Three Things that We Want (From a Real Live Millennial)

  1. Stop all the millennial craze.

    We are all the rage right now in leadership magazines. Type in millennial and see what comes up: 10 ways to connect with your new millennial employee, 7 things that millennials REALLY want, 7 things that millennials ACTUALLY want and (my favorite) 10 office designs that millennials NEED. Look, we get it: were shiny and new and everyone wants a piece of us for right now. What I can’t stand is that each article that comes out portrays us as some sort of pet (you know- the type of complicated pet that your mom wouldn’t let you get because it came with too much stuff). We have never needed a guidebook to connect with our bosses or with our employers although they are of a different generation. In college magazines, you don’t find articles that say: Five ways to Connect with Your Baby Boomer Boss. What is the obsession?

  1. Understand that we are not complicated.

    What we actually want is to have employers that treat us like everyone else without first consulting a “Millennial guidebook.” We really don’t want to come in for an interview ready to talk about our work experience and what we can offer your company, and have you sitting there thinking about what type of environment we will need to grow into a better leader. Articles like that continue to spread the stigma that we millennials are complicated, foreign creatures that need special attention, special resources and extra help. If I may say so myself, we are a kick ass generation that believes in equality, individuality and team work. We are a generation that believes in healthy competition (even though we do enjoy participation awards- it’s true! BREAKING NEWS!). We are a generation that creates courageously and fails courageously. By all that I mean: we are a generation that does not require all the extra stuff.

  1. One thing that we learned how to do well is share.

    Okay, okay…we are millennials, which means we do enjoy all the attention. We love the fact that to you we seem exciting, new and full of possibility. We also love the fact that you are our inspiration and our mentors- the people that we love to learn from and hear stories from (sometimes). But, we ask, we implore that you actually listen to us sometimes too. It’s good and well that you can guess what we want and write an article about it, but maybe it would be more beneficial if you let us do the writing sometimes. An article from a millennial that talks about what we want is way more honest than an article that is reporting on something that could change tomorrow from an outsider perspective. Instead of portraying us as this distant, complex generation, talk to us about our desires, our passions, and then, most importantly, allow us to share it! I promise you that will be way more effective than another long winded article on what we need to survive in the workplace by someone who doesn’t usually know.

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7 thoughts on “Three Things that We Want (From a Real Live Millennial)

  1. You are right. There is a great deal of focus on millennials. The only thing I disagree with is the job interview portion. I am decades older than you and I still need to explain my experience and what I can do for the company on a job interview. In fact, this went on during my first interview back in 1989! This is standard practice in the world of interviews and I don’t think it’s related to being a millennial. From someone who once did a great deal of recruiting, I have always looked for people who would make a great fit.

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    1. I understand what your saying! Originally when I wrote that sentence my intention was to show how bad it can get when employers who are so focused on “figuring out” millennials don’t view them as equal players in the field. Everyone else has the courtesy of attending an interview and talking about their experience. If this millennial craze goes on, I think that it could continue to fetishize us until we are not viewed as individuals, but as a statistic that was recently found or an article that you recently read. Of course it’s all an exaggeration. Everyone must interview- that process doesn’t change. However, sometimes the way that we are interviewed and the questions that we are asked by employers is based off of millennial statistics rather than genuine interest in us as individuals. Thanks for the comment!

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      1. Thank you! I will add one more brief point. I became unemployed at the end of this past year. When you get past 40, no employer wants you! I lost out on 7 jobs so far because I was “overqualified”! Which according to several recruiters it means “you’re too old”! I would give anything to be able to take 20 years off my life! I worked my way up to a six figure a year salary, only to find myself being offered jobs at $20K because that’s what competition dictates. Enjoy being a millennial! You have the world at your feet!!!! 🙂

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      2. Wow that’s a long journey and ageism is a shame sincerely. Thanks for the tip- and believe me, I am. I love how different generations are learning from each other and sharing advice and tips. It’s extremely important.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that you’re bringing attention to our Millennial generation, but I’m not sure if I agree with everything you’re saying. With each new generation entering the work force, there’s a bit of a craze. I think it’s just more prevalent now because of the technological age we live in.

