I want to welcome you to my new blog! It’s all about what it’s really like being a millennial first hand from a millennial. It’s also a resource for Gen X and Baby Boomers to better understand us. Here’s my open letter to the older generations…
Dear Non-Gen Y’er,
How can you still categorize us as lazy, entitled, or whiny? Have you seen the world we live in?
Lazy you say?
Do you think we like still living with our parents until we’re 28? We worked hard to get the 3 advanced degrees we so proudly added to our LinkedIn profiles. Believe me, we have the student loans to prove how smart we are. But, for some odd reason, we still had a hard time finding a job right out of college. Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk to you about how the housing market crash screwed us, but that is a damn fact.
The amazing apps that make everyone’s lives easier are typically the work of a millennial who found a way to do something faster and more efficiently. That’s not called lazy, that’s called resourceful. Now we have downtime to do things we want to do.
Who’s the guy who started calling us entitled?
I’m not going to lie, I googled “entitled millennial” to see what everyone means when they say this about us. The first great article I read is from Inc. called Why Millennials Are So Entitled… The article pointed out that you call us entitled because we:
- Expect to land a job upon graduating from college
- Demand a certain salary or promotion
- Assume specific flexible hours at work
I never really thought of it from the perspective of a Gen X or Baby Boomer. These are generations that had to go door to door to “network” for a new job. Otherwise, they were with their present employer until retirement. Women were perfectly fine with making less than men because to be quite honest, they didn’t have a resource to compare salaries. People worked their 8+ hour shift and drove home in very little traffic to make it home for dinner. Nobody questioned the schedule, and quite frankly there weren’t a lot of alternative ways to work.
So, in walk the millennials who have access to work laptops, 5G wifi internet wherever we go, resources like Salary.com to use to know our worth, and there are databases like LinkedIn that lists all the jobs available in every field along with contact information for the HR person. Best of all, thanks to mobile technology and the fact that the population and traffic have risen since millennials were born (According to Brookings there was a 24% population increase between 1980-2000), companies are more open to remote work. Thanks to all the salary and resume information readily available, we know exactly how we compare to our peers and exactly how much to ask for. We should be called the informed and bold generation who speaks up for ourselves.
Having a degree or better yet an advanced degree used to mean you were going to get a job. According to Business Insider, college was way cheaper back for Gen X and the Baby Boomers. Much fewer people were going to college or trade school back in the day, in fact in 1980, 53% of US student population was enrolled in tertiatry school and by 2012 94% were enrolled. Average tuition has even risen from $9,438 to $23,872. Now that everyone is going to college, having the advanced degree doesn’t stand out anymore. And with tuition skyrocketing, it’s no wonder we want our salary to match the increase in tuition.
Millennials aren’t lazy, we’re smart and very resourceful based on the world we live in. We demand a work-life balance because we were smart enough to ask for one and know it’s possible. According to Forbes, remote employees are more productive, and companies can save a lot of money with this type of work flexibility. Everyone benefits, so why wouldn’t we ask for it?
So lay off, just a little Gen X and Baby Boomers. Remember that with each generation there is a major shift in how things are done. It’s 2018 where women work outside of the home, men don’t automatically join the military, pension is a thing of the past, there are machines to work the factory lines, women can be the breadwinner, and men can be stay at home Dads…it’s a crazy world out there!
P.S. We’re not the generation who is eating Tide Pods…