Why Millennials Get a Bad Rap

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I’m sure you’ve heard all of the negative adjectives used to describe the every-day millennial: Entitled. Lazy. Spoiled. Narcissistic. Social Media Junkies.

No wonder we get such a bad rap. It makes you curious to know if there is anything positive about being a millennial woman. I’m here to tell you that these negative descriptions you hear on a daily basis are complete misconceptions.

You see, the things that give millennials a bad rap can in fact be beneficial to the savvy millennial woman – but only if you change your perspective just slightly.

Since I am a millennial talking about millennial culture, I’m going to use one of the most iconic descriptions of our generation: memes.

 

Meme - Oprah Winfrey - Everyone gets a trophy

Participation Trophies

Let’s get this one out of the way first. As millennials, we get made fun of ALL THE TIME for our participation trophy culture. Millennials’ need for everyone to receive positive reinforcement for their contribution to the team is one of the pivotal misconceptions that gives millennials such a bad rap.

One of the most important lessons we have gained from our participation culture is that those with different approaches can add value to our society. Our blog is a great example of this. Rather than taking an exclusionary approach that working moms can only understand other working moms and stay-at-home moms can only understand other stay-at-home moms, we recognize that our lives are enhanced when both perspectives are shared.

Rachael and I are opposites on the mom spectrum, and yet we constantly provide insights that help each other. We want to build you up as you are and help you learn the skills you need as a savvy millennial woman.

Meme - google how to boil waterTechnology Savvy, Absent Life Skills

Everyone has a story that resonates with this meme. Mine happens to feature my younger brother, Benjamin. It is important for you to know that Benjamin is incredibly bright. He graduated cum laude in one of the most difficult programs at his college. During his sophomore year of college, he called me because he had run out of vegetable oil. He wanted to know if he could replace vegetable oil with olive oil for his brownie recipe.

If you’re being honest with yourself, you know you’ve been in Benjamin’s shoes before. The biggest secret is that this isn’t a millennial problem. Ask your mom or dad how their first Thanksgiving went as an adult. You’ll probably get a story about how they burned the turkey.

Learning life skills is a part of growing up – and thanks to technology, we have answers at the touch of our fingertips. The best thing about a blog like ours is that you don’t even have to admit if you don’t know a particular life skills – like developing good workout habits or sticking to a budget – our posts will be ready for you whenever you need them.

Related: Life Lessons from Our First Month Blogging

 

Meme - shark eating a millennial posting a selfie

Social Media Addiction

Since we’re on the topic of technology, let’s address the other topic us millennials get slammed on all the time: social media and our addiction to our phones.

As soon as I saw this meme, I knew it was perfect for this post. There’s this crazy notion that a millennial could be in the jaws of a shark and would see the situation as the perfect moment for a selfie. It’s this perception that millennials believe every person attached to them needs to know exactly what they are doing and what they are feeling at any given moment – because we’re special.

Try looking at it from a different angle. With every social media account, you get glimpses into the lives of people across the world who share your passion for the best things in life, all because you liked a page, followed an Instagram account, or bookmarked a blog. I have people I follow on Instagram whose posts I can’t even read because they are in Ukrainian and Mandarin, but their photography skills are stunning. As I scroll through my account, I get to see snow falling in the streets of Amsterdam, watch people scurry to and from their jobs in St. Petersburg, view the lines of laundry hanging in Greece, and much more.

On our website and our social media accounts, we’ll work our hardest to help you realize that your dream of traveling is within your reach. We want to inspire you to achieve your dream – or to find a new one!

Related: Why Millennials Need Travel

Meme: Millionaire to Millions. Stop buying avocado toast if you want to buy a home.

Bleeding Money

One thing I have to admit before starting this section: I hate avocados. They are super healthy but I just look at them and feel nauseous. It’s an unpopular opinion, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

That being said, Mr. Millionaire’s point has nothing to do with avocados and everything to do with the notion that millennials have no concept of money or good financial practices. We do wasteful things like buy avocado toast, travel across the country, and buy the newest technology when we should be focusing all of our efforts into traditional measures of wealth.

Rachael and I completely disagree that millennials are sacrificing long-term financial goals in order to experience immediate wants and needs. We want to share with you responsible ways to enjoy some of the finer things in life. If you love avocados on your toast, cool! We like to dream a little bigger, like Rachael’s trip to Europe this spring. The trick is to know where to stretch your budget and where to tighten your budget.

Throughout this blog we’re going to help you with some great money-saving tips to help you enjoy the things you love most without breaking the bank and help you achieve important milestones, like buying a house and getting out of debt.

Related: Why Millennials Can’t Have it All

 

Meme: Millennials be like: Where's my promotion

Nonexistent Work Ethic

This particular sentiment is a pet peeve of mine. Those pesky millennials expect everything to be handed to them with as little effort as possible and as soon as they feel they’ve earned it. I really expect someone to start declaring that they had to walk uphill in the snow both ways once their tirade against millennial work ethic begins.

The root of this particular problem comes from differing views on the definition of work ethic. For older generations, work ethic meant working a 9-5 job to make sure you had a large paycheck. As a teenager, I would ask my dad every single evening if he had a good day at work. I can’t recall a single instance where he told me had enjoyed what he did that day.

My dad made incredible sacrifices to make sure we had what we needed and more. As an adult, I’m just starting to understand that those sacrifices were more than just time and energy.

Early in our marriage, my husband knew the direction he wanted his career to go, but he wasn’t sure if he could get there. I kept going back to what I knew of my father’s very successful career that never brought him personal satisfaction. I didn’t want my husband to do the same. We sacrificed a ton to make sure he had the resources he needed to strengthen his application to graduate school. Finally, after four years of dedication, he was accepted into an incredible program.

We’ll probably never be as rich as we could have been if he had simply picked a lucrative career path. However, my husband is happy and satisfied that the work he does makes our world a better place. We rejected that traditional 9-5 job for him, like many millennials do every day. It’s not that we’re lazy – our priorities are different, and that is just fine.

Related: Landing Your Dream Job: Resumes that Captivate Attention

What do you love about being a millennial? Share it in the comments below!

Why Millennials Get a Bad Rap

Why Millennials Get a Bad Rap
Why Millennials Get a Bad Rap
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3 Comments

  • Reply My Sons Father March 1, 2018 at 8:21 am

    I’m with you. Seems like every generation thinks that the next generation will usher in Armageddon. The millennials in the PF community buck every stereotype out there.

    Blog looks great by the way. Keep at it!

    • Reply Jaclyn March 6, 2018 at 9:34 am

      Thank you for the compliment on our blog!

      I think you’re right about assuming negative stereotypes about the upcoming generation. Now that kids under Millennials are coming of age (do they have a name yet? post-millennials? Gen Z?), it’s interesting to see those stereotypes associated with them. Personally, I think they’re doing amazing things. I don’t work with high school kids on a regular basis, but the ones I do know are top notch and learning how to use social media to enact change. I’m excited to see what their generation brings to the table.

  • Reply Ashley August 28, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Thank you for laying this out! The part about differing perspectives on work. This has driven me nuts! I’ve watched companies lay off decades-long loyal employees, but been persecuted for “job hopping” lol. One of my major pain points is finding flexible work opportunities for moms who need to work AND need to be at home more than 3 hours a day. I’d argue that millennials are even more efficient than our professional predecessors. I like to think things are shifting in our favor!

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