They say we are selfish, self-centered, and don’t work hard. They say we don’t value hard work, the value of a dollar, or don’t care about anything that matters. They say we are lazy and expect good things to just get handed to us. While one can generalize one person who fits those characteristics to the rest of us Millennials, there are other traits that many of this age groups possesses that goes unnoticed.
Brookings Institution says by 2025, Millennials will account for 75% of the workforce. They say we are almost 90 percent more likely to purchase something based on whether it supports specific social issues. Eighty-eight percent of us do not believe that money is an indicator of success thus are more focused on gaining experiences versus things. We also are less likely to trust people - only 19 percent believe that we can trust almost anyone, comparatively to 31 percent of Gen X and 40 percent of Baby Boomers.
We hear what they are saying about us, and we are less likely to value or buy in to what you are saying because of it. Blaming us or anyone else for that matter is not going to get you far, so maybe another approach could be helpful. This is what I see when I read these statistics about Millennials:
Most of my friends, colleagues and others whom I respect are Millennials, and most of them don’t talk about not wanting to work or want money and success to just come to them like many people think we do. They instead talk about how they think they are meant to do something more than just go to work, make money, and die. They often talk about how they feel like there is something bigger for their life, how they can help people, and how they can make experiences with their loved ones versus how they can buy them the next best thing to make them happy.
Maybe you have met one of us that didn’t fall in this category. Maybe you deemed this person as lazy or not hard working. I encourage you, then, to ask them what brings fire to their eyes - what makes them wake up each morning. Their answer may not be the same as yours - what a boring world we would live in if it was.
Ask questions. Get to know them. See life from a different lens without feeling pressured to take that same lens with you.
If you are a millennial who is having difficulty finding your mission in life, who may be stuck or unfulfilled in the place you are in, or one who wants to process through trauma or significant life events from your past to become a healthier version of yourself, call Robin for a free consultation at 785.408.7529. After chasing the next thing that would make her happy (the next phone, the nicest car, the newest style of clothing, or a certain dollar amount in the bank account), Robin has learned how to counter society’s expectations by changing her expectations of herself, of her success, and of growth and can help you do the same.
"Millennials don't want to just read the news anymore - they want to know what they can do about it,"
Robin Helget, LMSW, CPT