In Defense of the Millennials.

In Defense of the Millennials.

It has been brought to my attention that certain members of Generation X and above have a problem with my generation. This week, Mayra Jimenez spouted some pretty generalistic accusations regarding my age group.  She asked the question “what’s wrong with my Millennial employees?” and continued to call us “cocky”, unthankful, and self entitled brats.  As you can imagine, I was not thrilled when I heard this opinion.

These characteristics she gives to Millennials aren’t new in the workforce.  I’ve met plenty of cocky Baby Boomers while doing my time in corporate America.  People act like these traits are something magically grown from prolonged exposure to the internet.  You say we think we’re above the rules and we don’t follow through.  Those characteristics belong to individuals not an entire generation.  I’m sure you made a mistake or two your first few years in the real world, and you “stuck it to the man” here and there.  Don’t act like you’ve been absolved of the downfalls of transitioning from being a student to earning a living.

Anti-Millennial mentality wants to shut out the opinions of a younger generation, accusing them of being “know-it-alls”.  It’s a shame that I need to remind you of the Millennials that have succeeded immensely.  Remember Mark Zuckerberg?  The intelligent, dedicated, and determined Millennial who has built himself a billion dollar empire?  Yeah, he’s 28 years-old!  I wonder what would’ve happened if an old crusty CEO laughed at his philosophy on the potential of social networking.  Give the Millennials more credit, we live ON the internet–I think we know how it works.

Maybe the reason we demand more compensation in the workplace–is because the excuse of “it’s a bad economy” has given you the green light to pay less, prolong unpaid internships in hopes of acquiring free labor, and demanding excessive amounts of work from under-experienced 20 somethings. We know how hard we work, and we know how hard we’re struggling.  We hate the fact that our 30s are right around the corner, and we don’t feel like we have anything to show for it.  Many of us live paycheck to paycheck.  We’re frustrated by the fact that we’re not completely independent from our parents.  So I’m sorry if I’m asking to be paid a little over the poverty line.

She accuses Millennials of being so many things, but fails to recognize the true mindset of our generation.  Jeffrey Jensen of Clark University surveyed 1,029 emerging adults and found some pretty revealing qualities.   We’re looking to make a difference, we’re anxious, and we long for this so-called “adulthood”.  In order to cope with the uncertainty of our future we pursue enjoyable experiences.  We’re taking the time to make our 20s as fun and exciting as they can possibly be–because what else do we have?  We don’t have job stability, we don’t have financial stability, but we have each other. That’s what is keeping us alive.

So before you call us lazy, think about how different times are now than when you were our age.  How would you handle this type of environment if you had to do it all over again? Hmmm?

2 thoughts on “In Defense of the Millennials.

  1. Millenials get a bad rep for being entitled and self-centered because we were raised that way. Yes, we are smart, care about teamwork, and are generally interested in being good people, but we are also the coddled generation, the ones that get trophies just for participating. I’m not saying it’s right that we are getting basically screwed with the economy, but that’s why we sometimes come off as spoiled. We were constantly told that we were special and important and that makes you expect that from the rest of the world. (Obviously generalizing here, everyone is different.) Just wrote a paper about this effect for school, it’s pretty interesting.

  2. Hi! I had to read this for a college class! I am glad you defend “us.” I cannot wait to hear what the others in the class have to say! Thanks for this — means a lot to our gen! ~~ Sara

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