I would agree with the quote. Millennials are those who are born between 1981-1995. They have been through the most amazing changes in the world. We grew up playing with our friends in person but we also went through the cell phone addiction phase. When I look back at all these changes that went about in our life with the introduction of so much technology and access to knowledge it’s almost unbelievable.’
And as a millennial architect, it is another battle with myself and my ideologies. We are taught architecture in schools where the practice is almost outdated. It doesn’t go with the times, which creates a conflict of interest.
A few of the problems faced by a millennial architect are:
1. The perfect workplace
Our generation is called flaky or indecisive. We are all looking for a place where we can stay long term but we won’t settle for a place that does not deserve us. The most important part of working is overall professional development.
Millennials don’t want to go to work out of obligation, we want to love working. We know our worth and we won’t settle for anything less than what makes us happy!
2. Work ethics or ideals
We enjoy comfort and luxury but we also understand the meaning of hard work. We live in a world of social media where everything is on display and always more attractive than what we have.
If technology can make life easier it should be used. We value our time along with that of others. Almost every millennial believes in this motto—Work smarter not harder!
3. Keeping up
We have grown up with technology which makes us comfortable using it. We are also fast learners and adaptors compared to the older generation. We want to keep up with the technological advancements and the ever-evolving times but are held back due to the standard (old) practices.
Many millennials have to switch professions as it’s not easy to sustain a family on the meagre salary of an architect. We want to be paid well! Period. Compared to other professions neither do we have an acceptable well deserved salary nor the benefit packages that come with it. Architecture involves a lot of hard work be it educational or professional. Our generation has hobbies and interests outside of our profession and we need to find a way to sustain them.
We believe as a profession which caters to exhausting our mind and body, it is important to have a good incentive to work for. However, most of us millennial architects have to settle for less, making us unhappy.
5. Work and play are equally important
We want to enjoy what life has to offer; all the good parts before we are too old to do so. To us, work and play are equally important. There should be enough time for relaxing. However, there is always a ‘BUT’ in the situation. It disheartens or disinterests us to know there is nothing more as we are a generation that is on the lookout for more!
If there is no freedom it causes us to dull down. Monotony is not an attribute that looks good on us!
Millennials should not be told what to do. A millennial architect wants to work for the better of the community. We want to do good work and leave a positive impact on the world through our work. As most of the millennials are hired by baby boomers there is again a conflict of interest as baby boomers have an orthodox approach to working or designing.
In a very contradictory way, millennials are the most selfish selfless people you will know.
A millennials approach to life or work vastly differs from the older generations. The approach to design is more direct, minimalistic, modern comparatively. We have a very confident approach to working. Millennials don’t beat around the bush, this direct approach creates a negative impression of them.
8. Open to change
Millennial architects are accepting and open to change not just in work-related matters but also in life. They are not afraid to take on a more unsafe or unorthodox approach to design and execution. This change does not always go down too well with the others. This widens the rift between the millennials and other generations.
Millennials also accept change and criticism with open arms but they have to be exposed to it subtly.
9. Millennial Women Architects
Every millennial woman is looking for independence and self-respect in or through her work. They don’t think they are inferior to men in any way. However, when it comes to practice they are faced with the harsh reality of a male chauvinistic society. This is where the issue arises. They demand the same respect that is provided to their male counterparts.
As architects, we are exposed to people from all backgrounds which makes it difficult for a women architect to be equal to a male architect. As an architect not being given credit or respect for one’s work solely based on gender is something no millennial architect will take lying down.
10. Lack of exposure
As architects, we are hardly given a new work that would excite us. Most of us are making drawings most of the time. We forget that we can design. Few of us go onto take the challenge of getting on our own feet. As millennial architects, to wrap your head around this situation gets the most out of us.
If the principal architect is from an older generation, there is absolutely no effort taken to interest the employees; to expose them to different kinds of work and teach or educate them in a selfless manner. However, the toxic architecture traits are always brought to the highlight as per convenience.