Stereotyping generations is a sure fire way to upset lots of people. And as much as these suck, unfortunately this is very much a problem for Generation Y when it comes to employment. There is a perception that you’ll act in a certain way because of your age.
Those that fall into the 18-31 age range and known as millennials are often seen as self-absorbed, lazy individuals who prefer to surf the web and play games rather than work and although I view myself as ‘plugging the gap’ between the X’s and Y’s, I do despair sometimes at what I see and hear from the 'youff' of today.
Although there’s no getting away from these generational labels, make sure you don’t fall into the trap of living up to these expectations by following our tips below.
Gen Xers love to reminder you all that you’re know-it-alls and that experience trumps any qualification. You know what? They’re right. There is a huge amount to be said for experience, whether that’s on the job experience or life experience.
Although you’ve grown up in the information age where it’s possible to find out anything you want at the touch of a button, that cannot replace years or even decades of experience and human interaction. You can speed up the process of gaining experience by looking at patterns and the mistakes your predecessors made, but nothing replaces doing something over and over again.
Being self-absorbed is another trait that the older generation likes to apply to millennials. It doesn’t help that everywhere you look there are people staring at a screen of some sort. It’s possible now to pretty much run every aspect of your life from a mobile device but nothing can beat a good conversation. Try to take the time each day to actually talk to someone, face to face. Knowing how others think and feel by asking them can help you to relate to them in a way that’s just not possible online.
Generation Y is notoriously known as lacking in patience. Growing up in an age where anything and everything is available whenever you want it has carried over into adulthood and people’s professional lives. In fact, over the last decade attention spans have dropped from 12 minutes to just five.
No longer satisfied with someone taking a week (or even a day) to reply to some correspondence, you have to have the answer right now.
This can be useful; we can find out something that has happened on the other side of the planet seconds after it takes place. But instant gratification can also cause you to spend too much time looking for the next thing, the next source of information or next social media update.
Getting out of the habit of ‘checking in’ every five minutes and just slowing down, taking the time to enjoy what’s going on around us cannot only help to reduce stress, it can actually make us start enjoying life a bit more.
As we get older some of our hopes and dreams start to fade. We take on more responsibilities, mortgages, family, and debt etc. and some of the things we dreamed when we were young just aren’t as important anymore. We’re not special. Everybody goes through this and makes their way through life the best they can. Having said all that, it doesn’t mean we can’t become special. We’ve just got to work at it. Realising our dreams and reaching our goals can be done but it will take focussed planning and massive action.
At the end of the day people will only stop attaching labels to your generation if you go out and prove them wrong. There are plenty of millennials doing amazing things so go and become one of them.