Arment Dietrich

Saving the Millennial Workforce from Bad Perceptions

By: Arment Dietrich | April 25, 2012 | 
39
Today’s guest post is written by Molli Megasko.¬†

I love 60 Minutes just as much as my grandma does, but unlike my grandma I’m only 28.  So you can imagine my distress when they aired a segment on the Millennial generation shown in an unfavorable light.

This is my generation they are talking about and I am upset about their generalization.

According to them, we are selfish, sheltered, spoiled, coddled by our parents, and ill-prepared for a demanding workplace.¬† The episode goes on to some extreme examples of moms calling bosses to talk about their kids‚Äô annual review and organizations changing their management style to fit the ‚Äúemotional needs‚ÄĚ of people my age.

Yes, I had a rocky first year of work out of school. It was not filled with my most proud professional moments. But I’ve spoken with many Baby Boomers who have told me they to have felt unprepared for their first jobs.¬† So why the harsh perceptions?¬†

I‚Äôve held steady jobs way before I could even drive.¬† I‚Äôve been promoted with every job I‚Äôve ever held. ¬†I was even promoted while holding a four-month summer position at Panera on college break.¬† So is it just a few bad eggs or are we really that ‚Äúentitled?‚ÄĚ

I’ve been pretty pissed off about this recently and finally felt empowered when I saw this quote posted on the Newera Social Marketing Facebook page;

I’m part of that generation known as Millennials, and even if we don’t know whether social security will be around when we retire, or if we’ll be able to retire, or if we’ll even have jobs to consider retiring [from], we know this: We are hustlers.

– Taken from a Good Culture post titled What Generation Overshare Can Learn from Biggie.

I realize it’s not enough to just be pissed off.¬† I also can‚Äôt change the paradigms of the generations before me.¬† What I can do is hustle and help my fellow Millennials.

To do this, I’ve joined Kristine Simpson and the Young PR Pros team to help prepare new graduates entering the workforce.  The weekly podcasts include interviews, tips, and advice to help entry-level communicators get a successful start to their career. We talk not only about what to expect, but also what employers expect of them.

One step at a time. Here’s to being proud of the Millennial title that was given to me.

Spin Sucks in Your Inbox

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39 Comments on "Saving the Millennial Workforce from Bad Perceptions"

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Japman_Bajaj
Japman_Bajaj
4 years 6 days ago

@ginidietrich @MolliMegasko question is, do millenials (as a generalization) really care what folks at 60 mins (and those like em) think?

rdopping
rdopping
4 years 6 days ago
Hey Molli. I am a Gen X guy…….. ¬† ……and I don’t care what generation anyone is from. There are lazy so-and-so’s in all generations. It’s kinda dull (read stupid) to label folks because of their age. I work with Millenials who are real go getters and I work with Millenials that I wonder about whether they are going anywhere at all. ¬† My job is to manage people and frankly I try to get to know them regardless of which shoe they fit into. Do I read about and study “traits”? Yep, I do and I find the “traits”… Read more »
MolliMegasko
MolliMegasko
4 years 6 days ago

¬†@rdopping¬†You are not the average . ¬†Maybe you don’t see me as a Millenial, but everyone else does. ¬†It stinks to have age define who you are.

Anthony_Rodriguez
4 years 6 days ago

¬†@MolliMegasko¬†¬†@rdopping¬†I feel this. It’s as if just because we are in or 20s or barely 30s that our ideas don’t matter. We want to work hard. We want to help the business grow. But just because it may not be the way things were done 10 or 20 years ago doesn’t mean there is no validity to it.

rdopping
rdopping
4 years 6 days ago

Keep chipping away at it and look for those opportunities where there are open minded individuals. There are a lot of “set in their ways” kind of people out there so navigation is tough. Same for me re: education and letters after my name.

jenzings
jenzings
4 years 6 days ago
I’m Generation X, and basically the same things were said about our generation when we first started in the workforce. If you watch the movie “Singles” from 1992, this was the general caricature of X’ers. My generation was the first that when polled said that it believed there was a greater chance of the existence of alien life than there was a chance we’d see all of the social security benefits we’d earned. We were considered “apathetic and directionless”–sound familiar? Here’s the book that was meant to wake us up: http://www.amazon.com/Revolution-Survival-Guide-Our-Generation/dp/0140235329 ¬† I never let it piss me off. I… Read more »
jenzings
jenzings
4 years 6 days ago

And how could I forget the film “Reality Bites”? That’s another “picture” of Xers.

MolliMegasko
MolliMegasko
4 years 6 days ago

 @jenzings P.S. Love the movie references. 

