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As more and more millennials join the workforce, I’m hearing a lot of sweeping generalizations about the generation. I’m a millennial, and frankly, a lot of the complaints I hear couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, some of us are lazy, self-obsessed, and entitled, but just like any other generation, we can’t be reduced to a stereotype. Here are several common statements about my generation and the statistics that might make you rethink your perception of us:

Millennials Are Lazy

They grew up with technology and played video games instead of going outside! They don’t know the value of hard work!

Research shows that over half of millennials are willing to work long hours and weekends for career success, and one third work every day of their vacations. Fifty-nine percent say that competition is “what gets them up in the morning.”

Millennials Are Self-Obsessed

The “selfie generation” only cares about looking cool on social media, and they’re always taking pictures of themselves!

This generation cares about more than looking pretty in pictures and having impressive-looking lives. Making a difference in the world is more important than professional recognition to 84% of millennials. Only 1% of millennials believe that being famous is important. Sixty-three percent think it’s their responsibility to care for an elderly parent, and 52% feel that being a good parent is one of their most important life goals.

Millennials Are Entitled

They got trophies just for participating in sports and were constantly told they could do anything, so now they think they deserve to get whatever they want!

Millennials are more likely to seek and value feedback from managers than members of other generations, because they know they’re still learning the ropes. Seventy-five percent want a mentor so they can learn from the wisdom of previous generations. Many millennials joined the workforce during the Great Recession, and 72% made some kind of compromise, like a lower salary, fewer benefits, or working away from their ideal location, in order to get into work.

Millennials Are the First Generation to Be So “Lazy” and “Spoiled”

While I do find it frustrating to hear these misconceptions that people have about me and my peers, I also recognize that we’re not the first generation to be stereotyped like this – just about every generation was criticized when they were young adults. Take this quote:

“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”

Sound like someone sharing their feelings about millennials? Nope – that was Socrates (469 – 399 B.C.). This has been going on for centuries. Let’s break the endless cycle of complaining about younger generations!

Need some tips on giving feedback, mentoring, or communicating with other generations? Purple Ink would love to do some training for you!


Emily Miller
Emily Miller
Emily is Purple Ink’s Director of Marketing. She enjoys being able to exercise both her creative side and her analytical side, and as a Learner, loves helping to create new services and tactics and discovering the best ways to share them with the community.

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