“Listen here, millennial…”
The term millennial denotes, “a person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000,” but has quickly declined to mean an entitled, ignorant, know-it-all demeanor applying to everyone in their twenties.
I’m left wondering how I got lumped into this negativity just because I was born in 1992.
I wish everyone who has written off someone in their twenties could come and hang out with me and my friends for a night. We’ll ask you about yourself and what matters to you. We’ll tell you about our passions and our story. I bet we’d have some great conversation, good laughs, and some darn good coffee while we’re at it.
Writing about whatever has borderline offended me in the past year would be negative and, honestly, kind of silly. Instead, I got to thinking about how we, as millennials, can break these stereotypes in our own lives. I firmly believe there’s a group of twenty-somethings out there right now who are not perfect, but have a ton to offer to society and will be a pleasant surprised to anyone who gets to interact with them.
Millennials, let’s do this.
Do good work.
The prevalent complaint against millennials is the idea that we don’t work hard. We can’t stand office jobs, everything is handed to us, we’re always looking for opportunities with passive income…
You may get lumped into one of these categories for a valid reason, but the best way to dissuade the stereotype? Just do good work.
If you prefer to have a flexible schedule and working remotely – great! Just make sure it produces excellent work.
If your parents paid for part of your college tuition and you have a website that brings in extra revenue on the side – you’re probably better off for it! Just don’t let that be an excuse to be passive on the job.
Practice explaining yourself articulately.
If you prefer a flexible schedule, be able to explain why. And be genuinely willing to consider the benefits of a different idea and find a compromise, if proposed.
Or next time someone asks why I go to the local hipster coffee joint so much, I should be able to respectfully explain why. I should tell them that the atmosphere provides my personal favorite balance of serenity and busy-ness, resulting in some of my best ideas being able to bloom.
I’m still working on this one, but I’ve experienced it for myself. The better you are at supporting your ideas and communicating with people of all ages and walks of life, the more respected you will become.
Introduce people to great coffee shops.
And remind them they can’t knock it til they’ve tried it.
Learn the art of listening.
Just as speaking clearly is so important, listening is vital to the communication process. Chances are you will run into people of all ages who are not very great at listening. Don’t be one of them.
Being unable or un-willing to listen to another human being is a one of the fundamental ways to withhold respect from them. We will always have more to learn, no matter how much life experience we have. And we always win by giving people what we get accused of lacking – respect.
Embrace your positive millennial tendencies.
Just because people are starting to brand the word “millennial” with a few negatives, that doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying this stage of life. Plenty of these stereotypes are grounded in ideas and tendencies that can be fun and serve you well!
If you have big dreams and haven’t been jaded yet – good!! If there’s a choice between not being a millennial or settling and living life as if it were hum-drum, keep your current mindset for as long as possible. We could use a little hope in the world, don’t you think?
Prove them wrong.
The best way to de-bunk the myth that millennials are entitled hipsters who don’t respect authority and hate work? Do the opposite while embracing the word and the phase of life it brings.
What millennial tendencies should we keep and which should we throw out? I’d love to hear more thoughts in the comments!