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The trouble with millenials?


The term millennial has almost become a dirty word. It's a term used to describe a generation that many older think are entitled, sheltered, over confident and narcissistic. It's a generation I feel well equipped to comment on, because it's mine.
Demographers typically use the early 80s as starting years and cap it off around the mid-90s or early 2000s. We are generally the children of baby boomers but were raised very differently than our parents. We’ve been treated as special, given all sorts of accolades for every level of achievement and have been pampered beyond belief. It's no wonder we are the way we are.
As an employer, or even a co-worker, you may have noticed that millennial’s work a little differently. While baby boomers are characterized with loyalty, work ethic and a steady career path in their professional lives a shift started with Generation X. This generation started to balance their personal and work lives a little more and focus on individualistic advancement and job satisfaction. It only went downhill from there. My generation now wants meaningful work, outlets for creativity and frequent feedback that we are performing well in our jobs. Quite simply, to bosses of the older generation, we just may be considered high maintenance.
I say we, when speaking of the generation, but, like any stereotype, it doesn't actually accurately reflect all individuals in the group. For example, personally I do seek out meaningful work that allows me to be creative and I also appreciate feedback, much to my bosses frustration I'm sure. But, I'm also a very hard worker that probably puts in way too many hours and has a hard time balancing work and personal life, just ask my husband on that one.
What I haven't said about my generation is that we are also familiar with digital technologies and team oriented. We are more tolerant and tend to be a little more liberal in our political views. We are also more about socialization, as evident in the popularity of social media in that age group and younger.
You may ask why this last thing is a point to the good. That's because the generation is focussed more on community building and inclusion. We are bringing back back elements that our great grandparents embodied, which are essential in keeping rural communities, such as ours, healthy and viable.
I think we are all guilty of lacking patience in the younger generation. I know I am. But, if we want our community to thrive and flourish in the future we need to keep providing reasons for our young people to stay in it and ways to bring back those who have left. We can't continue to drive them away because soon there won't be anything left for them to return to. DGB