I’m a millennial and I consider what the world thinks about us as not entirely real
I’m only 24, but I think I “fit” into my generation’s label. But maybe not into its standard characteristics. I’m less tech-savvy than a half of the majority of my age, as I have no particular interest in owning trendy gadgets. I’m in a “phone-free” phase of two months until I get a new one, but I’m not in a hurry. One thing that I do, though, is read a lot especially on the internet. I bookmark and I am subscribed to many channels and websites I’m interested in, follow the news and whatever is relevant for my knowledge, be it in my field of interest or serving a general purpose of entertainment / “good to know this”.
As I read a few threads on this generational gaps topic, I beg to differ on some points and show you my perspective, as a Millennial who is not an American, not a Western European, not an entrepreneur and definitely not an expert in anything. Maybe in cooking pasta, though.
What makes a Millennial?
Some would say it’s about what period of time one was born in, and diverge from there into incorporating qualities such as highly ambitious, purposeful, idealistic, socially responsible, more liberal, open-minded, tolerant, promoting gender equality, more connected, informed, self-aware, looking for true meaning and seemingly not tired of challenges.
People and especially studies look at Millennials specifically in the business environment. Many state this new generation is confronting a leadership problem that didn’t exist before — leadership in the workplace being about people, and not necessarily about profit. Whereas 30 years ago, perhaps there were too few who took initiative and raised their heads out of their plates. They used to work factory hours, get paid and not wish on something else. But for a few years now, we reckon this changed. The new generation of employees, we, the Millennials, are ready to be game changers in the workplace.
Millennials are mavericks.
We want companies and bosses (leaders) who inspire us, coach us, treat us like we are cute, defenseless puppies and offer us a handkerchief when we cry because we made a mistake. Jeeeez, can we grow up a bit? Why should we wait on someone to empower us? Why can‘t we empower other people ourselves? Maybe our bosses don’t know what empowering means. But Millennials expect this, right? Maybe we should be the ones making the first step, if we really want this. Or let us self-empower ourselves. Also, we don’t want boring jobs. But … creativity doesn’t hide at every corner waiting to surprise us, because sometimes creativity can also be exhausting.
On the other hand, when it’s not in the companies we work for, we want to be entrepreneurs. It’s like when we were kids and relatives asked us “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and we (I) said “Astronaut, biologist, lawyer, dancer, actress” etc. now you can add the word “entrepreneur”. We don’t like taking orders, so we want to be accountable only for ourselves, our actions.
An above all, we are dreamers and we want to be happy, have it all, if possible. Travel, live the big city life, find our identity, be whoever the fudge we want to be.
Sorry, what makes a Millennial again?
Apart from the beautiful, yet exaggerated ideology created around Millennials, I think we are also shallow. We have biased concepts about work and success. We are being described too idealistic. And the world can’t be built only on idealism — it’s built through hard work, trying and failing and actually doing things, rather than advocating them on Social Media.
I always find this article about Lucy relevant, because although we try to play with reality and change it, we can’t not acknowledge it. Everything worthwhile in our lives requires effort — mental, physical or emotional. Just because we’re Millennials, doesn’t mean jobs will land for us or work is going to be done by itself. We need to learn what hard work and results are. Helloooo, Jack and the beanstalk story is not real. Golden eggs don’t grow in trees and even if they were, they’re definitely not waiting on us, or anyone, for the matter.
Sometimes I feel we expect and we think we deserve so many things, when we give so little in return.
Let’s step down the narcissistic pedestal. Maybe we’re special, maybe we’re not. Would that make a fudging difference? We should stick our heads out of our baby assess and not only dream, but do. Take more action, boast less about it. Earn recognition, skills, money. Don’t take it for granted. Sweat if off, sweat it off, hey hey hey, oh …
Not all Millennials need to be entrepreneurs and swim in a fudgeload of fast-made money. (because as much as we want a positive impact, we also want money. Big time. Trust me.) I think that is an unfair representation of what means to be a Millennial. Even myself I am not sure of what we are… and even writing this sounds a bit wrong to me.
What the fudge, now I don’t understand anything about Millennials!
Welcome to our world, then.
Look, I do believe, however, there is a shift in mentalities — in finding a purposeful place to work, in being self-aware, responsible towards the communities. I am also confident this Millennial generation is more preoccupied on how they can make the world a better place, but it is also more blind to some issues. We are well connected, but at the same time ignorant. Some of us are more depressive than previous generations. We don’t always know what we want-and hey, that’s ok. We’re figuring it out, since nowadays we have so many options.
Nevertheless, what we do want is constant, constructive feedback, and not only to be praised for our work. We wish for more fairness and equality. We would like to enjoy fulfillment, to work in a flexible place and also become good at what we do. Sometimes we need to start at the bottom level, do the “dirty” work. Count 10 000 pigs to do an inventory for an audit company. For some it will take to learn how to code to build an app, sell it and become successful. Well success is not everything. Success can be haunting sometimes, it can be a burden.
Let’s be comfortable starting small. This is how we grow.
Learn that Millennials aren’t all in America. We have Millennials on every corner of this planet, and they’re not all inspired by this deceitful perception it’s being portrayed everywhere. We don’t all have to be superachievers, performers, leaders, entrepreneurs, movement makers, thought drivers, TED speakers. Even in our generation, we need a balance and a down-to-earth approach from time to time. An attitude of humbleness might be more appreciated than a self-gloating one.
Remember: Millennials are not saviours. Sometimes we are lost. Confused. Lazy. Not secure. Internet obsessed. Not being able to build good habits and dwelling in self-destructive behaviours. That is also a part of who they, we, are. Do not sugarcoat millennials. Let them be, struggle, work their skills off.
Maybe my 2 eurocents won’t matter, what do I know? I’m just a millennial from the other side of the world. But think about it next time you judge a Millennial as being a weepy kid who wants it all or a philanthropist entrepreneur. We’re not all like that.