Stop Talking About Millennials As If They Are The Anti-Christ

Posted on: May 12, 2016


It’s really crazy that bashing an entire generation is perfectly acceptable. It’s crazy that it’s ok to openly discriminate and make sweeping generalizations about this group we call Millennials. They’re a problem, they’re entitled, they’re lazy and have a bad work ethic, they do the most unthinkable thing by ASKING QUESTIONS! THEY WANT FEEDBACK! THEY DON’T BLINDLY FOLLOW THE STATUS QUO!

I mean if they are not the devil incarnate, who is?

So, what if we reframed the situation and address some of the sweeping generalizations? What if we look at the labels as benign…or we look at them as positive…or maybe just different?

1 – Entitled 

Do some people within this generation feel entitled? Sure. But, a lot of young people feel that way right out of college. When I was right out of college and was only offered jobs as an assistant, my reaction went like this… “Assistant?!! You want me to be someone’s assistant?  Are you insane? I just graduated from COLLEGE!!”… (I’m Gen X, by the way.) So, let’s get rid of the entitled thing. Yes, they all got trophies and mom and dad told them they walked on water but, they’ll get over that pretty quickly.

2 – Lazy & Bad Work Ethic 

I’m sure some are lazy. Some people in every generation are lazy. Is it a bad work ethic or just a different style? Doing a good job is important to them but, where they do the work is one of the biggest “rules” they seem to want to break. They want flexibility. But, wouldn’t everyone like that? I like it. Working in an office for 9 hours straight is kind of absurd unless it’s absolutely necessary. And, it surely can’t be necessary every day. The whole world is accessible via our computers so, asking for flexibility isn’t such a big deal. Right?

3 – Ask a lot of questions and want feedback

I can’t even believe this is an issue. I mean, I can believe it because I, too, have always asked a lot of questions and, it seems many people find it annoying. But, my question is why? (Oh god, I just asked a question.) Why isn’t it seen as a good thing? Doesn’t that mean they’re interested and curious? One could turn this around and ask “Why don’t more people ask more questions? Why don’t more people want feedback? I’ve always wondered why people stop being curious. Curiosity is important. It fosters creativity and critical thinking skills. It helps us advance in our fields and discover new ideas. Feedback is good because it lets us know how we’re doing. If we need to improve and where. This all sounds good to me.

4 – They don’t follow the status quo. 

This is almost a derivative of asking questions. Doing something a certain way, because it is how it’s always been done, does not mean it’s the best way to do it. If someone questions the status quo because they think it could be better, it means they are paying attention. Paying attention means they are aware and thinking. What a concept. Does this create work for someone? It can, yes. But, what if the shift of that status quo makes life easier or better?

In order for all generations to, smoothly, co-exist in the workplace, some changes need to be made. And, people don’t like change. Change feels scary because it’s new, unknown and takes us out of our comfort zone. But, on the flips side, it also wakes us up. Being “awake” takes us out of our “groundhog day” coma.

When you look at the kind of changes that are starting to happen, prompted by the Millennial generation. they’re not that bad. These are changes that can actually benefit all of us. One could even say these changes could be a good thing, as opposed to a big messy problem that needs to be dealt with.

Like everything, it’s all how we choose to look at it.