“Millennials are stupid.”
“Millennials are self entitled.”
“Millennials don’t want to wear a suit to interviews.”
I’ve had enough of ranting about how bad Millennials are. I’m a millennial and let me tell you that we don’t suck.
Every single Millennial isn’t going to be awesome just like every baby boomer isn’t.
Millennials don’t suck, you need to understand them.
Baby boomers complain that Millennials come to work and want to take on big projects from day one.
How can you have a problem with someone who wants be challenged and learn?
We get that you believe in doing grunt work and earning your way up to doing “big projects,” but think for a second. Do you want to hire an employee who wants to start making an impact from the first day or someone who comes to work, makes copies, edits your spreadsheet and goes home at five. Remember, you’re paying them! Is that the best use of your finances?
Peter Shankman decided to go on TV and complain that Millennials don’t have street smarts. While debating this topic with Ben Kosinski, a Millennial, Peter rudely interrupted him every time he spoke. He wanted to drill down his point that, “If you want to work for me, wear a suit to the interview. That’s your one shot to make an impression.”
Let me tell you, I’ve seen hundreds of recent grads wearing a suit and carrying 100 resumes at “networking events” trying to make an impression. That doesn’t work. You know why? Because they didn’t have any context with the employer. You’re meeting a stranger and asking them to do something for you without knowing anything about them or vice versa. That stuff worked in your days, not today.
Ben put it correctly in the FOX interview: “They’re going to hire me for who I am, not what I wear.”
Being street smart is about having the common sense to adapt to a situation. The employers or baby boomers are adamant to have Millennials adapt to them. So who’s really lacking the street smartness?
I’m a junior in college. I’m surrounded by a lot of driven Millennials. Unfortunately, most of them won’t be ready for the real world when they graduate. Why? Because they received advice from their professors who are mostly baby boomers. The professors are advising students based on their experiences from past 10 to 20 years. I really respect them, but telling students only to follow what worked for them is insane given the world is moving a million miles a minute.
Take lunch, for example. Ten years ago, you could go to a sandwich shop and strike a conversation with someone over lunch. Today, people are plugged into their headphones and their smartphone. There’s barely any interaction amongst strangers.
Not only are they ignoring the future, they aren’t even talking about the present. They are focused on the past!
For the entrepreneurial students who want to start something, the professors are advising students to create a 50-page business plan and enforce NDAs for every person the speak with. That’s just fake progress. What happened to finding customers, creating a product and actually making money?
The marketing professors are talking about their time at some Fortune 500 company. Many of the old rules of marketing don’t even apply anymore. Billboards? People aren’t even looking at the road. They are texting. Go tell the students to start a blog and market themselves online so they can get hired when they graduate.
You are blaming Millennials for not having the right skills when they graduate. But no one is focusing on the root cause, i.e. the colleges and professors who are looking in the rearview mirror trying to teach us the future.
You should learn from history but it doesn’t change the world. New ideas do. Encourage Millennials to come up with new ways of doing things.
I’m not saying we’re all perfect. We aren’t. But that doesn’t mean we suck completely.
We are not lazy, we just want work that we love.
We are goal oriented. It’s just not as easy as working hard and reaching the top like you. Today’s economy demands us to do something different and stand out.
We want to work. We just want to work at a place where we feel valued and not treated as a slave.
Next time you complain about a Millennial, be sure to realize what the real reason they are what they are.
Oh and remember how you said the internet was stupid when it first came out and now you can’t function without email? I’ll end with that.