Let’s get a Millennial take from an actual Millennial, shall we?

Because this one critic (we’ll call him FRED) is not a Millennial, but he claims that Millennials are difficult to work with and then suggests how to “deal” with us. Fred probably feels that way because he’s heard and then repeated stereotype after stereotype. And when you reference the Millennial stereotypes, we do sound difficult to work with. I mean, we aren’t buying diamonds and cereal (how dare we?), we expect things instantaneously and when that doesn’t happen we break down and give up, and we feel that we deserve trophies for getting dressed in the morning! Fred also said that it’s not the fault of the Millennials. He blamed our parents.

#THANKSPARENTS

(Just kidding, I love you!)

He said we were dealt a bad hand. No shit, we were dealt a bad hand, but the economy tanking didn’t mess up only Millennials. It hurt a lot of people. It may have stomped on some of our hopes and dreams (as we were graduating college and applying for jobs), but I feel like those soul-crushing times only made me stronger.

I don’t expect life to be easy. I know it’s a long and hard road. But that doesn’t make me want to give up. It only drives me to stand up for the thousandth time and keep at it.

Millennial critics like to say that we are sensitive snowflakes who want to sit on bean bag chairs and talk about our feelings while we pet puppies at work and try to make a positive impact on the environment/society/world/people/community.

Hmmm. This is what I want: I want to earn a living wage to pay off what’s left of my student loans. I think I’m down to about $35,000. Almost there…ha ha ha. I wouldn’t mind having an office puppy running around to relieve my stress during the day, but ask anyone who likes animals – I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t mind that either. Also, I would like to be making an impact on…anything! Why is that bad?

It isn’t bad. But because I want to make a difference, other people see that as wanting change to happen RIGHT THIS INSTANT! I know change doesn’t happen on a dime. I’ve struggled with moving the coffee creamer boxes into the actual kitchen at work for about three years. I know things take time. Especially important issues.

I really don’t know how I’m going to get those coffee creamer boxes in the kitchen. Unless I throw the revolving coffee cart/display rack outside and light in on fire, those creamer boxes will never see the light of the kitchen. You see, I have ideas, but a lot of the time, they go unheard. That is beyond frustrating. I understand that processes take time and energy to bring about change, and I’m totally fine with that, but what I’m not happy with is the saying, “It is what it is. This is the way it’s always been.” What does that mean? Nothing can change? I feel stuck on this hamster wheel, running but not going anywhere. This is where non-Millennials are losing Millennials in the workplace.

Give us more of a chance. We are the future of the company/organization/non-profit group. I know we are younger than you, but try to hear us out. I think what Millennials really want is to be heard and not dismissed. If our idea is stupid, then dismiss the idea, not the person. If our idea is good, then let’s try and do something to make it the best it can be. This isn’t a suggestion for Millennials and Millennials only – this is how the workplace* should function. We should be celebrating and implementing ideas. We should be helping each other, and Millennials are really good at helping others, because we know how it feels to feel lost, unappreciated, and empty – I wouldn’t wish that on someone.

When we were young we were told we could do anything and be anything. Guess what. I still believe in myself. I need to believe in myself, because Millennials are constantly being criticized and mocked. If I didn’t believe in myself, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I truly believe that I can accomplish whatever I put my mind to – not miraculously, of course – but with practice, hard work, skill, and stamina. If I want to be a screenwriter, I better keep reading screenplays, watching movies, and, most importantly, writing! Will one of my movies ever get produced? I don’t know, but I believe in myself enough to keep trying. I believe I can do it. There is nothing wrong with hope if you are consistently working on a goal you want to achieve.

Everyone is a product of their generation, but we can’t continue to bundle people into groups and give them a catchy name and then talk about “handling” them or blaming them for – well, you name it, Millennials are the scapegoat. I think they blamed the terrible Olympics ratings on us. Never mind that the coverage sucked…blame the Millennials!

And that’s the biggest issue I have with Millennial criticism. We are getting grouped into this one bubble without respect for our geography, race, gender, nationality, class, sexuality, the age of our parents, birth order in relation to siblings, etc. I would have to say that three of those factors combined better describe me as an individual more than the fact that I was born in 1987.

But this happens. It happened in the past and it will probably happen again, unless we…gosh, what’s that word? Oh yeah, unless we CHANGE our mindset about generational stereotypes and work together to function together.

 

*Not just the workplace. This should be how society works too.

 

 

Advertisements