Coming of Age in the Workplace: Advice for Millennials

6. February 2017

According to the Pew Research Center, "millennials" are those born after 1980, making them the first generation to come of age in the new millennium. In popular media, millennials have not been regarded with such technicality and formality. Instead, the generation has gained notoriety for negative connotations that have been popularized via television and other media platforms, where characters decry millennials as lazy, entitled, tech-obsessed, etc.

Justin Bariso of Inc. Magazine noticed the heavy flack pointed at the age group, and has some advice for those on the receiving end. He states, in this article, that he is "a fan" of millennials, and the while the judgment toward the group may be in many cases be unfair, it's simply (and unfortunately) "the reality we live in." Bariso goes on to say that, "Society doesn't work like the justice system: In the eyes of many, you're guilty until proven innocent."

So for those born after 1980 and wishing to persuade the Baby Boomers in their office or lab that they are nothing like the millennials portrayed by the media (such as those seen on reality TV shows like Jersey Shore), Bariso has a few tips. He advises millennials to be open to criticism, because, inevitably, "you're going to get it." He also suggests that "actions build character" and the workplace should be viewed as an all-encompassing learning experience.

Similarly, Angela Almeida, in The Atlantic, addresses the "worn narrative" that millennials are, in essence, "moochers," living off their parents. She counters this notion with statistics that instead imply that the labor market favors the young workers more so than their elder counterparts. She weaves a personal tale of both young millennials and middle-aged Baby Boomers searching for jobs in a stretched market. The different tactics and responses of both age groups makes for an interesting read.