    There are a number of articles out there written for and by Millennials about dealing with our Baby Boomer bosses. (Having a very traditional Baby Boomer boss, I’ve read them and used the knowledge to help me through my first job journey.) That being said, most of the articles I’ve read about our Millennial generation are written by someone in our Millennial generation.

    We are different from the generation before us. I’ve found that many Baby Boomers still see us Millennials as children. They’re just trying to figure out the best way to go about his change as we grow up into adulthood and start to make our way into their career world.

    “We really don’t want to come in for an interview ready to talk about our work experience and what we can offer your company, and have you sitting there thinking about what type of environment we will need to grow into a better leader.” That’s just part of the interviewing process, whether we’re Millennials, Baby Boomers or any other generation. However, I think we can use this to our advantage. We are different from other generations because we’ve grown up with technology. Yes, I’m good with computers and technology because I’ve grown up with it. That’ll give me an advantage someone from other generations don’t have. So no, we don’t “require all the extra stuff,” as you put it, but we do have some extra abilities that put us ahead of the game! Just another advantage that goes along with our “kick ass” qualities like believing in “equality, individuality and team work.”

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    1. Hi Lyssa thanks for commenting and keeping the conversation going! I definitely agree with your statement about technology lending to the current millennial “craze”. I want to quickly explain my intent when I wrote: “We really don’t want to come in for an interview ready to talk about our work experience and what we can offer your company, and have you sitting there thinking about what type of environment we will need to grow into a better leader.” In this sentence I was exaggerating, though I am seeing it didn’t come off that way to my readers. I was referring to the millennial guidebook articles that tell employers to buy things like swivel chairs and specific kinds of lights in order to stimulate the millennial. As millennials, I think that it is very important for us to learn how to adapt. Because we grew up in a world where everything is customized to our particular needs, I think that at times we can be spoiled/privileged and assume that the world will open up for us and customize itself to our needs. That is one of the reasons why I don’t want Baby Boomer bosses giving me “extra help.” I think that as millennials we have amazing skills, but it doesn’t serve us to live in a world that is trying it’s hardest to customize itself to us. Also, when I mentioned the Baby Boomer boss articles I wasn’t clear (this is one of the things that I love about writing- I love seeing where I can improve and where I can be more concise and specific). Though there are Baby Boomer boss articles out there, that is not what trends on social media. The reason why I originally wrote this article was because of my Twitter feed. Every few minutes a new article is released from a major magazine or company about customizing the millennials experience. I’m not gonna lie- I read these like crazy. I want to see what millennials actually want and see if it really connects to my experience. In the end, even with my article being entitled: “Three things that WE want” I think it is problematic to group people together in general. These millennials that the media refers to are often students who can afford to go to college and think about stuff like this.

      Once again, thanks so much for the critiques and for your opinion. I enjoyed hearing feedback from you.

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      1. Completely see what you’re saying now, and such a good point! I can personally agree with the fact that we’ve been spoiled and privileged. Generally speaking, Baby Boomers grew up saving every penny, just making ends meet. This made them want to do better than their parents and give their kids (us Millennials) the best they could afford and everything their children wanted. Of course, this does end up creating a bit of a spoiled/privileged generation. But as we grow as people, we start to realize that and then we start to adapt.

        And I completely agree with you when it comes to being treated differently at the work place. I don’t want to be treated any differently than any other employee just because of my age. I experienced this in my last job in a very negative way. (This was partly because the boss was a family friend, which created an interesting work environment, but certainly had a lot to do with my age as well.) I had lots of ideas on how to digitize the office and make processes more efficient, but because I’m a young Millennial every idea I had was shot down. A new employee (a Baby Boomer just like the boss) came in with similar ideas to mine. We discussed our ideas and she brought it up to the boss. He loved them, but only because it was someone of his age group and generation that brought it up. I don’t want to be treated any differently, but I certainly don’t want to be looked down upon either because of my age. It’s such a fine line employers and employees have to walk on. Like you said, I think our generation truly values equality. I think it’s ll just about mutual respect.

        P.s. Love this convo! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and starting the discussion. Just one of the many reasons I love the internet, we can share our thoughts and ideas, get critiques from our peers around the world which help open our minds and learn to improve from it all!

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