I am a child of the 80’s and with that comes a few things…
- I love the Goonies (including cast members Sean Astin and Corey Feldman).
- I have fond memories of Care Bears, My Little Ponies, Strawberry Shortcake, She-Ra, He-Man, ThunderCats and Transformers. (The list could go on, but I will spare you).
- I missed the Gen-X timeslot by one year and therefore I am… (ominous background music here) a Millennial.
I have been thinking a lot about Millennials and the bad rap they (we) have gotten over the last several years. As the generation that came after X, born after 1980, we seem to be constantly fighting against… something.
There are entire power point presentations devoted to dealing with “us” within the workforce. In my networking group this week we discussed age discrimination. Apparently, according to experts, someone my age will always look at someone older as a parent figure during the interview process, and subsequently hire a younger candidate. My question is this: do you really mean to tell me that I am not looked at like a child during the interview process? Maybe I remind you of your daughter… maybe I remind you of yourself at my age? Whatever the circumstances are, age discrimination always works both ways and it is unfortunate regardless.
I often hear we have this unwarranted sense of entitlement, that Millennials feel they are owed respect, good money and fair treatment. I can’t exactly argue with those statements, but I also don’t think these are such deplorable traits to have either. And, my friends, neither do you…whether you’re a Boomer, Gen-Xer or fellow Millennial. I say this because I attended a presentation this week given by a woman who proceeded to tell all of us that we need to be passionate about what we do, that doing what you love will make you great at your job, and that we all deserve to succeed in our careers.
I wonder… did everyone in that room drink the Kool-Aid she was serving? Because if so, then you are all starting to think, and potentially act, like the abominable Millennial I am. These are ideas have been ingrained in my psyche since childhood. Maybe it was Reagan’s fault, or perhaps my parents, teachers, the media, my brother and sisters? Who knows. But I have always felt it… that I was “special.” That I would succeed as long as I was passionate about what I was doing. I could challenge anyone and be treated fairly no matter if I lacked 20 years of experience. As long as I could do the job as well or better than my coworkers, I deserved as much or more money… right?
And yet, those of you who look down on the younger generation now want to embrace our ideals.
It’s just such an interesting conundrum to me, who has started to embrace the ideals of the generations that came before me in order to survive! But embrace and believe are two different things. No matter how jaded I become, or how discouraged I am, or how hard I work with no reward… I am still a Millennial. So I persevere. I believe that I will succeed.
“Goonies never say die,” and neither do we.
Some interesting articles on Millennials in the workplace (oh the horror)!