One of my roles at Felicity is to curate content for our social channels. With this, a large chunk of my time is spent reading through articles on the Internet and finding the most interesting and relevant stories to share with our network. In my weekly pursuits for interesting material, I have come across many stories complaining about millennials. Stories that deal with step-by-step explanations as to why millennials are “terrible employees,” how other generations can work better with millennials, and why millennials are the most selfish generation.
As a twenty-something millennial I thought I would offer my response to what I like to call “millennial myths.” Because let’s face it…millennials are earning a bad rep, and surely there must be some explanation as to why.
I have rounded up the three most common misconceptions about millennials, and have attempted to offer my perspective. I think there’s some learning in here for other generations as well!
1. Millennials are wrong in believing work-life integration is the way to go.
Millennials are given a lot of flack for striving for work-life integration as opposed to work-life balance. It is said that we have an anti-work attitude, place a laughable amount of value on corporate culture, and want work to be “fun.”
To which I say: Why not?
Why is it so extraordinary that we want to enjoy what we do every day? Work-life integration is all about designing a life. One that includes family, career, hobbies, and relationships. I think many millennials have the mindset that we should “live to work,” (amongst other things) as opposed to “work to live.”
You can say the Internet is responsible for this attitude. It has expanded our horizons and shown us just how vast the world is. It has given us the encouragement to live the lives we want, instead of the ones we are expected to by convention. And, so I ask—what is wrong with that? Even more so, why aren’t other generations following suit?
If work makes you happy, and if happy people are more productive at work, then why aren’t all employers looking to hire people (like millennials) who want to enjoy their work?
2. Millennials are selfish and narcissistic.
It’s easy to point to our current selfie-obsessed society and label it selfish and narcissistic. Now, while I won’t refute that excessive selfie-taking may equate to selfishness and narcissism, the generalization that millennials are selfish and narcissistic is inaccurate.
I believe millennials are taught to understand self-worth. This is the self-worth that allows us to feel comfortable taking a picture of ourselves and wanting the world to see. This self-worth also relates to the aforementioned idea about striving to live the lives we want. As long as our self-worth is not paraded in a conceited way, then it should cause no harm.
In fact, if more people believed they were worthy of a job that made them happy then perhaps the workforce would be filled with more content and productive people. What do you think?
3. Millennials are entitled.
Lastly, probably the most commonly-uttered phrase when referring to millennials is”entitled.” The word entitlement has such a negative connotation that at first when I heard that I was part of a generation referred to as entitled, I immediately found myself disappointed and defensive. However, that all changed when Snapchat CEO, Evan Spiegel gave a commencement speech this spring that perfectly captured why we are entitled, and why that’s okay.
He was referring to the criticism he received when he decided not to sell his company to Facebook for an estimated $3 billion. He was called arrogant and entitled, among other things. His response: “Well, it’s true. We do have a sense of entitlement, a sense of ownership, because, after all, this is the world we were born into, and we are responsible for it.”
Spiegel’s comments suggest that this is our world, so we should be responsible for it. If we don’t claim responsibility for living in it, who will? I couldn’t agree more. Being entitled, it turns out, isn’t always a bad thing.
All this being said, I’m not completely denying millennial stereotypes—after all, I did opt to write this post in the form of a Listicle. But I think there’s more to our generation than many realize.
Continue the conversation for a chance to WIN!
Are there other myths you’ve encountered that you believe just aren’t true? Or do you think I’m wrong in defending my generation? Tell us what you think! Let us know in the comments below and/or share this post with your social networks and you will automatically be entered for a chance to win a Selfie Stick. (After all, we all like to take selfies sometimes!)
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