Reputation or Reality? Millennials in the Workplace Speak Up

According to a recent Inc. article, “84 percent of millennials say that helping to make a positive difference in the world is more important than professional recognition.” While this is an uplifting thought, the negative connotations that come with being a Millennial put a damper on the great things that we are accomplishing. Despite unenthusiastic attitudes and tacky jokes about how millennials are negatively impacting the workforce, our generation is unique and offers many great assets.

In addition, the large number of workers that will be entering the workforce very soon are part of the millennial generation. Soon, offices will be filled with us, so there’s some key information to take into consideration about Generation Y work habits. Here’s how our reputation is completely different from our approach to work as millennials:

Our reputation: Millennials are entitled.

What we say: According to the Pew Research Center, millennials are on track to be the most educated and populated generations in the U.S., surpassing the baby boomers. With that being said, there is a skewed assumption that with a college degree comes a sense of entitlement. However, we don’t think that our degree makes us entitled, we just have a different perspective than older generations on how work should be balanced with our home life. Millennials value a clear work-life balance and flexibility in order to focus on getting work done and maintain relationships outside of work. This is not entitlement or something to be criticized, it’s a new way of making work and real life compatible.

 Our reputation: Millennials are unable to give or receive criticism.

What we say: Millennials have been raised in an age full of positivity, friendliness and support. This is nothing for our generation to be ashamed of – it’s all that we know! With that being said, receiving harsh criticism is hard for anyone, so the lesson to be learned is how to coach. In fact, millennials do actually value motivation; a fantastic example of millennial motivation innovation is a website called Motivational Millennial. Through this platform, we are able to collaborate, learn through workshops and listen to podcasts in order to help develop certain skillsets that will improve our overall work habits, which include taking criticism from others. Our generation has the ability to teach others how to motivate one another through creative platforms in order to be successful, instead of using criticism in a negative way. In the end, this builds character and discipline in the workforce.

Our reputation: Millennials are too reliant on technology.

What we say: Most of the recent advances in technology were born right around the same time we were, which is why it’s tough to blame millennials for our high-tech dependency. According to an article published by Bentley University, millennials are on the brink of fully intertwining technology and the working world. The fact of the matter is technology is taking over the workforce in ways that other generations would have never thought possible. Our generation is taking this in stride and committing ourselves to creating advancements that will benefit the environment and create sustainable products moving into the future. It is not a matter of being too reliant on technology, more so than the fact that millennials are figuring out ways that it can be embraced in order to improve overall living. The lesson to be learned here is the fact that we love to create, accept and cultivate technological change as much as possible to make the world a better place.

Our reputation: Millennials don’t own the millennial-ness reputation.

What we say: Hostility towards millennials can leave us embarrassed or ashamed of accepting that we are part of this generation. For example, the negative articles that flood the internet are constant reminders that our generation is being ostracized. With this being said, we try as hard as we can to fit into the workforce and have our own voice at the same time.  Other generations might not always agree with our weird tactics, but that doesn’t mean we will be ashamed of our reputation!

Every generation has a different reputation. We may get flack for our flaws, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t positives to being a millennial! Do you have any thoughts to share about generational divides in the office? Share your comments below!

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