Written by: Guest Blogger Torie Richardson
As the years go by, we are forced to face the fact that different generations will have to find a way to not only coexist, but cooperate in the workplace as well. One of the biggest dilemmas that comes to mind with this subject: facing millennials in the workplace. But hey – we’re not that bad. Maybe if you saw it from our eyes, you’d understand a bit more.
Millennials, first off, are a much wider range of people than most assume: anyone born after 1980 is considered to be part of that generation. It’s not just the young twenty-somethings that post every second of their lives on social media – it expands beyond, into an older age group. And there are many of us: according to the Pew Research Group, millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation, and by 2050 there will be a projected 79.2 million millennials.
But in the workplace, we get a bad rap. We’re represented as greedy, lazy, narcissistic, entitled or high-maintenance. There may be a part of us that fits into any one of these categories, but it’s safe to say this is an aggressively large overgeneralization. We actually now make up one third of the American workforce, the largest generation at work, and yet, we still face struggles with stereotypes as such. Sure, be biased against us – I get it – but here are a few things you should know about us before you jump to judgment.
- We’re hard-working – especially on passion projects. We work our asses off, and we work a lot. We’re used to working long hours deep into the night (hello, college) to finish out projects. Bonus points if it’s something we love, as we’ll be more driven to finish it quicker.
- We believe in work-life balance. Sure, this may seem to go against #2 – but hear me out. We make time for our friends, family, hobbies and social life outside of the work world. Social interactions are important to us, and we believe in being able to break free from our workloads outside of work hours.
- We’re digital. Phones, laptops, texting, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, you name it – technology is our game. You’re more likely to get ahold of us via text or email versus trying to give us a call. With that, because we’re so connected, we’re typically quick to get ahold of when you reach out digitally, as our screens are always in hand. Call-me-beep-me-if-you-want-to-reach-me? Not so much.
- We’re itching to learn. Teach us your ways! We want to grow and we’re hungry for knowledge. We look to our superiors as mentors, as many of us hope to be in their shoes one day. In a survey conducted by Millennial Branding and London-based Morar Consulting, 79% of Millennials said the they aspired to be leaders. We want to know what you do and how you do it, so we too can understand the world in which we work and, in turn, become successful in our own respective ways.
- We want to make a difference. We feel that we have a role – no matter how small – that, we hope, is important in one way or another. We believe in the power of ideas and, even further, the power of action. We want to make contributions, be a part of the team and help propel the company forward in whatever direction.
Millennials aren’t as bad as everyone makes them out to be – we’re just like everyone else out there. We shift with the times and we adjust accordingly. We are eager, we are curious, and we are passionate. We believe in pushing ourselves, in growing, in being ambitious and in discovery.
Give us a chance.
Related Reading: The Millennial Generation Has Killed Relationships