Millennials are beginning to dominate the workforce as their Gen X parents and baby boomer grandparents retire. As always, with the rise of a new generation comes heaps of criticism from those on their way out.
The latest influx of fresh-faced college graduates, armed with smartphones and an appetite for innovation, brings with it plenty of targets for that criticism. But within those criticisms lie many strengths.
Instead of rolling your eyes at their Instagram selfies and constant tweets, use their knowledge to help your business grow in the world.
Amber Fehrenbacher is a Millennial and the Chief Marketing Officer of SuretyBonds. She heads up a young team filled with members much like herself.
As a Millennial who has held many employee positions, Amber breaks the 5 common misconceptions that she, and other employees like her get:
1. They're lazy and entitled
You always hear that Millennials are entitled and lazy, but that couldn't be further from the truth.
With answers to any possible question in the palm of their hand, in most situations, Millennials tend to take the fastest route.
That's not laziness.
Millennials oftentimes have a tendency to appear unenthusiastic about issues that arise or demonstrate a lack of urgency. It's possible that sometimes they are simply unwilling to input effort into a problem that they feel is too far past the point of fixing (either a fundamentally broken system or institutional barriers beyond their control).
What may seem as apathy could possibly be an attempt to be realistic or practical.
Millennials' perceived sense of entitlement comes from their drive and their unwillingness to take no for an answer.
That's called perseverance.
2. They're obsessed with social media
Social media is no longer just a platform for over-sharing baby pictures and updating friends on what you had for lunch.
In fact, it has become the pinnacle of targeted advertising and one of the most effective ways to reach out to customers. Because it's been around most of their lives, young professionals have perfected online communication.
Millennials know how to harness the power of social media and make it work for them (and for your business).
3. They're too politically correct
Older generations tend to think Millennials are too worried about not offending anyone. Or they they are overly sensitive when it comes to topics of either controversy or politics.
But this concern comes as a result of learning more about each other's differences and being accepting of those distinctions.
Millennials recognize that unique life experiences mean everyone can bring a new point of view to the table.
Diversity in the workplace brings unique approaches to every aspect of building a business.
They are empathetic.
4. They can't hold face-to-face conversations
This one's just flat-out wrong.
Communication has gotten much easier, but rather than stunting communication skills, it's expanded them.
Millennials can just as effectively navigate a business lunch as they can a text message conversation.
But unlike someone older, you won't have to explain to them how Google Chat works.
5. They don't have to work for anything
Contrary to popular belief, young people have it much harder than their parents and grandparents.
While the cost of almost everything (especially college tuition) has risen, wages and available jobs have not.
Millennials are graduating into a competitive job market, saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Millennials know this, and they're willing to work hard to stand out in a sea of degrees.
Millennials have it just as hard as anyone else and work to create a better world for tomorrow. They just do it in different ways than their predecessors.
Have you faced other challenges as a Millennial? I'd love to hear more, comment below!