No, I don’t agree!

I have heard these comments more often than I would like to admit from readers and I got to say people – wake up! Millennials are the generation that those of us in our 50’s and 60’s should have been. When we got jobs in the 70’s and 80’s we were told by our parents to be grateful for the work, to put your head down, work hard and stick with it no matter what. If we were bullied or made to suffer in our careers, we had to “suck it up” and just stay quiet. Every self-help book out there at the time encouraged people to work harder, push through your fears and told us only the strong “take charge types” were worthy of success. After all, most of our parents and/or grandparents went through the war and would say that we were lucky to have a job. And the women now in their 50’s, as the daughters of the 60’s feminist wave, still had to endure more stress than their male peers, if they wanted to get ahead in “a man’s world.”

But millennials today, I am glad to say, won’t put up with what their parents did at the same age. They are stronger than we ever were, and yes, they are idealistic. Thank goodness for that! Millennials are very passionate, optimistic, positive, and confident. When you add in the fact that they are not afraid to express their opinions, have a lot more education and are much more collaborative, thoughtful, and empathetic than any other generation before them – you have a true winner for our future.

Millennials today are much more open and they welcome criticism or professional feedback. They don’t get offended, but instead want to know how to improve and excel at their jobs. Growing up with constant technology changes has made this demographic more skilled in using new devices and software and they typically have a higher level of digital literacy to complete tasks faster using technology and online tools than the old way of doing things by hand. Millennials have a strong work ethic and welcome diversity, teams, and collaborative work cultures. Yes, they may prefer to have a more fun, casual, and easygoing work environment, but can you blame them? Their parents never understood the work-life balance until they went through COVID.

Only after realizing that we actually could work from home efficiently, do we all now want options outside the traditional “nine-to-five in the office job” with the added bonus of a daily grinding commute. Our millennials believe that producing high-quality work is more important than the number of hours they work per week and that doesn’t have to be done chained to a desk in an office bullpen. What a novel idea!

Just imagine where we would be today if the parents of millennials had demanded a better corporate culture. What if they too had wanted supervisors and managers that weren’t bossy task masters but instead helpful and easily approachable collaborative partners? What if employers cared about their employee’s mental health needs and truly believed in a healthy work-life balance? I suppose we will have to wait another 25 years to see how great things will be, after our millennials take over and rule the work force.

Good Luck & Best Wishes,

Christine Ibbotson