The Reality About Millennials

Millennials are known as members of generation Y. Those in the millennial generation are roughly 20 to 40 years of age. As you may have noticed, society talks about this generation quite often. And, often, it talks about it in negative ways. However, the reality about millennials is that many don’t all spend their days scrolling their media feed, many don’t quit their jobs every couple of months, and most are not narcissists. Perhaps some millennials meet these descriptions, but one can argue the same of people of all generations.

The Reality About Millenials
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The Reality About Millennial’s Maturity Level

The millennial generation is not any different than past generations when they were younger. Chances are that older individuals made just as many poor decisions as when they were the age of today’s millennials. This is because poor decisions are more associated with young age than with any specific generation. Yet poor decisions are not necessarily associated even with young age. There are in fact many young folks who are more mature than people much older than them.

You might have also noticed that millennials’ approach tends to be less formal than that of their predecessors. This is because millennials seem to place less emphasis on conforming to dress codes and rigid structures. Instead, they place increased emphasis on creating a non-intimidating, collaborative culture. They care less about decorum, and more about finding fulfillment.

In essence, the fact that millennials are less formal does not mean they lack maturity. Rather, they are redefining what it means to be mature. This evolutionary view of maturity, which places less emphasis on appearance and rank and more on ideals is not necessarily a bad one. It is also not unique in the millennial generation. Society, in general, seems to be learning that a less rigid approach has benefits to both individuals and institutions.

The Reality about Millenials_workplace
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The Reality About Millennial’s Sense of Entitlement

As you may have heard, millennials are perhaps more likely than past generations to have obtained a college degree. Unfortunately, this also seems to be one of the main reasons leading for people to view them as entitled. The reason this is the case is that, after taking on massive amounts of debt for college, and getting financial assistance from their parents, many millennials return to their parents’ home after college. They often stay there until they can get settled on their own.

However, the fact that they go to college is not necessarily wrong. College is, in fact, more of a necessity to thrive in the modern economy. Unfortunately, it is also exponentially more expensive that it was in previous decades. So, while individuals in past years might have been able to afford the cost of college on their own, the exorbitant cost of an education often prohibits younger generations from accomplishing this feat.

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Also, not all millennials who go to college rely on the generosity of others to get their education. The reality is that many millennials work multiple jobs to pay off their education. Many prefer to stay close to home in order to help their family financially, to help with household responsibilities, or to avoid the increased cost that comes with living away from home. Still others make the decision to defer college until they have been able to finance it on their own. In other words, many millennials continue to make sacrifices that undoubtedly their parents had to make when deciding when or if they could go to college.

Graduation
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Millennial’s Dependence on Technology

Another critique we often hear about millennials is that they are too dependent on technology. It is obvious that individuals’ behavior will be determined by the technology and circumstances they are familiar. As a result, it is understandable that millennials might see computers as being indispensable for school and work and might not be able to imagine themselves going to school or work in a time without computers. However, if millennials were placed in a situation without computers, I have no doubt that they would be able to adapt to the situation.

Similarly, the generalization that being a millennial automatically makes one reliant on, or even good with, computers is not always true. There are many millennials who still prefer to read and write most things on paper or do not know how to efficiently use the computer for practical tasks. On the other hand, many individuals from older generation are just as hooked on technology, particularly their cells phones, as younger individuals.

Regardless of whether or not any specific individual is good with technology, the fact is that technology generally makes our lives easier. It helps us save trees, stay connected, improve accuracy and efficiency, and live more comfortable lives. It is no wonder that so many folks, both old and young, adopt technology. Therefore, adoption of technology is not so much tied to any generation but with access to that technology.

cell phone
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Millennial’s Idealism

As you might have heard, millennials want to have a purpose and to feel valued. In other words, you might have heard that they are too idealistic. But who doesn’t want to have a purpose and feel valued? These are things that have been described by psychologists to be core human needs. Having these things , psychology says, leads to a more fulfilling life. For this reason, workplaces seek to provide its employees satisfy these needs . If millennials are causing workplaces to look more into these things and employee satisfaction, then millennials are having a positive impact on the workforce.

Millennial idealism is actually often based on reality. They are very open to hearing different perspectives. They celebrate diversity and have great concern for actual social and environmental problems. Being believers in dreaming big, they are optimistic and envision a better future. Additionally, they are also very flexible, hardworking, and entrepreneurial. This is evidenced by the fact that they often take on multiple freelance jobs and explore new options when things don’t work out as planned.

These are all sign that millennials are resilient and dedicated to working to make their vision of a greater cause a reality. Their ability to implement continual change and pursuit of self-improvement is very much in line with what most businesses need to be successful. It is also in line with the psychological theories about fulfilling individual potential and organizational culture of continual change. They are in fact a lot more practical than society gives them credit for.

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The Reality About Millennials_Environment Concern
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Conclusion

As with members of previous generations, millennials go through the usual developmental milestones. They adopt a work ethic that best suits their circumstances. They work hard to get an education and to earn a living. Of course, they are influenced by the knowledge and technology of their time.

Of course, there are a number of traits that a common in millennials due to the influences of their upbringing. However, while they might be idealistic and have high expectations, they are also realistic and work very hard to effect their idealism and optimism into positive change. Even those of prior generations have been influenced, sometimes inspired, by the same knowledge and technology that has molded millennials.

One thing we can be certain is that next generation will be different than the previous ones due to new knowledge and technology. Instead of looking for otherness in other generations, let’s try to focus more on our similarities. Let us understand that we would be more like the other generation if we were born a few years later or a few years earlier.

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The Reality About Millennials