Being a millennial is a double-edged sword. On one hand, we are hailed as the ‘harbingers’ of change and the architects of a new era; on the other, we are dismissed for being an overly ambitious, self-centered and aimless clan.
But we are more than just labels. It’s not all about the perfect selfie or the most popular social media status. We are definitely a little more than that. So, here are some things that we, the Millennials, would like you to know.
1. We are not jean-toting, rap-obsessed know-it-alls.
Contrary to what the ‘classics’ think, our social sense is not proportional to our commitment to work. Yes, we like dressing for comfort even in the workplace, working in office spaces devoid of cubicles and embarking on business ventures with friends, but that in no way compromises with our ethics or dedication.
2. We may be confident about ourselves, but we still need guidance from the experts.
Be it lessons in life or at work, we take the advice given to us very seriously. Despite what they say, being cool on social media is not more important to us than having a job and stability. From choosing a career to buying an insurance policy, the truth is that we need the earlier generations and their wisdom to guide us.
3. Our priority is a ‘smart’ life, rather than a ‘luxurious’ one.
As the century turned, so changed the priorities of our generation when it came to our future. While our parents may have thought that owning a car was important, we are comfortable with putting that on hold. We don’t mind taking cabs to work. After all, who wants the hassle of owning a personal car when you can get comfortable rides for as low as Rs. 6/km with Ola Micro?
4. Just like you, we also don’t like people who feel they are entitled.
Our generation believes in giving credit where it is due. To get credit, however, one needs to work hard and show initiative. Just because someone leads the team, or is the more visible one, doesn’t mean he/she will be preferred to another diligent worker.
5. Digital addiction has made us more efficient rather than lazy.
Yes, we may be ‘glued’ to our gadgets most of the time, but that doesn’t mean that we are cripples when it comes to real social interactions. Social media is a means to an end: it not only lets us stay connected, but also keeps us abreast with all information. And no, our addiction to technology is NOT an excuse to get out of family gatherings or social commitments with our friends.
6. We do care about the places where we work and, no, they are not simply stepping stones for us.
The common census has branded us as ‘job hoppers’: we stay in a place until a better job comes along. Yes, we may want to rise in the workplace, but we won’t disrespect our jobs by quitting on them after ‘using’ them. Our generation has a learning curve and only after reaching its crescendo do we look at/for new prospects.
7. We put in as much effort into our work as any other person.
Going to work in our pajamas and working out of a couch on a laptop is not all that defines us. The work culture may have changed since the time of the baby boomers, but the essence and the endgame are the same: our generation wants to have a comfortable, financially secure life. That means working a steady job, investing a little every month, and of course, saving whatever we can.
8. We don’t care about keeping up appearances.
As tempting as it is, indulgence is often a luxury for us. So, while we give ourselves the occasional trip to the high-end store and chug down overpriced coffee, we prefer the comfort of economical luxury, which isn’t as heavy on our pockets. This is where services like online shopping come in.
9. We don’t have the attention span of puppies.
Achieving anything takes dedication: perhaps no one realizes this more than we do. Our businesses may have started out of our rooms, but they wouldn’t be successful if we lacked the determination to make them work. More often than not, we juggle our tasks so everything receives the attention that it deserves.
10. Most of us actually hate the term ‘millennials’.
Every generation comes with its own brand and characteristics, but it’s not necessary that they define all the people that belong to it. Not all of us have the same ambitions and priorities, so it’s annoying to be lumped together in a category and as a result face bias. Even if we did not mind the generalization, it's the prejudice that we object to.
The problem with being part of a generation which was born right as the century turned is that most of us are children of changing times. So, it’s a challenge to be branded as the link to the future, quite literally so. There may be much banking on us, but as always, we will try our level best to own up to the challenge.