The generation of lazy, materialistic, narcissists. Or, at least that is how the millennial generation is effectively labeled.
But, is this accurate, or is this label constructed off of stereotypes, and misconceptions?
Contrary to popular belief, this generation actually does aspire to lead in projects, and campaigns. Further, they ultimately want their work to mean something more than a paycheck for the rent. The difference is parents of millennial kids graduated school with aspirations of being hired by a company, working their way up and then quietly retiring. While today’s graduates finish school with aspirations much different for themselves.
So although millennials may have established themselves a certain reputation, could it be possible that it is all largely just one misconception on their true intentions?
Lazy or Life-hackers?
Millennials have gotten a bad rap, in that they have been labelled an under-motivated and entitled generation. But is this so? Are millennials truly less willing to work than former generations? Or is it possible that millennials simply wish to work smart, and not hard? Generation Y is the new workforce, and they are changing the face of employment sectors in many ways. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry is of the highest impacted sectors. Millennials are the digital generation, and as it would fit, they make up a large majority of the tech sector.
Jobs have changed, and as result work has changed. Millennials are working differently than their parents and grandparents, and those generations just don’t understand it.
By coming up with new, oftentimes more efficient, easier and generally better ways to do things, millennials have unconsciously given off the impression that they don’t like work. And in part, that is true, because in reality, who does like work? Yet there is a difference between not wanting to waste valuable time on work, and thinking things should just be handed to you.
What people often overlook is that millennials have decided that if there is an easier way, then it should be found. With that encompasses a certain type of inventiveness.
Material Junkies or Opportunists?
Growing up in a time where technology has proliferated so quickly, and continues to develop by the day, of course millennials are tech obsessed. It’s their life. It’s what they know.
This is the generation that treats the internet as the town square. Rendering possibilities for connections effectively limitless, through the creation of a global community that may be accessed by the click of a keyboard or motion of a mouse. This level of collaboration gives way to innovation!
Generation X, and the boomers seem to think that millennials are tech junkies, and that materialistic objects make our world go round. But this is hardly the truth.
The reality is, that millennials actually prioritize experiences over things. They would rather a memory than an object, and this has transcended into many aspects of millennial life.
The fact is, technology has become more widely available for millennials for a number of reasons. For example, tech has seen such rapid development in the past decade. Computers went from taking up an entire corner of your living room, to being able to fit into your pocket before you even moved out of your parents house.
Additionally, globalization and outsourcing has made most technological devices very affordable. Due to these devices assembly overseas, the end sale price is significantly reduced. Further, millennials have now reached their prime spending years, and considering millennials are waiting to start their families, they tend to have extra spending cash.
Narcissistic or Confident?
Millennials spent their childhoods with their parents telling them they could achieve anything they set their minds to. But now that we have grown up, and actually continue to live by this principle into adulthood. Now it has all of a sudden become a problem.
Yet millennials have largely disregarded these late restrictive parameters. They continue to strive for what they deserve, rarely settling for what they don’t.
This has given way to the misconception that millennials are self-entitled and narcissistic. But, did anyone stop to think that what may be viewed as entitlement by the boomers, is actually just millennials not passively allowing themselves to be taken advantage of or short-changed?
Today millennials are expected to do much more with much less. Which, tends to distort the perception that they really are trying to meet expectations.
A definitive characteristic of generation y is their level of stubbornness. Which has given way to their determination to get what they deserve from the work that they have put it.
After watching the way their parents and grandparents worked, millennials just don’t want to work the same way. They would rather seek to redefine the conventional workplace, and what it means to work.
Values such as creative collaboration, employee appreciation, and the establishment of an optimal work-life balance are central tenants to the millennial way of life. Work has changed, as such it would follow that workers should change too.
Having stuff and things are great, but not as great as actually doing stuff and things! Millennials would rather experiences over material objects. They would rather have memories than have an abundance of items. Items depreciate, they break, they get old, but memories don’t.
The way millennials see it, there is little appeal in doing things the traditional ways. Especially if there is a better alternative.
By: Amberly Martin
Project Manager at Generation Digital Corp.