The Millennial Generation encompasses a broad range of youngsters, typically born from the 1980s to the early 2000s. A majority of us grew up with Saved by the Bell, Power Rangers, and the good years of Nickelodeon.
We watched our parents (part of the baby boomers of Gen. X) work their way up in their prospective companies, most of the time staying there for years to accomplish their goals. The moved out of state or around the state with the same company. They worked hard for what they wanted and taught us to expect great things of ourselves. But, it is becoming somewhat apparent that they never taught us how to get there.
We grew up “privileged”. I don’t necessarily mean money, but we grew up with more than what our parents had. We grew up with high expectations of life. Technology? Let’s just say we’re not confident of the definition of library. Yes, there was one at school, and we had to read books like Skylark, The Babysitter’s Club, Hank the Cow Dog, and Freckle Juice in elementary; but we quickly learned when it came to research papers that Google was a lot faster than the Dewey Decimal System.
Our generation is unique in that we also encompass the 9/11 Generation. This includes anyone that were the ages of 10-20 on September 11, 2001. We remember where we were. We were brought up that the U.S. was a powerhouse, that nothing could bring us down. We quickly saw that belief crumble as we watched the second plane crash into the second tower, and hear the news anchors scream as the first tower collapsed. We may not have fully understood the situation, but we knew that our lives would never be the same.
Along with 9/11, we also experienced the recession. We watched a booming economy crash as we entered the job market. Again, we didn’t fully understand the effect it would have on us.
My father always told me to get an education. I went to college, got my degree, and jumped into the wonderful world of adulthood. I applied for every job under the sun. No responses. Many of us did this in vain. We took jobs to help us get by. We lived with mommy and daddy because we couldn’t afford rent. We went back to school hoping that increasing our education would qualify us for other jobs and crossed our fingers that the economy would be better when we got out. For some, it has.
With our upbringing from parents, teachers, mentors, and any adult we crossed, we had high expectations. W expected to walk in to a management job and do nothing to get it. It should be given to us. In a way, we are the “give me” generation. We walked out of our schooling, and said “Where’s my desk, cup of coffee, and $50K salary?”
In a way, we were mislead. In a way, we set ourselves up for failure. And in another way, we never learned how to actually work hard for what we wanted. As a group, we need to realize that we can help the older and younger generations with our experiences. We can benefit from our failures and actually be contributing Americans. Teach the younger generations what we’ve learned, they can value from our experiences. Learn from the previous generations. We cannot ignore our history and the culture of the past, because obviously they were doing something right.
- The Power Rangers Turn 20 and Morph Back Into Relevance (business.time.com)
- Millennials In The Workplace (thehartford.com)
- Learning to love working with (and for) millennials (prdaily.com)
- Baby Boomers: Our edge turns out to be we never relied totally on social media (over-50.typepad.com)
- The Millennial & Boomer Generation Gap: Contentious or Copycats? (sociologyofstyle.com)