I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day about forth of July plans, when she told me that she had to work all weekend, because one of her employees called out. She then told me how she is grateful that she didn’t raise me as a millennial, and that she raised me to be responsible. Obviously, I am grateful that she sees me as a responsible adult, but…. I AM a millennial. Being responsible does not change that.
So, why do other generations associate the word millennial with irresponsible adults, rather than with what the word really represents- a literal age group?
Just to clarify, Whatis.com refers to millennials, saying “The term Millennials is usually considered to apply to individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century. The precise delineation varies from one source to another, however. Neil Howe and William Strauss, authors of the 1991 book Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069, are often credited with coining the term. Howe and Strauss define the Millennial cohort as consisting of individuals born between 1982 and 2004.”
So, there you have it. A millennial, by definition, is nothing more than a person born between the 1980’s and the 1990’s. So, how is it that this entire age group is able to be vaguely categorized as “entitled” and/or “lazy”. Why are managers of companies taking classes on “how to handle” the millennials? Why are we getting such a bad name when we have just recently entered, or are just now entering the work force?
From my perspective, the millennial generation is just as, if not more, hardworking than its predecessors. I, a millennial, worked a full time job throughout college to afford living on my own, graduated with thousands of dollars in student loans, and am now working 40 hours a week at a job in which I don’t even make a livable wage, let alone enough to pay back the loans plus interest in my lifetime.
I live off of $30-$55 a week after my bills are paid, and have no savings, but I make it work. I work on holidays, and I don’t take vacations, because I literally cannot afford to. But, I make it work. I work hard to make it work.
I know that there are exceptions, but I cannot think of another person my age who does not work as hard, or harder, than I do.
If you, as a manager/coworker/business owner has an employee that is irresponsible, they are just that- irresponsible. If you have an employee that is an asshole, they are just that- an asshole. If you have an employee who who feels they are entitled, they are just that- entitled.
While employees A, B, and C, may all fall under the category of millennial, it is not their ages that defines them, it is their attitudes.
Just as we shouldn’t group and persecute others based on race, or religion, or belief, we should stop grouping and judging individuals based on an age defining term. We, collectively, should stop using “millennial” as a derogatory term. Judge by actions, not by broad characterizations.
What do you think?
Until next time,