Millennials are coming!

I recently started noticing articles on social media about Millennials entering the workforce. Millennials are coming! I can imagine the articles shout as they highlight new findings or research to help companies change or adapt their culture to the Millennials. So, I decided to do my own research to see why companies are concerned.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Millennials, also known as Generation Y, will be the largest generation in the workforce by the end of 2015 (which is rapidly approaching). Millennials are anyone born between 1980 and the mid-2000s (dates might vary slightly). Millennials are the first generation to have had access to the Internet during our formative years. Millennials also stand out because they are the most diverse and educated generation to date: 42% identify with a race or ethnicity other than non-Hispanic white, around twice the share of the Baby Boomer generation when they were the same age. About 61% of adult Millennials have attended college compare to 46% of the Baby Boomers.

While researching, I also came across some terms describing Millennials: They’re narcissistic. They’re lazy. They’re coddled. They’re even a bit delusional. As a member of this generation, I’d like to give my input as these labels have more to do with a life stage than a generational cohort. So, I have decided that in the next few weeks, I will dedicate some time to research and clarify the common misconceptions about Millennials. But for now let me take this opportunity to clear up a few myths and misconceptions about my generation at a very high level.

  • Millennials are lazy:

I believe that we base our performance on output rather than time spent on a project. Millennial employees are happy to work long hours on the projects that require additional time. However, we do not want to sit around the office until 5:00 pm if the work was completed two hours earlier. Moreover, due to technology, we are available to our employers through phone and email any time of the day.

  • Millennials are self-absorbed:

Even though, we spend a lot of time on our phones and laptops, we are incredibly involved in the world around us. We use our phones not only to connect with friends but to read news articles, look up a wealth of information, and connect with people across the globe.

  • Millennials are ungrateful:

Rather than being inherently self-centered or overconfident, Millennials are just adapting quickly to a world undergoing rapid technological changes. We’re optimistic, we’re confident and we’re pragmatic at a time when it can be difficult just to get by. Those aren’t bad qualities to have, even if it means we spend too much time on our phones. Every coin has two sides.

Again, being a member of this generation, I hope this and the future blog posts will persuade you to think differently about us. We are creative and have great potential. There is no ‘best,’ we simply want to contribute. We are aware that technology plays a large role in our lives, and we see how it can be problematic. When technology enables behaviors and inspires values that simply could not or did not exist before, you can say it plays a foundational role defining this or any generation. I personally don’t like to be labeled or be classified into one category and I believe there are others who believe the same. Putting a label on a generation is problematic in general, because it suggests that individuals are worth no more than their age and their environment. No one generation is perfect.


>>> Read the second blog in this series