Tired of hearing the same old complaints from older generations? Frustrated at being told to “go into a place of employment and just ask for a job. That’s how I did it!” Or how about the ever lovely “Your generation is so entitled! Take on more responsibilities!”
It seems like the media loves to criticize the generation that should be leading the world pretty soon. If we’re not “ruining” businesses, we’re crying into our participation trophies. I’ve compiled some of the most ridiculous stereotypes of millennials and will be debunking them.
“Millennials are so lazy!”
Ever have a parent or older relative tell you how you’re so incredibly lazy, that they were working so much harder than you are when they were your age, or even that being on the computer all day is a waste of time.
But none of these people have to worry about the things we do. In previous #TakeBackMillennial posts I’ve covered how our wages are shit and things like full-time employment is becoming more scarce. How can we be lazy if we have to work multiple jobs just to pay rent?
“As a demographic particularly likely to be low-paid and insecurely employed, millennials are on the front line of this battle.” [reference]
We’re also more inclined to move away from the typical 8 hour day, staring at a computer in a stuffy office.
“Why be anchored to your desk for eight hours when you can reply to those emails and start drafting notes during your commute into work, or even in a cafe? That’s not laziness, that’s just working smarter, as millennials may see it.” [references]
How many times have you been offered the opportunity to work for free only to gain the elusive “exposure” or “experience”, depending on which type of industry you’re in? Next time someone complains about you being lazy, give them your financial stats and ask them how they would realistically live with them.
“They have no loyalty! In my day we started at a company and ended there!”
Loyalty means nothing to a millennial. When companies are more focused on getting the most for their extremely low wage offer, why would someone stay at a company that offers little to no benefits, useless pay, and no form of security because they can just hire another desperate millennial if you don’t like it?
“A 2016 Gallup poll found that 21% of Millennials changed jobs within the past year, which is more than three times the number of non-Millennials. But there’s a reason they’re so nomadic: “Millennials move around more because that’s often what they need to do to get promoted,” Klein says.” [reference]
Seriously, there is no reason to stay at a job if there is no opportunity for growth.
We also have that pesky problem of being young. Ever been told something condescendingly simply because you look young? Ever not been taken seriously because everyone else in your office are the same age as your parents? We’re supposed to be working hard and appreciate the absolute little no recognition involving that.
“Nobody likes feeling under-appreciated. Yet it seems like millennials’ hard work in particular is being ignored. In a 2015 LeadershipIQ survey of more than 3,000 employees, only 33 percent of employees under 30 were confident that their performance was at the level it should be.” [reference]
Related: Bad Habits to Avoid in Your 20s
“If you stopped buying $4 coffees and avocados you could afford a house.”
This ridiculous quote cam from a millionaire who is so far separated from the average working class person that they think something as small as $4 a day will be able to add up to afford a house.
“Tim Gurner, a 35-year-old developer, called out his generation on Australia’s version of “60 Minutes” on Sunday.
“When I was trying to buy my first home I wasn’t buying smashed avocados for 19 bucks and four coffees at $4 each,” he said.” [reference]
To add to the list of people so far removed from reality is Ebony Horton, who talked to Business Insider about her “miraculous” way of paying off her debt of $220,000 in three years. News flash, it wasn’t miraculous. She was gifted the opportunity that very few people even have a chance at.
- Moved from DC to her hometown in Joilet, IL to work for her mother’s company.
- Was gifted a $13,000 condo as a wedding present from her parents.
- Moved into her grandparent’s house and rented out said condo
- Bought two more condos to rent out.
I can honestly say that my parents don’t have enough money to gift me anything, I can’t pool together extra savings to buy an entire condo to rent out, and I most certainly don’t have relatives I can live with.
If anything, she is a reason why people think millennials are so entitled. If she can pay off her student loans by mooching off relatives, you can too!
How Do We Combat These Stereotypes?
Prove Them Wrong
One of the best ways to combat any kind of stereotype is to prove it wrong. But some of these problems aren’t ones you can prove wrong, and some people are just so stuck in their own opinion that they refuse to believe anything else, even if they see it with their own eyes.
So what about millennials being lazy? Well, you’re working 40-60 hours a week, right? How is that being lazy? Maybe it’s your boss saying you aren’t working hard enough. See if you can talk with them about higher expectations, or even take the initiative of doing a little more to prove your worth. (Only if you think your employer won’t take advantage of you doing more work for no benefit).
” “CEB, a consulting firm, polls 90,000 American employees each quarter. It finds that the millennials among them are in fact the most competitive: 59% of them, in the latest poll, said competition is “what gets them up in the morning”, compared with 50% of baby-boomers. Some 58% of millennials said they compare their performance with their peers’, as against 48% for other generations” (The Economist).” [reference]
What about being loyal? How do you prove you’re loyal? This might be a lot harder to do, because if you’re in an industry where the only real way to get a promotion or raise is to switch jobs, you might have to live with that. In reality, you’re not loyal to a company, but loyal to a specific job.
As for the idiots who don’t know how money works in the real world, it’s doubtful you’ll persuade them. Think about anyone who is so out of touch with reality. Nothing short of them experiencing it themselves will change their opinion.
It’s not always the nicest response, but if you have someone constantly badgering you about something and won’t budge, why tire yourself out trying to lay out facts, studies, and personal anecdotes if it won’t do anything? You’re just wasting your own time.
Instead, focus on yourself. What your Aunt Linda says about your work ethic just shows how out of touch she is. YOU know how hard you work and YOU are the only one that matters with that.
Learning to ignore the brash voices around you is hard at first, but if you learn to not let what other people think of you matter, you’ll do so much better in the long run.
Have any other stereotypes you want me to debunk? How about any ways to deal with it? Let me know in the comments! Want to help spread the word? Share this post with the #TakeBackMillennial hashtag.