A few years ago I couldn’t help but see a number of articles and blog posts about how millennials were going to change the world, and how awesome they were, and how much better they were than Gen X and Baby Boomers.
They were entitled, but no one could complain, because they were going to plug the hole when all the Baby Boomers left the workforce. It’s as if they were entitled to their entitlement!
Many, many speakers spoke at HR conferences about how to find them, engage them, hire them, keep them happy, reward them, communicate with them, and understand them. They didn’t want to pay their dues, didn’t have any job loyalty, were rude, didn’t really put a full days work in, and wanted all the perks they could get. They were prone to leave for stupid reasons (another company offered more or better free coffee).
The picture that was painted of them was, I think, unfair, and innaccurate. But “expert” speakers made (and some still do) a fortune telling us how to think of these kids.
That was when the economy was good.
Since it turned sour, the millennials don’t get as much ink. Partly because the Baby Boomers haven’t really left the workforce… they can’t! Partly because many millennials (that I talked to) didn’t like the stereotypes. They were, indeed, hard workers, and wanted to contribute, and were okay paying their dues. They were stereotyped.
Stereotypes are BAD. They help us understand like things, but no one wants to be classified, and have all the characteristics of the stereotype to be inferred on us! We are all individuals, right?
Oh well. Thanks to the experts, the millennials now seem like a bunch of whiners.
Many are, in fact, not whiners. But that’s the brand that has been imposed on them.
Read this article, by Catherine Ruetshlin, titled What Unemployment Rates Don’t Tell Us About Millennials’ Jobs Woes
If you are a millennial, don’t let the numbers (which I think are fake) get to you. There is opportunity out there.
If you need to hire, don’t let the stereotypes influence you when interviewing (regardless of what generation people are)… get to know the individual!