In Defense of Millennials
I’ve had the pleasure of working with many millennials. In my previous life as a college professor, serving them took up the vast majority of my days. Now that I’m a tech leadership coach, my client base has shifted to a slightly older crowd. But, to feed my soul, I get in front of millennial audiences from time to time — by, for example, hosting people skills workshops for local coding bootcamps.
The millennials I know, and who are the audiences at these bootcamps, are filled with enthusiasm, curiosity, and at least a little bit of fear.
You remember what’s that’s like, right?
To finally get the chance to “adult” — to pursue a real career! — but at the same time, to face the harsh realities of the hiring process. How do I research companies? How do I know if I’ll be a good fit? What will they ask during the interviews? How do I appear calm even though I’m filled with nervous energy? Will they like me? Are my skills good enough? What if I don’t get ANY job offers?
You remember that, right?
You can at least relate to that, right?
Good. So the next time you feel the urge to complain about “kids today,” remember this: It’s hard to be a young adult. It’s a pivotal time in our lives. They need support. They need encouragement. They need tough love.
Most of all, they need us to stop labeling them as “the entitled generation.” I don’t know about you, but the millennials I know are far from entitled. Some are privileged, to be sure. But they’re ACUTELY aware of that privilege.
And they just want a chance to shine.
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