I see articles every day along the lines of “why millennials struggle to survive the current job market” or “I don’t envy millennial today” or “why millennials ruined x, y, or z”. WTF? What did we ever do to you?
I recently turned 30, so I still technically fall into the millennial category (ages 23-37ish currently) and it seems like it has turned into a dirty word! People reference this generation of people like we are the worst thing to happen to society. Millennial ruined everything. Millennial are always on their phones. Millennials don’t know the meaning of hard work. On and on and on. And quite frankly, it kind of sucks!
First and foremost, I don’t think it’s fair to blame one generation of people for any particular issue. There will always be outliers and those that conform to the stereotype, but let’s not clump everyone together. There will always be someone who doesn’t want to work hard, who rests on the money Daddy gave them and doesn’t feel the need to contribute to society. There are however, an equal number of millennials who work their asses off trying to better this world. The night shift nurses, the non-profit managers who aspire to save the world, the computer techies who build apps to check on family members in a disaster. They care, more than the world gives them credit for. And instead of getting stuck at a job they hate, they are turning to their passions to feed them. They are building, creating, changing. They are digging deep, often making little money to start with, to actually DO something. They are the ones out there fighting for what they believe in.
You taught us that we can be anything we want, right? President, pilot, scientist, artist, musician, Olympian. Don’t tell little girls they can achieve greatness and then ignore them! Support them! Build them up and set them up to succeed. That’s where I think society finds complaints with my generation. You told us we can do anything, and that you expect a lot from us. We don’t want it handed to us, but we may get there a different way.
Many of my friends’ parents often talk about how they worked menial jobs to support their families, and that we know nothing about working simply because we have to. Here’s the thing, my mom told me, from day one, that I could be anything I dreamed of .She never told me “you’ll go to college, then be a secretary until you get married. Then you can quit.” Uh, no. My mom is the most bad ass woman I know. She has been a CEO, CFO, president of companies. She works her ass off. And she loves her job! She is changing the world by working hard. And people take notice of that. I think if I told her I wanted to spend my life twiddling my thumbs waiting for a husband or doing “just something” she would have lost it. She told me to aim for the moon. So that’s what I’m doing.
My point is, just because you don’t understand everything about our career choices, doesn’t mean we are wrong. We are a group of highly motivated, creative, driven individuals. We are solving problems that no one has been able to touch until now. Give us a chance to prove ourselves!
Some people call millennials lazy, apathetic. Hardly. We want a work/life balance, what’s wrong with that?! So we want to make money AND spend time with our families, gasp! What a novel concept. It really amazes me that so many people are so quick to point at this group of young people and judge. We are going to change the world, in amazing ways. Just you watch.