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?
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.
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.