“Hmph, lazy, entitled millennials. Damned stupid snowflake generation.” – All Gen X / baby boomers, probably.
We millennials (depending on what kind of statistics, but born typically as early as 1980s, and ending at the early 2000), are blamed for so many problems that we aren’t even aware we had a hand in. We are considered to be one of the worst things to have happened to mankind, and I certainly don’t know why. Do you?
For example, just Google “millennials are …” and see what your options are. Here, let me do it for you:
Wow. Why, Google?
Dubbed “generation me”, I’m staying true to that to address some of the misconceptions that my friends and I are tired of hearing. Because we are all lazy, entitled, and we don’t work hard enough, right? And we all we do is whine. So I’m going to whine.
P/S I am in no way defending or starting a fight — (unless you want to, meet me outside in 10 minutes) — but rather, starting a discourse on the millennial muddle.
1. Millennials are entitled
The biggest misconception is that millennials are entitled. It’s the first thing that comes out of people’s mouths when I ask either, a) what do you think of millennials, or, b) what are some of the labels that are synonymous with millennials?
This is, of course, a gross misrepresentation. Millennials are altering the workplace, yes, because we work differently and for different reasons than generations that came before us. This does not mean we do not want to or like to work. Most millennials are more inclined to pursue their passions than other generations, but they are also willing to work hard to make the money they need to ‘follow their dreams.’ They do not sit at home and wait for their passions to be handed to them.
So, while some millennials do fall into the ‘entitled’ category, most millennials are just more ambitious than those in other generations.
We know, dammit.
2. Millennials are lazy
We aren’t lazy, we are actually pretty economically savvy in that many are living at home to later ages … it’s cheaper. I don’t think we are any lazier than other generations, but times have changed and opportunities have changed from our parents’ and grandparents’ youth. School is harder. For example, it’s not a plausible task for most people to work part time while attending college and get out with good grades and no debt. That was possible before. Now? Not so much.
Degrees take longer and longer, which might contribute to why people are marrying later – it’s simply harder to make it in life to a point where you are living comfortably with a little left over to spare (hardly ideal to support yourself as well as a partner or family). It’s hard to balance a social life, dating, work, school, the way people could before. So yes, maybe we do want freebies (example: free or significantly reduced tuition) but not out of laziness but to simply make life more manageable.
Meet Millennial, our house cat.
3. Millennials are obsessed with social media, and not face-to-face time
A study discovered that millennials – often stereotyped as the always-on, tech-connected generation – are actually more overwhelmed by technology in the workplace than Gen X or Boomers. Millennials grew up in a world of mobile devices, social media and no boundaries between work and life. Sometimes, it can get a little overwhelming. Although our generation does value workplace flexibility and do expect to be able to work whenever and wherever we choose, the study found we’re more collaborative than any other generation.
Working in teams is easier (and more fun) when you’re all in the same room, so make sure you provide plenty of opportunities for your millennial employees to do what they do best: work together — IRL (that’s “in real life” for you boomers).
Michelle “Mother Of Millennial” Obama?
4. Millennials lack a strong work ethic
Perhaps millennials have higher expectations of the company we work for. We do want a long-term, stable career, but are prepared to move jobs if we don’t think long-term prospects are available to them in the company we are currently in, suggests a study by Monster.com. It found we are “more optimistic than Generation X or baby boomers about finding long-term careers that offer stability and financial security. Having grown up in an era of economic turbulence, millennials crave the idea of a career, not just a “job.
Without true leaders, managing millennials is impossible. Millennials do not work for money. We work for empathetic leaders who sell a bold, compelling vision and work hard to consistently secure support and contribution from millennials.
Millennials by definition are all or nothing contributors. We work passionately when we have been enlightened about an important “why” by strong leaders. Others are still looking for their passion and are misconstrued as to be lazy, entitled and uncommitted.
5. Millennials have no direction
“Millennials are a generation that is very much about owning and controlling their destiny in a way that other generations haven’t been,” said Derek Flanzraich, Greatist founder and CEO. Millennials find a sense of purpose in their work, more than their income.
Who said we got no direction? We have One Direction.
6. Millennials don’t care about leaving home, or owning one
It’s not like we don’t want to. It’s just that we CAN’T. We are facing harder times than the older generations, being that the price of everything is more expensive. But while that’s happening, we do have good jobs and good prospects in life. Remember those times some parents used to complain about their kids leaving their homes and never coming back to even pay them a visit? And we’re the flighty and indecisive ones? Heh.
– Houses, probably.
7. Millennials are selfish
An interesting find by onlineuniversities.com is that 68% of millennials are actively involved in community service. Does this sound like a self-centred generation? Lots of people think that millennials always put themselves first, which is where the “generation me” label comes from. But in most cases, this seems to be quite a subjective assessment.
But then again, each generation historically considers the next generation to be more selfish than their own. Is this just a case of history going around in circles?
8. Millennials don’t care about political or social issues
Which, of course, is why 91% of Millennials are registered to vote, 68% participate in community service and 53% consider themselves politically active. The perception of the generation as wholly self-centered and entitled naturally fuels this myth, but growing up with ceaseless news cycles apparently engages more than isolates. In 2008, most of the youth polled admitted they follow the current political climate “somewhat closely” — far more than the apathetic and passionate combined.
9. Millennials want validation
Obviously, such a myth inextricably ties in with the idea that the millennial generation possesses some serious entitlement issues. Along with material rewards, they also allegedly require a bevy of praise from parents, employers, teachers and pretty much anyone else above them.
While it’s true we thrive on positive feedback, claiming we require a steady stream in order to get anything done is patently absurd. While we can acknowledge some degree of “high-maintenance” behaviour, we should note that millennials are also “the most high-performing workforce in history”.
10. Millennials have unrealistic expectations
Like many misconceptions listed here, this one does contain some truth. On the surface, it probably does seem as if many millennials nurture some high standards and idealistic perceptions of the workforce. But this has little to do with entitlement and overestimating our importance and talents. Rather, it all boils down to education.
Today’s emergent employees typically have excellent educations and such grand opportunities lead them to believe they might very well start right where higher education left them.
In reality, they’ll probably start lower than that. So, while many might harbour bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed outlooks regarding their future, there’s actually an understandable reason behind it.
What’s so unrealistic about being happy with your job, owning a home that doesn’t have expensive rent and being content in general, anyway?
Not to say that we’re living in hell. Because like you, and everyone else around us, we’re all just trying to get by.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This post was submitted by a millennial, duh. LOL.