We searched, “Why Millennials Suck” on Google and got 1.4 million results. In part one we discussed the present stereotypes and possible reasons for why millennials are so disliked. This week we dive even deeper. We know the stereotypes exist, but what actually differentiates millennials and gen Z-ers from everyone else? Steve and our panel spanning generations x, y, and z discuss these issues in the final part of, “Why Millennials Suck.” Is it about the person, how you were raised, or something more?
Steve began. “Idealistically I don’t feel that I match what you google and find online,” Tony responded. “In a broad stroke if you’re talking about an entire generation are there some truths to what is being shared, yes.” He made sure to note that while he does find truth in what people say about millennials, he doesn’t feel like he, “fits the mold.” Many others in our group had similar feelings.
Jen immediately took the mic saying, “every single generation has a stereotype ,” and Steve agreed. “When you were this age you thought the same thing,” she noted, “but I’m sure you thought differently about the generation before you. They were this, and they were that.” Raleigh also chimed in saying, “it’s all about perspective.” There might be people who want to work very little for a lot, but there are people like that in every generation-- a statement which Steve agreed. “We’re just more vocal,” Raleigh concluded.
Hanna asserted shortly after taking the mic. “That’s technology.” Both Steve and the group seemed to come to an ‘aha’ moment. “That has been the key driver… it has opened all these doors.” Older and younger generations tend to agree on many things relating to the workplace, but baby boomers and gen x-ers didn’t have access to information that millennials and gen Z-ers do. Dana was also keen to speak about her own experiences. She made a note of how her family members are almost jealous of what she can do with technology. “We’ve grown up on technology… we’re used to having help at any time we need it. When we don’t get that guidance-- even from real people-- that’s where the differences start showing up.” She also expressed how people now have more avenues to voice their opinions even to those not physically near them.
“My parents thought my generation was the laziest that ever came about,” Steve emphasized. “Now my generation talks about millennials saying you’re the laziest… the difference is how loud you can talk now.” Values may have changed, but the needs of employees haven’t changed at all. Dana made a note of how generational differences from an employer’s perspective are more affected by the environment in which a group is raised. Jeff also agreed. Older groups worked more industrial, manufacturing jobs but the types of jobs available have changed. Anthony concurred, noting that many more millennials went to college and work can be difficult to find in, “a market space that is saturated with degrees.”
There’s no doubt that millennials get a bad rap, but they aren’t the lazy, self-centered people we make them out to be. When it comes to recruiting and human resources, there might be differences between generations that are innate based on the environment we grew up in, but we are more similar than we are different. Get to know the whole person, and you might be surprised that millennials and gen Z-ers aren’t who you think they are.
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