Millennials and the Workplace
“Why do employers feel that millennials are lazy and expect things to be given to them? Since you’re a part of this generation, what are you doing to change that perception?”
This was one of the first questions I received in my email topic requests when I started my blog. It was placed on the backburner for a while because I needed some time to think it through. Often this question is proposed to my generation from our predecessors, #TheBabyBoomers.
As a true 90s baby and current primetime millennial adult, I can definitely see how the previous generation may view us in that “negative” light. We’re the instant gratification, Starbucks drinking, there’s an app for that, Uber everywhere, vegan and gluten-free, risk it all and travel the world, Apple products loving junkies. We as a whole feel the need to want it all now, and sometimes by any means. Not the best approach to life, but hey, I plead the fifth.
Not to play the blame game, but I honestly believe it’s because of how we were raised. Most of our parents worked extremely hard for us to have the life that they didn’t. For me, my parents sacrificed #BIGTIME for me to attend private schools and join extra-curricular activities that they probably didn’t have the opportunity to while growing up. I was rewarded for doing exceptional. I expected recognition for doing what I should have been doing regardless, and I’m positive this is how my peers were raised as well.
Spilling over into our adulthood, we expect the same treatment in the workplace. We want to feel valued and appreciated for our efforts and dedication. We want a seat at the table even though we might not have built it. And even though this might seem backwards, we bring something different to the table. We have amazing ideas and faster ways of getting things done. We can't sit at a desk all day; that bores us and lowers our creativity. We crave experience; and if that isn’t given, unfortunately, that’s when you lose us.
Granted, I’m a true millennial, but I had to learn the super hard way that you can’t always take the shorter route. Even though we have access to several tools and resources, at some point we still have to go through the process. Personally, I try my best to put in 120% when it comes to my career because I like the feeling of “I worked hard to earn this.” I rise early and stay late when necessary. If I don’t understand it, I’m going to figure it out. I work on myself by taking the extra step – watching webinars, taking industry-related online classes, attending seminars, etc.
Every generation has its quirks, but us millennials are special. We’re somehow thriving in a time that isn’t ideal overall, but we’re breaking glass-ceilings in-spite of. I’ve never seen so many 20-something-year-old entrepreneurs, and it’s quite amazing. So maybe those rewards are finally paying-off.
This week, I want my fellow millennials to recognize that it’s okay if you work a 9-to-5 or if you decide to quit and begin a start-up. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. Go in the path that’s right for you and your journey. Know that everything can’t be instant even though we’re living that life. And remember, always put in more than expected if you want a seat at any table.
Sending love and positive vibes your way! Yvonne Camille