14 September 2010

Proud to be a Millennial

If you are born between 1982-2000, you are a part of the Millennial generation. Why is it that we only hear about the negative attributes of our generation in the media? The media portrays us as these entitled, selfish, what’s-in-it-for-me, whiners whose parents over sheltered us and has yet to cut the cord. There are many people out there that perceive Millennials this way. Some Millennials are ashamed of being a Millennial because of this stigma.

Not me!

I’m one of those “proud to be a Millennial” kind of person. I mean, we have a lot to be proud of. Some other words that I would use to describe us are: global, conscientious, innovative, efficient, visionary, civic, entrepreneurial, cultural, and honest.

Did you know that our generation is:

-The most diverse generation ever existed. We don’t see color/race as an issue. We are no longer uncomfortable to be around those who do not look, think, and speak like us. In fact, we are very intrigued when it comes to learning new things about other cultures.

-The generation that actually gives a … about the environment. We know that our glaciers are melting, our water is getting polluted (the BP oil spill was not the first), our trees (that provide us oxygen) are being cut down in record numbers, our wastelands are toxic, and we’re not going to stand by and let that happen to us and the generations that come after us.

-We ask the question “how can we be more efficient in the work that we do professionally.” We think that it’s possible to be a successful achieving professional and still make time for our families and community. Our work doesn’t define us. We want to enjoy what we do, we want to put our passions to use, and we want to make sure that whatever it is that we do at work—“makes sense”. We may need a bit of guidance when we first start but we have ideas in our heads that are worth millions for corporations. We’re just waiting to be tapped. (Ex. A millennial at Cisco).

-We are the generation that will bring change into the workforce; we’re going to help shape the perception of work to have a more engaged, committed, and innovative workforce. (Ironically, opposite of what the media says we’ll do). We’re excited to switch out our executive chairs for balance balls. We’re excited to get rid of cube land and work in hip, industrial, open spaces.

Regardless of what generation you come from, Baby Boomers, Xers, or Millennials, we all would like more work life balance, time to give back to our communities, pay raises, meetings that don’t waste time, professional development, and flexibility in how we get our work done.

So what’s so bad about the changes that the Millennials will be bringing into the professional world?

So I ask you, which Millennial do you chose to be, one who denies their Millennial attribute or one who is proud of being a part of this unbelievably phenomenal generation? I choose the latter.

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