By 2020, 50% of the workforce will be millennials.  Hey everybody, that’s three years.  Millennials are defined as those born roughly between 1980 and 2000, 2 billion worldwide and 85 million in the United States.  This increasingly global and mobile workforce is by far larger than the baby boom generation, already has $1T+ in purchasing power and over 6.4 billion connected devices.

If you are a millennial, congratulations, you are about to take over the world.  Many of you will be in leadership positions, running major departments, business units and companies.  Those of you at the leading edge (who will turn 40 in 2020) may even be facing your first midlife crisis.

You will also be facing global warming, increased automation and artificial intelligence, robotics, demographics, scarce resources, increasing social and economic unrest, and major shifts in employment due to increasingly rapid change.

As you are well aware, you will also be facing very heavy traffic and increased competition for career growth and promotion.  You will need to become a student of career management, participate in almost continuous education and skill development, and focus on building your personal and professional network.  Millennials already make up 38% of Linkedin users.

If you are a baby boomer, in 2020 you will be between the ages of 56 and 74 (sorry about the bad news).  You will be responsible for preparing the millennials who will be running your government, running your companies, making sure your investments will keep growing, and managing your retirement communities, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes.  To remain competitive in the meantime, you will also need to take full advantage of the talent available to you in the millennial generation.  Typically, they want career development, have a thirst for training, advancement and challenging work as well as better pay.  Most are digital natives who can use technology to improve productivity.

For both millennials and baby boomers, there is a golden opportunity to reach out, build relationships, and establish mutually beneficial mentoring relationships.  Take a millennial/baby boomer to lunch.