“Millennial” is the watchword these days. It’s a target demographic for brands, source of confusion for baby boomers and an overall hotbed of opinions. More than half of the SPPR team falls into this carefully studied generation and in honor of Halloween, we’d like to set the record straight by debunking a few millennial myths that are so wrong, it’s scary.
1. Millennials are lazy: In addition to being an overused generalization made about our generation, this is also the most confusing. While copious articles suggest that we are lazy, it’s also been suggested that we are responsible for vacation shaming and most likely to be work martyrs. The fact is, 47% of millennials in management positions have begun working more hours in the last five years, compared with only 38% of Generation X and 28% of Baby Boomers. Millennials are also more likely to have a side hustle which means pursuing a passion that requires extra work for very little extra money. We’re a hardworking bunch at SPPR and we feel that lazy is a personality trait found in individual people, not entire generations.
2. Millennials are the Most Entitled Generation Ever: It’s true that millennials are a generation with expectations. Most millennials who graduated from college hoped to find a job they enjoyed because we were told by our parents that if we worked hard, this is what we could expect. Millennials may be less willing to do work we find uninspiring but we are also willing to take a pay cut to do work we love. We seek out meaningful work, and like our parents hope to one day achieve “The American Dream,” albeit our own redefined version of this dream.
3. Millennials Use of Social Media is a Liability: We won’t deny it, we’re embarrassingly connected on social media. This sometimes makes us annoying lunch dates and bad at being in the moment but it also makes us globally connected and willing to champion brands and companies we admire in a very public way (91% of millennials make Facebook places and foursquare check-ins public). You may have seen the stories about career-ruining tweets and public company bashing but we have too. 59% of millennials know that complaining about work is a bad move and 70% of millennials think their reputation at work is more important than their social media reputation. The majority of us are social media savvy enough to present the best version of ourselves (and our jobs) online and we’ve learned to use our social media skills as a professional asset.
4. Millennials Only Want to Work Remotely: At SPPR, we have the ability to work remotely twice a month and company-wide more than 65% of these days go unused. This isn’t because there’s a stigma about taking them, it’s because we genuinely like seeing each other every day. It’s true that many millennials want to work remotely but a recent study found that 42% of millennials still prefer to work from offices. The root of this myth is a desire for flexibility. For some of us, that does mean the option to travel as much as we’d like, working from coworking spaces along the way. Others find that we are actually more engaged when working from the comfort of our own home. However for many of us, we want the option to occasionally seek the inspiration of a new environment by working from a coffee shop or have the option to work from home if say, the dog is sick and we don’t want to leave him alone all day. If you peel away the layers of this millennial myth, you’ll find we’re a generation who wants to be as inspired and productive as possible while we work and has been creative enough to think outside the cubical to make it happen!
5. Millennials Will Leave You to Start Their Own Company: While our independence and free-spirited thinking does make the millennial generation more entrepreneurial, this myth overlooks one key factor. The days of working at one company for your entire career, even if you really want to, are gone. After watching our parents find themselves laid off unexpectedly due to the recession or “restructuring” we headed into our careers with more fluid expectations. We had back-up plans to go it alone. For some millennials, those back-up plans turn into a full time career thanks to a combination of good timing and serious hustle. We’re inspired to see so many awesome business owners in our ranks but not every millennial fancies themselves the next Evan Spiegel. 65% of millennials say an opportunity for personal development is the most influential factor in their current job and 52% said opportunities for career progression make an employer attractive. Which means that many millennials actually want to grow with you and that’s a serious priority for us.