A few years ago, when I started tracking Millennial attitudes and behaviors in the wild, their optimism really stood out. They talked about their under-employment and college debt as something temporary. The future seemed bright--they just needed to make their way to it. Lately, a vulnerability has started showing through. The long, grinding recession has worn holes in their optimism. We're hearing more, "If things ever change."
This infographic shows that Millennials still self-define as optimists. Good. Never mind the darker subtext of their remarks that keep cropping up in our research. The resilience of their identities means they haven't given up on wanting to lead meaningful, pro-active lives. That's good news for a world desperately in need of their energy.