The phrase ‘snowflake generation’ has been thrown around a lot of late. It’s a derogatory term to describe the millennial generation (technically anyone born between 1980 and 1994) as entitled, self-centred and lazy.
The term has been used recently in the media in the wake of Brexit and the Trump Campaign, as a way to generalise and dismiss the views of young people as oversensitive or easily-offended.
“The Collins definition of Millennial is as follows: “The young adults of the 2010s, viewed as being less resilient and more prone to taking offence than previous generations.””
Millennials have also come to be associated with selfies, tech-obsession, unemployment and unwillingness to settle down.
It’s time to set the record straight. Here’s 5 millennial stereotypes that need to be debunked right now. After all, it would be a shame to be so dismissive of 13.8million people in the UK.
Myth 1 – Millennials can’t live without their parents
Forbes.com argues: “it’s true that millennials are living at home longer than other generations have previously. But it’s not because we won’t grow up. It’s because we’re going to college.”
That’s right, many millennials are still classed as living at home because they’re still in education. Which brings us to the next point…
Myth 2 – Millennials are unemployed
The unemployment rate amongst millennials is 12.8%, but this figure includes the 39% of millennials who are still in education. “If you remove this age group, millennial unemployment is on par with other generations,” say Forbes.com.
Myth – 3 Millennials are unlikely to stick at a job/disloyal/don’t care about the company they work for
Perhaps millennials have higher expectations of the company they work for. They do want a long-term, stable career, but are prepared to move jobs if they don’t think long-term prospects are available to them in the company they are currently in, suggests a study by Monster.com. It found they’re “more optimistic than Generation X or baby boomers about finding long-term careers that offer stability and financial security. Having grown up in an era of economic turbulence, millennials crave the idea of a career, not just a “job.”
Myth 4 – Millennials are addicted to technology and can’t interact face-to-face
Several studies have shown that millennials actually prefer to speak in person and work in a team than email or text (85% of millennials according to a survey by Mattersight). “We were raised with a heavy emphasis on constant coaching and feedback. So it should come as no surprise that we need that same attention in our careers,” argues Refinery29.
Myth 5.– Millennials have a misplaced sense of entitlement
Mallory Ortberg, cofounder of feminist website The Toast says: “My experience is that most young people didn’t feel a lot of entitlement — more of a sense of panic because of a lack of job prospects, and the amount of student debt.
Lauren Stiller Rikleen, President of Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership, agrees.
“Millennials are pouring into the workplace, facing the added challenges of a still-recovering economy, massive student debt, and a reputation that is replete with unfair stereotypes… Rather than seeing entitlement, employers should welcome the self-esteem they are seeing in their young adult employees. After all, it is the same self-esteem that many of the same employers, as parents, encouraged their millennial children to develop from the time they were infants.”
Surely this is a self-esteem that would be a great asset to any workplace?