We’ve all read the headlines:
Millennials are lazy.
Millennials are entitled.
Millennials are self-obsessed and narcissistic.
You know what? All of these statements are dead wrong.
The truth is, there are lazy people of all ages.
There’s no reason to believe that Millennials are any lazier than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers.
And when you look at the facts, you’ll see that many Millennials are actually very ambitious:
- Millennials are the most educated generation to date. 40% of Millennial workers age 25 to 29 had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2016. When Gen X workers were the same age, 32% had a bachelor’s degree and when Baby Boomers were the same age, 26% had a bachelor’s degree. (Source: Pew Research)
- Millennials are becoming entrepreneurs at an earlier age. While Boomers launched their first businesses at about 35 years old, Millennials start their first businesses at age 27! (Source: BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneurs Report)
- 30% of Millennials have started some kind of business, versus 19% for Boomers and 22% for Gen Xers. (Source: America’s SBDC study)
And more and more Millennials want to start their own business or become freelancers in the next few years. They are willing to leave behind a stable 9-to-5 job to become more fulfilled, follow their passion and make a difference. Does that sound lazy to you?
One study found that Millennials are more likely than the older generations to start a business to make a positive impact in their community. So not only are Millennials not lazy, but they are socially conscious and want to change the world!
Millennials are not entitled.
They simply know what they want and are not willing to settle for anything less. If their job is holding them back, they’ll move onto a new one that will give them the opportunities, responsibilities and pay they’re looking for.
Job hopping isn’t a bad thing. Working for 20 years at a company that doesn’t challenge you or inspire you is!
When Millennials decide to stick with a company, they’re better at negotiating contracts.
That may feel like entitlement to some, but it’s actually a super valuable trait! Who doesn’t want a higher salary or better benefits?
Army recruiter Gary Stiteler says that he is more impressed with Millennials than any other group he’s worked with.
“The generation that we enlisted when I first started recruiting was sort of do, do, do. This generation is think, think about it before you do it,” he says. “This generation is three to four steps ahead. They’re coming in saying, ‘I want to do this, then when I’m done with this, I want to do this.'”
Millennials know what they want and are not afraid to go after it, regardless of how entitled or spoiled they may appear. That’s a tip we should all take from Millennials!
As far as narcissism goes, I would argue that our social media and iPhone culture has made everyone a little self-obsessed and narcissistic.
It used to be that we only carried a few photos with us in our wallets or framed on our desks at work. Now, we all have thousands of photos of us, our friends, our families and our pets at our fingertips at all times. Every moment of our lives is carefully documented and shared with the world.
Millennials are simply a product of the time they grew up in. They are the first generation who had their entire lives documented by their parents. It’s no wonder that they appear to be a little image obsessed!
But, aren’t we all? One selfie at a time, the older generations are becoming just as image conscious.
So why don’t we all give Millennials a break?
Many of them worked hard in school and entered the workforce just before, during or just after the Great Recession. They were welcomed into adulthood with mountains of student debt, much more than previous generations.
For this reason, it’s no wonder that many of them are living with their parents longer and waiting longer to get married, have kids and buy a house. That doesn’t make them lazy. They’re doing the best with what they’ve got!
And despite these challenges, many of them are still starting businesses, making a difference in the world and doing what they can to live happy, fulfilled lives.
What have your experiences been with Millennials? What have you learned from them?
If you are a Millennial, do you agree or disagree with the headlines about your generation?
Leave me a comment and let me know!
Thanks for reading. No matter what generation you’re a part of, I’m happy you’re here! 🙂