Breaking Millennial Stereotypes

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As Millennials, we are constantly put under scrutiny.  From being tech savvy but oblivious to social norms, to needing time off for vacation and volunteer efforts but not being willing to put in extra work at the office (Forbes).  Many employers think we are too focused on technology, want to avoid face to face communication, are too ambitious, even narcissistic.  Potential employers being fed articles day in and day out about why they should not hire millennials clearly affects how you and I are going to be looked at in the hiring process.  While many of these stereotypes are negative, I believe some of them should not be broken, but instead turned around into a positive.

While many employers believe the reliance on technology that many millennials exhibit is a roadblock, I agree with this article that it can facilitate a higher level of productivity(Schwab).  Many jobs now allow remote work, or you are working on projects with people in different offices than you.  While communication via email, messaging services etc… may seem a bit impersonal, it is the way of the future.  Knowing how to properly communicate with these people is an invaluable skill that can not be taught.  Given my current job, and overall interest in banking, being tech savvy is completely necessary.  Trades are no longer put in by handing someone a piece of paper, and exchanges are all online now.  Often at work I am asked by upper management(generally Generation X) how to work different systems.  By showing our doubters why some of these thoughts on millennials are not actually a bad thing, we can combat these stereotypes.

I believe the most negative stereotype attached to millennials is that we are lazy and too ambitious, about as bad of a combo as their is.  In my work experience so far I have seen one of these is much more true than the other.  In banking, most high hour analyst positions are filled by 21-24 year olds, many of which are working 60-80 hours a week.  If employers believe 60-80 hours a week is lazy, I’ve picked the wrong industry.  By continuing to be persistent and work the hours, this stereotype will continue to deteriorate.  I say keep on with the work smarter, not harder approach.  This article from Bentley delves into the issue of being too ambitious in more depth.  Many millennials are highly educated with internship experience, and will get bored with many low-level entry jobs quickly.  This boredom can often lead to a oft-changing career path.  Many managers can take this as a lack of loyalty, while it is simply a need for intellectual stimulation.  By doing your research on not just industries, but also companies, you can determine what you’re truly passionate about.  Finding something you are passionate about is absolutely my biggest piece of advice.  If I didn’t truly love what I’m doing at my job I am sure I would sit there on Facebook, until I eventually quit, just continuing to further the stereotype. I believe that this passion is the key in finding your “home company”.  By doing something you’re not sure is actually for you, the stereotype will continue to be paired with millennials.

While I may have changed the prompt a bit, I absolutely do believe that many of these negative connotations given to millennials are backwards compliments.  I say we as Leeds students continue to do great things and prove that we are worth hiring.  Why not just use these to add fuel to the fire?

 

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12 thoughts on “Breaking Millennial Stereotypes

  1. Caleb, great post. I really agree with your second paragraph about millennials knowledge and use of technology. We can easily take the “negative” stereotype of our reliance on technology and turn it positive. Technological advancements have allowed us to expand our efficiency and effectiveness exponentially. I see you work in banking, as a sophomore I would love to work in the banking industry in the coming years. Your point about transitioning from paper trades to online trades is a stellar example of technologies benefit in the workplace.

    1. Hey James,

      Yeah I really think tech-savviness(not sure thats a word) should be a positive. That’s awesome you’re already thinking about banking as a sophomore, that in itself has you a step ahead of so many others!

  2. First off, I wanted to say how much a loved the picture that you provided in the post. I think that statistic is really empowering for someone who is a millennial looking to make a difference in the near future. I also think that statistic is something that empowers the current business leaders to realize that regardless of the stereotypes that they are hearing, millennials are the next phase of mankind. And that there is nothing wrong with us! Secondly, I liked your point about millennials being lazy. There is no way that some who puts in 60-80 hours a week to better their company is lazy. Although entry-level positions are something that most out of college students don’t like because of their internship experience, I think us as millennials need to understand the power of hard work and ambition and that will take you farther then you could ever imagine.

    1. Hey Taylor,

      I completely agree that we as millennials are the next phase, whether employers are keen to that or not is up to them. I also think hard work and ambition is really simply put the key to success. Thanks for commenting!

  3. You brought up an idea that I hadn’t thought about! I like that you brought up how boredom could be the factor of us coming off as lazy. I agree that having internships that reward us with a base to what we eventually want to do with our careers, give us enough stimulus to want to work hard and make the most out of the opportunity. However, I do agree that going into an actual paying low entry job isn’t as rewarding and causes us to become bored. I’m a huge advocate of having a passion for what you’re doing in life. I agree that if you are going to go to work, you might as well love what you’re doing rather than wanting to kill yourself every time you walk into the work place.One thing I’ve learned and still am learning, is to pursue your dreams. You should be happy with what you’re doing than being unhappy doing what you never should have done in the first place.

  4. I thought your blog post was really interesting. I like how you took common stereotypes about us and showed how they, in most cases, are wrong. Its pretty interesting to think about how much more stimulus we have and how we are constantly looking for more and its very easy for us to get bored by lower level things.

  5. Great post! I really like that you bring to light the positives of us being tech savvy. Being able to work with people from all over the world is very innovative and is, like you say, the way of the future. I find it slightly ironic that people say we don’t communicate well face-to-face because, essentially, conference phone calls are turning into conference skype calls. The new developments of technology allow people to get work done from wherever there is a connection, meaning somebody who understands the in’s and out’s of technology can really thrive and adjust quickly.

  6. I really liked how you talked about turning around the stereotypes, which are usually perceived negatively, into something positive. I don’t understand how people view being tech savy as a negative trait, especially after seeing how the world is evolving into a technologically advanced world. Employers should view this as desirable, and hope employees are tech savy. Being able to communicate is so important in the workplace, and like you said this communication is moving more and more towards online communication. Also, if your employer still thinks millennials are lazy after seeing individuals work 60-80 hour weeks that is ridiculous! Overall this was a great post!

  7. Caleb,
    I agree with most of the points you brought up in your post, and find it hard to believe some of the negative stereotypes we (Millennials) have been labeled with. I think we can easily prove ourselves however, and believe that being tech savvy will be our advantage.

    -Aaron Berns

  8. i agree with a lot of the things you say in your paper and i hate the way the baby boomers judge us constantly and make up all of these lies/ stereotypes. We are very technologically advanced and our culture is definitely then those before us.

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