Despite a steep drop in the unemployment rate, 14 percent of Millennials are still unemployed or not longer looking for work.

While some blame the economy and the government, the high unemployment rate results from that generation's unrealistic beliefs about life and work.

Those unrealistic beliefs bemuse and annoy older workers, making Millennials less attractive as coworkers.

Obviously, this not true of all (or even most) Millennials but it's true of enough of them that it's become noticeable to everyone else.

The only solution, IMHO, is to destroy those beliefs with a heavy dose of reality:

1. You are not special.

Your generation is genetically identical to every other living generation. All that's different is 1) your lack of experience and 2) your sense of entitlement.

2. You are not facing bigger challenges.

The problems confronting your generation are, if anything, smaller than the problems that previous generations faced.

3. You are not better educated.

While you paid more for your education than any previous generation, your college experience was, if anything, dumbed down.

4. You are not more tech-savvy.

It takes about 30 seconds to figure out how to tap icons on a screen; mastering this skill while young is not a vast accomplishment.

5. Nobody cares what you feel.

In business, emotions are only relevant insofar as they're either useful or counter-productive. Beyond that, pffft.

6. There are no "trophies for everybody."

In real life, there are winners and losers. You are going to lose most of the time. When you do, learn from the experience.

7. You were snookered.

All that stuff about a college education leading to a great job? That was a sales pitch and you fell for it. Get over it because it's a done deal.

8. Never work for free.

In business and life, nobody values anything that's free. An unpaid internship defines your value at exactly $0 per hour.

9. Stop complaining.

When you identify a problem either find a solution yourself, or ask (then follow) the advice of someone with more experience.

10. Stop focusing on yourself.

Nobody cares about your expectations or what you think you deserve. All people care about what you can do for them today.

11. Expect to pay your dues.

With very few exceptions, career success comes after you've learned all that you can from crap jobs and bad bosses.

12. Stay positive anyway.

Yes, reality can seem depressing. Nevertheless, to be successful you must remain optimistic and on constant lookout for new opportunities.

Published on: Sep 29, 2015