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The M-Word

Entitled. Impressionable. Lazy. Self-centered. Irresponsible. Spoiled. These are just some of the words we hear when the term “millennial” is brought up in conversation.

In fact, the generation has gotten such a bad rep from older generations that many millennials have stopped identifying themselves as such. Despite the negative connotation associated with the term, millennials are revolutionizing the world’s approach to the workplace.  

Master’s degree holders aged 25 and over have doubled since 2000, making millennials the most educated generation to date. Despite their likelihood of massive amounts of student debt, millennials are not going after highly paid positions in the workplace.  Instead, they’re seeking self-fulfillment as well as appreciation from their colleagues and superiors. Before the older generations reading this start thinking up the highly overused and uninventive “everyone gets a trophy” reference, millennials do not find fulfillment in unearned praise. They’re seeking fair judgement based upon job performance, and since they’re being fueled by passion and not salary, their performance is much more likely to continuously improve over time.

Having grown up with technology, millennials recognize its value and are great at finding ways to use it in order to complete projects both efficiently and effectively. While it is true that millennials prefer flexibility at work and are less likely to sit at a desk all day than older generations, the claim that millennials aren’t hard working is simply not true. Rather, while older generations believe that their 50 hour work weeks are a sign of major dedication, millennials wonder why it takes so long for them to get their work done. For millennials, great work ethic equals the ability to quickly find a solution to the problem at hand.  

Because of millennials’ solution-driven approach to work, you won’t find them waiting on a superior for approval to test out a new process. This makes them better suited to workplaces with more inclusive leaders who are willing to consider new ideas and ways of operating. Leaders who embrace the millennials in their workplace are bound to see increased productivity and quick results. 

Generation Y has been so wrongly perceived that they are afraid to be proud of who they really are: Tenacious. Open-minded. Efficient. Passionate. Collaborative. Determined. Millennials.  

Alexis Smith

Alexis Smith