Millennials, notoriously branded as “The Me Me Me Generation” by Time’s Joel Stein, are often criticized for their seemingly entitled, narcissistic, materialistic, dispassionate, and lazy dispositions. However, the culprits behind this criticism are insular Baby Boomers and Gen Xers.

MYTH #1

One myth is that millennials have it easier than preceding generations. This is statistically untrue, as millennials have the highest rates of unemployment and are earning less than their Baby Boomer and Gen X counterparts – although they are the most educated generation ever! Millennials are getting higher marks in Advanced Placement tests, SAT tests, and STEM-related subjects, but despite that, unemployment for millennials is 40% greater than Gen X, and 1 in 5 millennials lives in poverty.

The cost of going to college is 308% more expensive now compared to 1975. As a result, millennials are left with debts that introduce a crushing financial burden: the average graduate has over $35,000 in student loans. Due to the difference between the level of education and the amount of money earned by millennials compared to Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, this myth is definitely busted: millennials do not have it easier than previous generations.

MYTH #2

Another common myth is that millennials are lazy. As a millennial, I find this statement laughable, because most millennials reached adulthood during the Recession of 2008, a time when volatile economic circumstances were generated outside the sphere of millennial influence by Baby Boomer and Gen Xers. Therefore, it is instilled into millennials, such as myself, to continuously reinvent and qualify ourselves so we stand out; the increasing difficulty in acquiring a job and building a stable career in this unstable, fluid economy has further cemented these qualities.

Compared to Boomers and Gen Xers, millennials create start-ups at twice the rate. Further, technology has vastly changed work culture. Millennials work differently: we can now work from almost anywhere. Thus, 73% of millennials are expected to be able to respond to calls or emails at any time. The difficulties that are faced by millennials in today’s workforce prove that this myth is also busted: if anything, millennials are expected to never stop working.

MYTH #3

The last common myth is that millennials are selfish job-hoppers who are unable to make major commitments. In comparison to Gen Xers who stayed with their first major employer less than a year, millennials stay an average of 3 to 6 years. As a millennial who has witnessed companies readily cut their employees at the first sign of economic uncertainty, it is in our best financial and professional interests to job-hop if needed and even delay traditional milestones, such as moving out of the parental unit and getting married. Therefore, this myth is partially busted: millennials do what is in their best interests while being cognizant of economic uncertainty and change.

This article was published in our March 2017 issue of MY Voice Magazine. For more articles like this, subscribe today!

About The Author

Anu is a second year university student.

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