Millennials Refuse To Be Trapped In Jobs Like Their Parents
By Megan Biscieglia
All across corporate America, Millenials, the generation born between 1980 and 1995, are shaking things up. In a CBS 60 Minutes report titled ”The Millenials Are Coming,” this generation is painted as a bunch of cry babies who have made the workplace a “psychological battleground” and are referred to as the “teenage babysitting pool.”
It’s true, their work ethic is much different from those before them, but is that a bad thing?
Justin Love, 21, believes it’s a great thing. “We aren’t nurtured; it’s just that times have changed. For us, our personal life comes first and the workplace comes second and I think that’s the way it should be. Your life shouldn’t be your work; your life should be your life!”
Brian Keener, 22, agrees. “I’ve seen what my family has gone through and they’ve suffered. What do they have to show for their hard work and dedication to a company? Not much. I’m not going to do that,” Keener says. “I’m going to worry about my own happiness and fulfillment, and then I’ll worry about my job. I don’t think that’s crazy, I think it’s great that so early in life I’ve decided what’s most important to me. And that’s my family, friends, and myself, not my work.”
Chrissy Contino, 22, says, “I’m not going to work myself to death in my early years. I’m not going to wait until I’m old and retired to enjoy my life.”
In the 60 Minutes report, Marian Salzman, an ad agency executive at J. Walter Thompson, says "You have to speak to them (Millenials) a little bit like a therapist on television might speak to a patient. You can't be harsh. You cannot tell them you're disappointed in them. You can't really ask them to live and breathe the company. Because they're living and breathing themselves and that keeps them very busy."
If a Millennial isn’t happy in the workplace, she/he will simply leave and find a new job. Love says, “If I don’t like my job I’ll quit. There are so many opportunities and options I’ll just move right on down the road where people are treating their employees better. A job shouldn’t stress someone out.”
Health and happiness are the Millennials’ main priorities, and they believe their job should be understanding and fully supportive of that. “Companies should pay for a gym membership. Our bodies are important and we have to take care of them. If someone is getting enough sleep and exercise they’ll perform better,” says Love.
Contino agrees. “If you’re not healthy you can’t work to your best ability.”
The 60 Minutes report refers to Millenials as “narcissist praise hounds” and blames it on Mr. Rogers who told them they were all special no matter what. Contino says, “I think our generation has a very elitist attitude but I think we should be allowed to have it and we deserve to have it. But so does everyone else.”
Keener says, “I don’t understand why the older generations are so scared of us. No, we aren’t narcissists. I think we just get it. We get that you shouldn’t be a slave in the office for 75% of your life. We understand the things that make us happy and the things that don’t.”
Keener believes that enjoying your personal life is surely more fun and more fulfilling than being in the workplace all day. “At the same time though, we’re going to get things done. It’s just that we have to enjoy what we’re doing and work in positive atmospheres. I really see nothing wrong with that.”
Whether you like it or not, the Millenials aren’t going anywhere. In fact, there are more coming to an office near you. There are 80 million of them and as the 60 Minutes report points out, “tell the boomers, the bosses, the 50 to 60 year olds, ‘the people who have to change are you guys, not them.'”