‘Entitled’ Millennials Hold The Key To A Better Quality Of Life For Everyone
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A high school English teacher dedicated a 2012 graduation speech to reminding us we're “not that special.”
We are, if you are to believe the rest of the world, the sneering, unrelenting pitfall of society.
We're the reason we're all headed for hell in a handbag – an immaculately-overpriced, stunning pre-fall designer handbag that reminds, once again, how incapable we are of being smart about money – but hell, nonetheless.
Everyone loves to blame Millennials.
We're incapable of filing our own taxes without the help of mom and dad (so what?); we can't rent without guarantors (big whoop?); we show up to work in sweatpants and crop tops (your point?); and depending on who you ask, we're probably in some way responsible for the murder of Ned Stark (this is why we can't have nice things!) in season one of “Game of Thrones.” (RIP Ned, forever.)
But public perception isn't everything.
It's just one thing. Instead, if you shift the conversation away from what the perception is and focus on what Millennials are, literally, doing for the world, you might find – gasp! – we're not only the Try-Hard Generation, but the Work-Hard Generation, too.
We may be the Me Me Me Generation, but hell if we're not standing up for the You You You Generations, too.
Millennials are, quite literally, a force to be reckoned with.
In early May, Millennials made it official: We are now the largest generation in the workforce, surpassing Generation X in the US labor force.
More than one in three Americans at work are Millennials, according to research conducted by the Pew Research Center.
We'll likely continue growing and slashing records, including surpassing the beloved Baby Boomer Generation.
We may be a moving, growing, spreading mass of people who can't quite name the tenth president of the US, but we are a moving, growing, spreading mass committed to leaving the world a little bit better than the status we found it in (You're groaning, I know.
But give me a minute here. The point is coming.).
Millennials are helping pave the way for a more inclusive, representative future for all Americans (and for all people).
We're the most supportive, encouraging generation when it comes to same-sex marriage, according to results obtained from a Pew Research Center study.
As of June 8, at least 73 percent of Millennials are in favor of men and women who identify as gay and lesbian being given the legal right to wed.
Work-life balance matters, and we're not going to stop until the seesaw stops asking us to favor one over the other.
Maybe you can add the Wants To Have Its Cake And Eat It, Too Generation because if there's anything the past has (rightfully) told about a Millennial's future, it's this: We won't stop until we get what want, and what we want is a job that respects our right to fulfilling personal lives.
And while an Ernst & Young's Global Generation Research survey proves we might be a long way from getting it, corporations and employers are slowing taking note.
Millennials want a flexible work environment in which they can control how, when and where they work.
Some even admit they'd take a pay cut, be passed over for a promotion and willing to relocate if it meant they could make their work-life balance better.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Heidi Parsont, who runs a recruiting firm in Alexandria, Virginia, noted the struggles employers are having with meeting Millennial demands – but they're trying.
“Wanting flexibility or work-life balance is the number one thing we hear all the time from candidates. It's the number one reason why people are looking for a new job, by far. We're definitely seeing more candidates asking for it. But companies still see it as making an exception. It's still not the norm.”
A Harvard Business Review article titled, “What Millennials Want from Work, Charted Across the World” found Millennials are also looking for a “work-me” balance, which includes time for themselves.
Specifically, 57 percent shared they want “enough leisure time” to enjoy their private lives; 45 percent want “flexible work hours”; and another 45 percent wanted “recognition and respect” for employees in the workplace.
We're smarter than you (really).
It seems like a low-blow, but we'll take the compliments wherever (and however) we can.
Now every time someone dares utter the phrase “lazy,” “entitled,” “selfish,” in reference to a Millennial, you can swiftly – and smugly – give them another to add to the list: know-it-all.
Pew's Social and Demographic Trends research found all us lazy, entitled and selfish Millennials are on track to be the most educated generation in the history of America.
I'd say I told you so, but that wouldn't be fair now, would it?
(Told you so.)
In 2008, 39.6 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds were enrolled in college.
We may be down and out, but we're not down for the count.
There is no denying that getting a job fresh out of college, for a Millennial, is virtually impossible.
We're not only up against our peers, but we're up against an instantly-refilling army of peers who are all just as qualified, if not more, than we are.
According to a 2010 Pew Research Study survey, only four in 10 18-to-29-year-old Millennials were employed full-time.
Post-college graduation, Millennials are smack in the middle of a tornado of life experiences: graduating college, moving home, finding jobs, buying houses, renting apartments, settling down with partners, starting all over again, and yet, we still haven't lost our optimism for the world.
Two-thirds of Millennials – roughly 68 percent – say that, as of 2015, they're not making enough money to live the kind of lives they want, but 88 percent are optimistic they'll have enough in the future to live the way they want.