Pick on Someone Your Own Age

Recently, I came across this article in Business Insider:

http://www.businessinsider.com/6-quotes-prove-millennials-bad-employees-2013-1

Essentially, it is a 500 (give or take) word insult to the Millennial generation. Having been born a Millennial myself, I am no stranger to the author’s point of view. Older generations love to hate my generation, but I do not pretend this is anything unique. Previous generations are always convinced that theirs is the hardest working, most morally upstanding, and respect deserving, and I have no doubt that the Millennial generation will one day catch ourselves saying the same things.

My family often chastises, “You and your brother have no idea what hard work is. All you care about are your phones and Twitter.” These little speeches offend me, but not to any great extent. The above article offended me on a supremely different level. It is hard enough for Millennials to start our careers without articles like this one quoting a stratified sampling and creating a misrepresentation of our generation as a whole.

I  cannot speak for the rest of the Millennials, and I do not pretend that I am in any way special. However, I worked two jobs through high school. When it came time for college, I read industry blogs and studied employment patterns. I equipped myself with the knowledge that I would need at least 3-5 years of intern experience before I could “hang with the big kids.” I put in the time. I held an internship and a part-time job all four years of my college career. After college, I  spent a year as a highly overqualified department manager at a local WalMart because I was to enter Peace Corps service the following year. I left my family and the comfort of America to help promote our nation’s image and build a nation in need until we were removed due to the Ebola outbreak. I am not afraid of hard work, and I understand that what you get in life must be earned. I am not the only Millennial to recognize this either.

So, forgive me if I have stepped onto a soapbox. It irks me when my generation is lumped into one lazy, entitled, empathetic ball of misrepresentation. Perhaps the next time you go to insult us, you should stop to think who it is that raised us. Better yet, help put a stop to this ageism by observing that while some Millennials fit the persona presented in the above article, most of us are not that way. We should all take value from each other and realize that contributions from every generation are what move industry forward.

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