If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know I am a Gen X’er. I work in a high tech field with Millennials, and one of my kids is a Millennial. While I see all the “selfies” and questionable behavior of younger people in the news, the reoccurring theme of “lazy, entitled” Millennials is really aggravating to me.
My personal experience with late teens and 20-somethings has been overwhelmingly positive. I have family members who work like crazy to get college scholarships or beg to work more hours at a minimum wage job to pay for college. I have work peers who work long hours but have such enthusiasm for tackling the many challenges of corporate life.
What fascinates me is, 20 years ago as a young new hire, I was constantly “teased” for being a Gen X’er. Interestingly, some of the traits used to describe Millennials are the exact traits my older peers in the 90’s ascribed to me. They joked I was selfish and entitled. It took me seven years to pay for and complete my BFA degree. I wasn’t selfish, and I certainly wasn’t afraid of hard work. So while I tried to ignore the hurtful comments, they bothered me just the same.
My Millennial peers are not lazy or entitled. In fact, they are some of the most positive, enthusiastic people I’ve worked with. Couple that with the truly unique ideas and perspectives they bring to the table and I dare say they inspire me to look at problems and issues differently. With my experience (and openness to change!), we’re finding really cool new ways to do things.
Which leads me to one last question for any Boomers who happen to read this post. Were you treated disparagingly when you first began your careers? Is every generation destined to have to overcome stereotypes?
This post originally appeared on TheXMFiles. Image source: tusconyoungprofessionals.com