Millennials are the generation to talk about in 2016. Surely, you have seen articles that defend millennials and articles that rip them apart. In either case, many of these articles are asserting major assumptions. When discussing a group of people who currently range from nonworking 14 year old kids to mid-career 30-somethings, generalizations are far from accurate in the first place. That said, the millennial generation is a job seeker group we serve often at TRN, so we felt it necessary to weigh in on the conversation and express what we have seen in the under-40 workforce by dispelling some myths.
Myth: “Millennials are just a bunch of job hoppers. Good luck getting a commitment out of them!”
How we see it: It’s not millennials, it’s the shifting paradigm in the nature of work. More than ever, in 2016, people are working freelance, starting companies, and experiencing a flex job economy. This isn’t generational, it’s our digital-first era. Millennials who do have multiple jobs within a five year span may attribute that to a lack of permanence in the roles they’ve been assigned, including contingent & subcontract roles. Companies are less fixated on building decades-long relationships with employees just as job seekers are more willing to seek their next fulfillment. Additionally, those 10 jobs in five years might be coming from millennials innate ability to side-hustle, something people did less of 20 years ago.
Myth: “Millennials are so tech dependent, they can’t even have a face-to-face conversation!”
How we see it: Millennials are just as adept as their Gen-X and baby boomer counterparts at leading discussions and meetings, giving in-person presentations, and chatting comfortably with colleagues and customers. In fact, many people erroneously blame millennial employees for their so-called dependency on the technologies that came about long before their births, such as cell phones and computers.
Myth: “Millennials just like to scrape by and do bare minimum work!”
How we see it: Millennials are intrinsic high achievers. Demands in schools from kindergarten through graduation have exponentially increased decade over decade for the past 30 to 40 years. A society that once accepted non-graduates as the majority for men and the norm for women has, in less than a half-century, ‘evolved’ into a society that pays hundreds of thousand dollars for elite preschools. Millennials are the most recent products of this bittersweet symphony, and are no strangers to a demand for excellence and the blood, sweat, and tears that excellence will require.
“Millennials need constant affirmation! When they were growing up, everyone got a participation ribbon!”
How we see it: Many of today’s young adults were affected gravely by our economic downturn in 2008, either as young ones learning hard lessons about living with less or new graduates who had to fight for entry-level jobs among moms and dads with decades of experience. Any trace of hand-holding most young adults may have experienced – and not all did – have been relearned. Further, millennials are unique in that the technological landscape shifted so monumentally during their formative years that they had to learn modern skills that their parents could not teach them. Millennials can and do work very independently in the workplace and are very resourceful without micromanagement.
“Millennials have NO professional boundaries. They’re sure to embarrass themselves or our company with a social media faux pas!”
How we see it: This is a sign of the times for many people, of all ages, who are, for the first time, navigating a world where the curtains are drawn open to reveal it all. Privacy is essential and millennials aren’t the only generation who has had to grapple with over-sharing. In fact, because millennials grew up with online chat rooms, instant messaging, email, cell phones, digital cameras, and social media in a way that previous generations did not, they are only more savvy about securing their online privacy and understanding the ramifications if they fail to stay smart online.
Making general and presumptive statements about generations is getting old. Here at The Reserves Network, we see all of our potential job seekers as 100 percent unique and find that thriving workplaces often employ a healthy variety. Ageism is real and while seniors grapple with job phase-out, young people are fighting against blame for things that the 21st century has done to all of us. If you’re a job seeker looking for work, we invite you to work with us and avoid the bias associated with your age or any other facet of yourself. If you’re looking to hire, be cognizant of the misnomers about millennials and other age groups or remove the bias altogether by trusting your staffing needs to TRN. Contact us today!