Millennials, We Are The Future
I’m a Millennial and I love it.
I am part of the generation that birthed social media, and the gig economy. My peers made coming to work in hoodies, and literally phoning it in the norm. I come from a generation that insists “hey, it’s my life, so hell yeah I want it my way, and I’m not waiting til I’m 65 to have it”.
And for some reason all other previous generations are hating on that. Not only are others perplexed and frustrated by the millennial entrepreneurial spirit and insistence on constant improvement, efficiency and productivity hacks (despite what needs to be changed to get there). There also seems to be an ever-present negative connotation for a generation that has truly brought us into a new era of communication, and of work.
Oh, I’m Gen Y, I’m not a Millennial. I know how to boil an egg.
Et, tu Brute?
The negativity, has gotten to the point where members of my own generation have been tricked into bad mouthing themselves, “Oh, I’m Gen Y, I’m not a Millennial. I know how to boil an egg.”
Millennial is simply the slur that Baby Boomers and others use to refer to Gen Y
Let’s recap. There were Baby Boomers (b. 1946-64), Gen X (b. 1965-1984 ) and Millennials/Gen Y (b. 1982-2004). Keep in mind that outside of Baby Boomers, there are no clear demarcations for when one generation ends and the other begins according to the Census Bureau – there’s a lot of overlap, with some saying Gen Y goes back as far as the mid 70’s which would make some folks both X and Y at the same time.
Gen Z, the ones who are in grade school now, have yet to show us how they will change the world, but I guarantee all of us 80s babies are going to cringe with the growing pains. But if you are an 80s baby, you are Gen Y. And that makes you a Millennial. Millennial is simply the slur that is used to refer to Gen Y and in particular all the ways that Gen Y is making folks uncomfortable with how the world is changing around them.
Millennial FAQ: Asked & Answered
Q.Why do Millennials always want flexible work arrangements? Doesn’t that make them lazy? How do I know they’re really working?
A. Nope, not lazy. Efficient. You can work from your house (wherever that may be) with an Internet connection and still have access to the rest of the world, without investing additional resources towards wardrobe, commuting, and the $15 lunch special in most major cities. Worried out of sight means not working? Check the work product. Clear indicator.
Q. Why are Millennials so self centered/narcissistic?
A. Millennials are confident. This is a generation that grew up with access to enough information to make their dreams come true. They know they can teach themselves anything and write their own story. Since when is self assuredness and confidence a bad thing? I know what you see are selfies, but go deeper. Why aren’t you gloating about your every day life/talents/abilities/opportunities? Stop being so cynical.
Q. Why aren’t Millennials interested in home ownership?
A. Um, what?! Educated Millennials are the new serfs. Buying a house is more of a financial burden than it is a viable investment for most Gen Y-ers. With crippling school debt, high prices and most Millennials making less with 2 degrees than their Boomer parents did with no degrees, the economics aren’t there for most people in the Millennial bracket to make home ownership a reality. Millennials are redefining the America Dream, and it doesn’t include a white picket fence. Stop projecting your visions onto the next generation.
Millennials also have new challenges that previous generations didn’t have to contend with.
My generation likes to jump on BlueJeans or Zoom to connect across the world, make money while they sleep, and Airbnb their way through seeing the world. We’re trying to make the good times last. Despite all the new advantages of the times, Millennials also have new challenges that previous generations didn’t have to contend with. Retirement is in no way guaranteed and not only does the Millennial worker compete with globalization, but also with automation in the labor force.
And as for boiling an egg? I myself have built quite the repertoire of cooking skills, but for anything I don’t know how to do, there’s Google and more specifically, YouTube. With us generating so much new information (2.5 quintillion bytes of new data created daily), you have to be selective with what you store in your short and long term memory banks. (How often do you eat boiled eggs anyway?). Maybe the space reserved for “basic cooking” has been overwritten by “how to start your own business and travel the world” or “how to build a website”.
Millennials, The Time Is Now
The world moves fast, and Millennials know they have to keep up in order to stay relevant. That means filtering out nonessential information. We can argue all day about what nonessential means, or we could move on and learn how to communicate better with each other and leverage the strengths of a cross generational work force. Cut the Millennial bashing, and let’s start focusing on the future, because the future is already here.
I have a lot to say on the case for Millennials. What do you think? Are the stereotypes warranted? Leave a thought in the comments.