MolliMegasko
MolliMegasko
4 years 6 days ago

 @jenzings This is where I fall into the trap, because I want more than that. I get it; Millennials always want more.  But I believe there is more to be done than just working hard, like writing this blog and doing podcasts for the greater good.

JoelFortner
4 years 6 days ago

Mollie, I absolutely love this post. I’m a young Gen Xer, and I come to the defense of millenials regularly because I view the generation differently.¬† I believe millenials are just like boomers, who are also “hustlers.”¬†
 
It’s true millenials suffer from the stereotype 60 Minutes apparently perpetuated, but here’s the thing.¬† As long as¬†YOU don’t subscribe to that stereotype, you’re in good shape, and over time you will prove the naysayers wrong and go on to perhaps be the next greatest generation. Go kill it.

MolliMegasko
MolliMegasko
4 years 6 days ago

¬†@JoelFortner¬†Thanks, Joel. ¬†However, I want to do more than kill it, I want to change the stereotype. ¬†So how do I do that? ¬†I’ll let you know when I find that answer. ¬†

jenzings
jenzings
4 years 6 days ago

¬†@MolliMegasko¬†¬†@JoelFortner You change the stereotype by never being the stereotype. That’s all you can do–you can’t change the behavior of others, and the only way to change perception is by–pardon the cliche–being the change you want to see in the world.

Kristinesimpson
Kristinesimpson
4 years 6 days ago

 @jenzings  @MolliMegasko  @JoelFortner I agree 100 percent with you Jen!

JoelFortner
4 years 5 days ago

@MolliMegasko Well by “kill it,” I meant go hustle. You’ll prosper and change the perception.

TheJackB
4 years 6 days ago

Gen X here too and candidly I haven’t had very many good experiences with millenials. Many of them have fit into every bad stereotype you can think of. But I can think of lots of “older” jerks too.
 
We like labels but the most important thing you can do is work hard so that the “label” you receive is one you are proud of. In time there will be a new generation to pick on and the millenials will become a part of the old guard and there will be much less focus upon them.

MolliMegasko
MolliMegasko
4 years 6 days ago

 @TheJackB Interesting point.  Although, I keep hearing that this is the first generation that is not working harder than the generations before them and that is what gets on my nerves. 

Kristinesimpson
Kristinesimpson
4 years 6 days ago

 @MolliMegasko  @TheJackB It is too bad we are getting that label. All we can do to fight it is work hard and do our best and prove them wrong. 
 
Oh and start a podcast to help our generation follow suit!

rustyspeidel
rustyspeidel
4 years 6 days ago
Ha! I just wrote a post on Millennials today also! What’s in the water?¬† ¬† It’s your parents’ fault. We coddled you without your permission. We demanded that you all get a trophy even if you didn’t win. We demanded you all get special treatment at school. We demanded that all classes be AP so you can all go to Harvard. We expected everyone to see you as the special and perfect child we did, because if you looked good, we looked good. We got you cell phones in eighth grade “for emergencies.” In short, we used you as tools… Read more »
MolliMegasko
MolliMegasko
4 years 6 days ago

 @rustyspeidel YES!  I love having someone to blame.  (Kidding.)  Send a link to your post!

jelenawoehr
jelenawoehr
4 years 6 days ago

¬†@rustyspeidel¬†My pops told all of us kids “I don’t get you cars for your 16th birthdays or buy you everything you want or save you from all your mistakes, because when you turn 18 I want you to be able to tell me to kiss off if you want to and never have to come crawling back for anything.”
 
It worked.

penneyfox
4 years 5 days ago

¬†@rustyspeidel It’s gotta be the water! I did a millennials post two weeks ago too.
 
Biggest thing I pulled from this was the way they look at the world due to their overexposure with social media. Revolutions in countries that seemed like a world away to us are just a click and tweet away for them. I actually think the fact they’ve been raised with technology makes them even more qualified as they’re exposed to more ideas then we (and generations before us) ever were.

jelenawoehr
jelenawoehr
4 years 6 days ago
AMEN, Molli! Love this post, and that you’re doing something concrete to help Millennials in today’s workforce. ¬† There are absolutely many members of our generation who are entitled, ungrateful, rude, and bitter. I’ve had to cut ties with a few friends I grew up with simply because I couldn’t listen to any more snide remarks about how much time I spend at work, followed by complaints about their failure so far to find a “career job.” There’s no shame in working as a service person, but it’s a whole ‘nother thing if you work as a service person, hate… Read more »
MolliMegasko
MolliMegasko
4 years 6 days ago

 @jelenawoehr Looks like I touched a nerve.  You make great points and thank you for your support!  (Although, I do want a gold watch.)

jelenawoehr
jelenawoehr
4 years 6 days ago

¬†@MolliMegasko¬†You’ll have to ask @ginidietrich¬†about that watch… :)
 
