The problem with millennials isn’t millennials but the people who have problems with them.
Why is hating millennials the going trend amongst the older generation these days?
It’s like they get a kick out of actively disliking the generation they raised.
The qualities they see us for- unemployed but workaholics, socialists but incapable of voting, lazy but driven with consumerism, technology-obsessed and unable to buy houses (but lots of avocado toast!) seem nothing more than a stereotype, created merely so they can have a group of people in the world to blame for the problems the older generation has caused themselves.
As a fellow millennial, that being a person born from the early 80s to late 90s, I see myself as a few of those seemingly negative factors, but in a positive light.
Workaholic- I’m not addicted to it, but I do have a good work ethic. Lazy? At times, sure, I do know how to enjoy my downtime. Technology-obsessed? I wouldn’t go that far, but I do know the positive impact it has on each and every one of our lives.
Everyone hates us! It’s insane! Even the generation below us- there was a Wall Street Journal where a Gen Z wrote about disassociating herself from us.
I think the problem with millennials is that they have changed the rules of just about everything, from business to the house market to employment on the whole, and people are uncomfortable with change.
There is an argument Bruce Gibney makes in his book ‘A Generation of Sociopaths: How Baby Boomers Betrayed America’ which paints them as the wrong-doers, in terms of the economy (which explains our inability to buy a house and move out of our parents as well as the competitive job market), ignoring climate change (which is the hot topic at any craft beer bar at the moment), cutting their own taxes (so we would have to pick up the pieces), pillaging the world’s economy and presiding over the death of America’s manufacturing core, leaving us to deal with and fix the mess they made.
When many Gen-Xers and Boomers began their careers they, like millennials, were bold. Today, even though they are more equipped, smarter and wiser than they have ever been before in their life, for many boldness has been replaced with passivity. They were more courageous, alive, and a risk taker in their past. Maybe this lack of boldness is because so much has changed for many of them due to responsibilities that they have accumulated over the years (mortgage, car payments, family, etc.)
When many Gen-Xers and Boomers think back to when they began their career, they had a clear purpose, vision and goals. When they look at their life today, they acknowledge that though they may be successful and have an impressive LinkedIn profile, they're not doing what they originally set out to do with their life and career. This conflicts when they see millennials diving headfirst into pursuing a career fueled by meaning.
The Fire Is Going Out
Early in their careers, many from previous generations were hungry for success like they see with millennials. This means that they went above and beyond what was asked of them. They did more than was expected of them. But then, something odd happened as they progressed in their job. Instead of continuing to do great work, they started doing "good enough" work. They no longer go above and beyond. Essentially, many have settled.
The reasons why they may hate us follows:
From Strong Relationships To Isolation
Early in their careers, like millennials, many from previous generations worked hard to build strong relationships. They surrounded themselves with allies and mentors who made them better. They regularly sought out ways to add value to people in their network. Today, happy hours and lunches have been replaced with Netflix binge viewing and more time spent in isolation. Their personal brand is slowly disappearing.
What it boils down is that many millennials, the ones that many hate, believe that the best thing that has ever happened to them hasn't happened yet. For older generations, many believe that their best days are behind them. And this is why so many hate millennials.
On the hate we face, this Calvin Chimes Article states:
‘“Millennials got so many participation trophies growing up that a recent study showed that 40% believe they should be promoted every two years, regardless of performance,” stated Joel Stein in an article for Time Magazine.
I hear a lot about the participation trophy argument, but I do not remember ever asking for one. In fact, I would go so far as to say that they were annoying. No kid had enough shelf space to accommodate over ten trophies, and no one really wanted to brag about their “best attitude and teamwork” rec soccer league trophy, yet, throwing it out seemed like a waste. So, we had shelves of trophies that we never really wanted.
Millennials obviously have a bad reputation. But, I like to think that older generations hate us so much because we care about issues that aren’t their top priorities. Of course there is crossover between the old and the young, but historically, older generations care more about social security and tax reform while millennials care more about education and the environment. ‘
However, we’re not all bad-
Are more likely than past generations to hold a bachelor's degree—40 percent of the youngest millennials do—putting them on track to be the most educated cohort in history.Are the segment of the population most likely to visit a public library.Are better able to disconnect from tech than Gen X—49 percent say they're willing to unplug on vacation. (Only 37 percent of those between ages 40 and 50 say the same.)Are saving for retirement—even though they earn, on average, $10,000 less per year (equivalent to $19,000 when adjusted for inflation) than baby boomers did at their age and carry more student loan debt (63 percent have balances over $10,000).Donate to charity more readily than any other generation.Care about corporate altruism: 75 percent say they would take a pay cut to work for a responsible company.Want to help make the world a better place: 84 percent say that’s more important than achieving professional success.
I think it’s just because of this:
But here’s the really annoying thing about young people: in many ways, they are better than you were when you were their age. No, really, they are. Just because time marches ever forward, they are more aware of things like LGBT rights than you ever were, and are growing up in a world where people are at least insisting on a wider interpretation of, for example, beauty. So instead of drooling over waitresses in tight T-shirts in Hooters, millennials can watch Charli XCX’s delightful Boys video. Now, I am not a millennial but I am completely obsessed with this video and am filled with envy for a generation that gets to grow up with this in its pop culture. Imagine being a teenager today and watching a music video in which the likes of Riz Ahmed, Stormzy, Jack Antonoff, Tinie Tempah and dozens more are celebrated for their happy boyish beauty. This is a truly solid building block to have in your formative years. And really, what on earth could a place like Hooters say to this generation, other than: “Try the coffee store next door, you’ll find it far less depressing”?
This article by the BBC sums it up very well.
Overall, we just gotta take the stick. We know its for a good reason.