Not Your Typical Millennial

635711443111297960239083383_millenialsSelfish, lazy, disrespectful, and entitled, are just some of the words that come up when talking about millennials in the work place. This negative perception is a common belief in todays business world, and it needs to be addressed. According to Time Magazine, there are 40 million millennials already in the work force, and by 2025, they will account for three out of every four workers worldwide.

There is no denying that there is a clear divide between Generation Y and Generation X. We grew up with the internet and smart phones, and they didn’t even start using computers until the 1980s. The way in which we learned to communicate is very different, and in the work place these differences are brought to light.

Not that these differences are necessarily bad, but there are some Gen Y people out there who are giving us a bad rap. There will always be stereotypes, and if we want to prove people wrong, we need to learn how to break them.

Lets start by talking about some of the most common millennial stereotypes, and what we can do to prevent ourselves from falling prey to these negative connotations.

We want you to hold our hand 

Of course everyone likes a little guidance, but we can’t go around expecting to be told exactly what to do, and how to do it. Show your independence and know that it is okay to ask questions, but don’t think that people will just fix things for you. You’re smarter than you think, and you were hired for a reason. When starting a new project at work, don’t go running to a supervisor and ask how to do it, brainstorm some different approaches and then see what your boss has to say. This shows your ability to think for yourself, and breaks the stereotype that we need to be babied every step of the way.

We can’t take criticism

Jeff Ousbourne addresses the stereotype that we are “trophy kids.” Awarded prizes simply for showing up, and promised that we have no weaknesses. Consequently, this has lead to the belief that millennials have a hard time handling criticism. Nobody likes to be told what they are doing wrong, or what they can do better, but let’s face it, this is the business world and someone is going to tell you if you mess up. No one is perfect, remember that. When you do get called out, don’t be defensive. Instead show your appreciation for their feedback, and make the necessary changes.

 We are lazy and entitled

In the article, Are Millennials too Spoiled for the Workplace, Kim Peterson says, “Millennials are developing a reputation as workplace divas who need more hand holding and who will bolt from jobs at the drop of a hat.” Millennials are complaining about working 40 hours a week, and are wanting to wear jeans to work. Due to the extremely competitive environment that we grew up in, we also don’t place a high value on company loyalty, like the people of Generation X. Millennials need to realize that companies are not going to change for us, and we need to respect the practices that are already put into place.

 We are addicted to social media and technology

 What can I say, we were born in the digital age. Pew Research Center calls us “histories first ‘always connected’ generation.” We alltwitter-generation-ysleep with our phones and use social media as a part of our everyday lives. Fortunately, for us Gen Y folks, businesses recognize the importance of social media, and hire people like us to manage their online accounts. We get technology, as compared to the baby boomers, and have a competitive advantage in that field. We may be addicted to social media, and the little glowing screen that we carry everywhere, but knowing how to use technology makes us smarter. We know how to access information faster, and can reach millions of people with the click of a button. However, there is two ways to look at this. If your job is not to manage the social media accounts for your company, and you’re on your phone at work, learn how to put it away and focus on the tasks in front of you.

 We are scared to talk face to face

Overcome with the convenience of texting and emails, millennials seem to have lost touch with the importance of face-to-face communication. Of course a text or email is great when you need to quickly get in touch with someone, but having face-to-face communication is extremely important in todays business world. Building relationships is the key to success, and that means you have to use verbal communication. Let the people you work with get to know who you are, and don’t resort to always just sending a text or email. Walk down the hall, ask people how their days are going, and make a name for yourself. The big CEOs didn’t get to where they are today from just sitting behind a computer screen.

Final take aways

Don’t let these millennial stereotypes define you. We are forced to work in world with people who grew up in different era, and it is our job to try and bridge the gap. Put yourself out there, follow my advice, and hopefully we can change the way people think of Generation Y!


13 thoughts on “Not Your Typical Millennial

  1. I also mentioned in my blog post that we are scared to talk face-to-face. In the workplace, I often feel better when I communicate in person rather than over text or email. It definitely seems more personable, and like you said it helps to build a relationship. You had some great things to say, and I love your advice about not letting the stereotypes define you!

    1. I agree, I definitely feel more comfortable communicating face to face. We’re lucky to both feel that way! So many people our age feel the exact opposite. Thanks for the great feedback!

  2. “Here will always be stereotypes, and if we want to prove people wrong, we need to learn how to break them.” That particular sentence really caught my attention. It made me want to keep reading, and learn how to break the stereotype. You have valid points, and I like how you don’t sound condescending. I agree with you, we should respect the practices that already put in place. Overall, great job!

  3. I think you hit some really great key points in this post! I have seen those stereotypes and they can be hurtful! I like that you stated each stereotype and then gave advice as to how to fix it or make sure that millennials do not fall into it. It’s going to be interesting to see when we are older adults because we will be using nothing but technology! Great job!!

  4. I like how you ended your post by saying that we are the generation that is in charge of bridging the gap and to change the negative perspective on millennials. I also liked your advice that you offered for us to combat the stereotypes, it seems very realistic and beneficial!

  5. I like that you identified some great stereotypes that I didn’t find in a lot of other posts! I agree entirely with the “lazy and entitled” section, that may be one of the hardest to break for most of us. I really enjoyed your style of writing and the confidence in your tone!

    1. Rebekah, I agree that the lazy and entitled stereotype is possibly the hardest one to break. Hopefully we can all learn to change our habits and get rid of this one. Thanks for the feedback!

  6. I really liked how you ended your post with a kind of inspirational conclusion. I believe that we truly can escape these stereotypes if we all collectively show that we are hard workers who aren’t scared to take some criticism here and there. I know that our generation is going to take the world to new heights that it could never be taken to by the older generations and it seems like you know that too! We don’t need the baby boomers to hold our hands and baby us anymore, we are adults and we are ready to prove it to them!

    1. Thank you for the feedback! I agree that we can escape these stereotypes if we show that we are hard workers and able to accept some criticism. Hopefully we can all come together and make a difference for us millennials!

  7. “Here will always be stereotypes, and if we want to prove people wrong, we need to learn how to break them.” That particular sentence really caught my attention. It made me want to keep reading, and learn how to break the stereotype. You have valid points, and I like how you don’t sound condescending. I agree with you, we should respect the practices that already put in place. There is a balance in your writing, you made a valid points on how our generation is now different , but at the same time you want us to still be respect the old tradition.

    1. Jessica, sometimes it is hard to not sound condescending, so thanks for acknowledging that! I also appreciate that you said there was a balance in this post. We definitely have to try and bridge the gap, yet still recognize our differences. Thanks for the feedback!

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