What does a millennial have to do to get some respect in the workplace? Quite a lot, according to their non-millennial colleagues.
A recent Bentley University study reveals that most bosses think millennials are lacking in terms of work ethic and hard work. In fact, a huge percentage of business decision makers (55%) and recruiters (62%) say that retaining millennials is a challenge. Majorities also admit to having a hard time managing millennial employees, and there’s a common belief that they need to change in order to fit in.
Whether these sentiments are valid or not isn’t the point. What’s concerning is that our generation’s reputation continues to precede us. Much has been said about our shortcomings in the workplace, but is it possible that we’re not getting enough credit for the things we bring to the table?
If you’re a millennial, read what these five young professionals have to say about generation shaming at work and see if you can identify with them.
Mark, 27, Copywriter
“I once asked my superior if I could talk to him about managing our workload better. He responded by going on a tirade about how the millennial workforce has no sense of accountability. The truth is the things they were making us do weren’t in our job description. But as far as he’s concerned, I was just ‘being a millennial.’ Nice.”
Coleen, 22, Admin Assistant
“If I have a dollar for every time a potential employer would pass on me because of my so-called ‘millennial’ look, I’d have enough money to book a trip to Palawan by now. Granted, I dye my hair all the time and my fashion sense is not for everyone, but really?”
James, 27, Freelance Artist
“The day I gave my boss my two weeks’ notice, she told me that millennials no longer understand the value of hard work and loyalty. I actually think it’s the other way around—I’ve never worked harder since becoming a freelancer.”
Gab, 24, Account Executive
“I was once labeled an ‘arrogant millennial’ for going to work in jeans instead of our usual formal attire. It was a Friday and there were no client meetings scheduled that day, so I figured, ‘Why not?’ I got a bad rep for it somehow. Never doing that again.”
Yael, 29, Digital Marketer
“Earlier this year I was promoted to team lead—ahead of those who are ahead of me in age and work experience. As you can imagine, it didn’t sit well with the more senior members of the team. There was this talk about how millennials are only used to having things handed to them. I would have agreed with them, except none on them knew how to spearhead a campaign on social media. We’re a digital marketing company, for crying out loud.”
When it comes to gaining our superiors’ trust and respect, it looks like millennials still have a lot of work to do. Pun intended.