Millennials are believed to be significantly different from other generations because of many reasons independent of them. Millennials have been raised in the era of technological advancement, almost none of them remember life without some kind of digital device. The cultural era they have grown up into is also pretty contrasting compared to what their parents have lived through.
The motive of the contemporary cultural era is the equality of all, no matter the ancestral features. Hence, millennials tend to be more liberal, accepting, and open to new adventures than any other generation before. At least this is a widely spread belief. These and many other reasons lead pundits, scholars, or parents to question and dig into millennials’ outcast nature and divergence from other generations.
Emphasizing the distinction between different generations has always been a hot topic of debate. Objectively, it is true that every young generation goes under the barrage of criticism. Hence, millennials have many critics, but they also have supporters. The other side of the story states that millennials are not actually that different from the previous generations. It is simply the environment and our lifestyles that have changed significantly, which leads us to see millennials’ behavior in high contrast to the demands of contemporary markets.
Millennials’ attitude toward work
The studies have discovered that millennials are actually more concerned with the work/life balance and are dedicated to finding meaning in their work. They value their freedom and define success not in terms of money or financial prosperity but in terms of intangible values, personal experiences. This is contrasted to what the generations before them were aspiring to, where financial stability was the main concern of people. Every new generation defines success, wealth, and happiness in their own way. Since it is really annoying having someone dictating you what to do, what to think, and how to lead your life, especially in your early years when you think the entire world is under your feet.
As Herman Melville said, “It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation” and this is the way millennials are living. They are building their own life and burning old bridges behind them. They want to be leaders in their own life and not have directions dictated to them. We should be praising them for this, not punishing them.
Ambition and Potential
If you have ever read an article about millennials, then you might have noticed words ambitious and potential mentioned in the same sentence defining them. This generation is considered to be the most ambitious and also happens to have the biggest potential to unleash the vast amount of opportunities in their careers according to some.
Ambitions are the main driving force of a human. At the end, who are we without ambitions? But the potential is a different story since the environment we live in also plays a big role in defying our potential. So, ascribing features to millennials that can not solely be attributed to them and are in some cases independent of their influence leads to the formation of inaccurate views on them. Exaggerating statements might simply put too much pressure on young individuals and serve no meaningful purpose in general.
If you do a little research, you notice that millennials have lived through the economic crisis, democratic backsliding, technological revolution (which can contribute to distracting one from one’s work or duties), and now a global pandemic. Being ambitious is great, but the things we do to achieve our goals are what really matters and millennials can claim to be limited in the number of opportunities they can take advantage of.
The Burdens Of Taking Actions
Despite the general assumption about millennials or the perception, they have of themselves what matters the most is the actions they take to achieve their goals. Current trends in the digital world, technological advancements, and social media make it very hard for this generation to keep their focus on one thing. Hence, procrastination is as easy these days as it can be. One doesn’t even need to press the next button on Netflix to watch the following episode of the tv-show. These kinds of details should be factored in when analyzing millennials’ success and potential because they are nothing but a mere hindrance to their career path.
Is It True What They Say About Millennials’ Grit?
If you have been around an employer who has hired millennials in his/her company, then you know what we are talking about. The grit of millennials is the topic of debate in many circles starting from families to the workplace. Comparing millennials to older generations often leads people to draw conclusions about the lack of perseverance in this generation. However, like every other story, this one has two sides as well.
Millennials were brought up in a different cultural era
The cultural era where millennials were raised is significantly different from the one where the previous generations lived in. In the contemporary world, the value of kindness and emotional support is higher than in the societies preceding it. Hence, millennials are more appreciative of kindness, equality, and emotional support than generations before them. However, this also leads to millennials appreciating their free time and personal life more rather than just dedicating all their life to career goals.
Millennials were raised in a very liberal cultural era, they were taught that they could have become anyone they wanted, their parents were more loyal than their grandparents, they were convinced that their individuality and hobbies are what they should have pursued. As a result, most of the millennials ended up with the wrong degrees, which do not even pay for the student debts.
Job Market Has Stagnated
Millennials often have higher expectations from their workplace, awaiting a promotion anxiously, seeking to find more time for their friends and personal life. The truth is that such an attitude is not only the fault of millennials but the surrounding environment. The job market is even more demanding nowadays than ever. Seeking profound skills in the applicant adds to the pressure of millennials. With increased working hours and inflated salaries, the current job market is not an ideal destination for free-spirited millennials either. Hence, the increased pressure from employers in the 21st century and more demanding working environment creates an even bigger contrast with the low perseverance of millennials.
Everything we know about millennials is either a derivative from untrustworthy research or the study, the validity of which is limited to only a handful of upper-class millennials. Hence, with this article, we tried to burst a bubble about the characteristics and nature of millennials, which mostly focuses on their pretentious personality, unsatisfactory performance, and unsuccessful careers. The main idea behind this article is that the burden of being an adult in the contemporary world should not be expected to be borne only by a certain generation. There are many generations behind millennials that have created the grounds for the ups and downs on millennials’ road to success. So, before making a harsh judgment, it is important to factor in many elements. Millennials still have their life ahead and it’s on them to define their success and lifestyle, not on outsiders.