And yep, my talk at BlogWorld is on stuff like this — so it’s a subject I like to talk about obvs!

penneyfox
4 years 5 days ago
¬†@jelenawoehr As another Gen X’er¬† jumping into this conversation – I worked as a waitress for years at night because my day job that I got with my college degree didn’t pay enough. I too was raised with this motto – “get good grades so you can get into a good school then get a good job” – and like yourself, had to re-invent the story when the time came for me to get a job. ¬† Funny thing was, when I finally made it to the corporate world, it was everything I could do to figure out a way… Read more »
jenzings
jenzings
4 years 5 days ago

That’s a good thing to point out–I also worked two jobs when I was in my 20’s to make ends meet. I graduated from college during the ’91 recession and worked for a temp agency because no one was hiring full time employees. I also did volunteer work, which led to my first “full time” job, which did not pay much at all. Was it exhausting? Yes. And I had very little free time to hang out with friends, etc. But it’s what I needed to do.
 
Keep on hustling is probably the best advice out there.  @penneyfox  @jelenawoehr 

Anthony_Rodriguez
4 years 6 days ago

Man, parents just don’t understand. 60 Minutes is catering to an audience that is at least 20 years older than people of Millennial generation. Is it any wonder the story has a significant bias towards them? This story has some gross over-generalizations and used the most stereotypical images. Hell, I resent the young people represented in this story.
 
Molli, I’m glad you and Kristinesimpson¬†are putting together that weekly podcast. I’ve listed to it and it’s some good, useful stuff for first-time communicators.

MolliMegasko
MolliMegasko
4 years 6 days ago

¬†@Anthony_Rodriguez¬†Thanks, Anthony. ¬†I agree about the young people on the show. ¬†All I want to say is “how could you?”

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[…] post today on Spin Sucks from Molli Megasko. Molli writes about how people have stereotypes about Millenials […]

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 6 days ago
You were never privy to this information, but I once had a dad of one of our interns call me. He was disappointed in how much his kid was making and that we didn’t provide any overtime. He told me I needed to give him a raise or he’d take me to court. You know me well enough to know I was professional, but seriously pissed. When it came time for that crop of interns to compete for a full-time job, he didn’t make it. If your parents have to negotiate jobs or salary increases, you don’t get to work… Read more »
jenzings
jenzings
4 years 5 days ago

¬†@ginidietrich That is seriously bizarre. I think I’d be tempted to laugh uproariously, and then pull a “….wait, are you serious?…” out of my hat.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 days ago

 @jenzings I was too angry to laugh. The guy was a total jerk.

wabbitoid
4 years 6 days ago

“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven”
http://erikhare.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/k-waves/
 
What your generation is experiencing is not unique.  It is unusual, and a bit of a historical anomaly Рbut these things do happen.  What all of you need is a far better grounding so that you can realize this.

kentjulia
kentjulia
4 years 5 days ago
¬†So true Molli. And in fact, I have dealt with the issues you describe first-hand. ¬† When I was in journalism school at Carleton University in Ottawa, a prof by the name of Andrew Cohen wrote an op-ed for the local paper (The Ottawa Citizen) complaining about Carleton’s journalism students and “their erratic work ethic, their shallow research, their lack of intellectual depth, their sense of entitlement.” The school, students and teachers took great offense. ¬† Thankfully, another prof¬†at the school – Dave Tait – chimed in and wrote a letter to the paper in response. He said “I‚Äôm not… Read more »
Maranda
4 years 4 days ago
As a fellow 28 year old, I think we fall on the cusp between two generations, and the entitled nature is really more of the people in the ages below us. ¬†A great example of this is a family member who, after high school, recieved a full ride to the same college I graduated from, but did not return after her first semester. Why? Not because it was hard. Not because she was unprepared, but because she didn’t want to get up at 8AM. Meanwhile, my other cousin who is 29 and a single mother of three, worked herself to… Read more »
danperezfilms
4 years 3 days ago

And I’ve read many blog posts written by Millennials generalizing about how awesome they are. Like every other generation, somewhere in between lies the truth. In the end, it doesn’t matter what people say about your generation (please just get over it), what matters is how you perform at your job/career. Deliver results and nobody is gonna care what generation you belong to.
Just my two cents…

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yoursocialfans
4 years 2 days ago

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[…] check out Molli’s blog post on Saving the Millennial Workforce from Bad Perceptions. The conversation is an interesting one, we suggest you follow […]

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[…] irresponsible and simply not as good as they are. A past host of Young PR Pros, Molli Megasko even wrote an article about how she is tired of hearing negative comments about her generation. Instead of sitting back […]

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