Millennial Stereotypes | Are we overgeneralising?

Millennial Stereotypes | Are we overgeneralising?

A quick question: Which generation is considered lazy, poorly prepared, and without aspirations? Many of us will say, “Millenials.” But, wait. What do we mean by ‘Generation’, and ‘Millennial’?

According to Wikipedia, a generation refers to all the people born and living at about the same time. Here is a list of all the generations:

  • Traditionalists or Silent Generation ( born in 1945 and before)
  • Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964)
  • Generation X (born between 1965 and 1976)
  • Millennial Generation or Generation Y (born between 1976 and 1996)
  • Generation z or Centennials (born in 1996, and now)

These generations indeed have different behaviours. For instance, the baby boomers are considered reserved; the Gen Xers command; Gen Y and Gen Z like collaboration and in-person communications.

Many people define the Millennial Generation (Generation Y) as those born between 1980 and 2003; some say 1977 and 1995, and others argue 1982 and 2004. Whatever, it is clear that most people use the early 1980s as their starting birth years and the mid-1990s or early 2000s as their ending birth years. The most accepted range is 1981 to 1996, i.e., people between 24 and 39 in the year 2020.

The Millennials have been criticised as a lazy generation of people who expect more than they deserve. But that’s a stereotype.. isn’t it?

What do we mean by Millennial Stereotype?

A stereotype is defined as a mistaken idea or belief many people have about a thing or group which may be untrue or partly true. The various generations differ in political views, cultural values, and beliefs – true or false? It’s true. Much has been said about the Millenials. Many people purport it to be accurate, and others say it’s only a myth.

Forbes claims that about 68% of organizations find it challenging to manage the Millennial generation. How valid is this claim? Some of the things said about them are:

  • They are lazy and broke: They are a generation who expect everything on the plate. The Millenials are broke because they lack a saving culture and cherish materialistic shopping.
  • Technology Addicts: Also known as the Digital Natives, the Gen Yers prefer technology-centric tools, unlike their predecessors who prefer self-learning tools and instructor-led courses. They are easily distracted by technology, and they embrace the internet, social media, and mobile devices.
  • They are job-hoppers and lack loyalty: Is it true that they like switching jobs with or without reasons? Statistics show that:
  1. 52% of them think loyalty to employers is overrated.
  2. 58% of them want to leave their current jobs in fewer than three years
  3. Their parents ( the baby boomers) are most likely to be satisfied with their current jobs.
  4. 41% of the Millenials expect to leave their jobs before two years- only 17% of GenXers and 10% of baby boomers want the same.
  5. They are 50% more likely to relocate and 16% more likely to switch industries for a new job than non-millennials
  6. They are leading those who are actively looking to quit their jobs.
  • They are transparent: Unlike their parents and grandparents, they could tell their co-workers how much they earn. Research suggests that 28% of them are likely to share their salary with co-workers; only 12% of workers older than 40 can do the same. They are much more likely to admit that they lied too.
  • They are the most ambitious: Older generations alleged that the GenYers have altered organizations’ traditional hierarchy. The digital natives move above their older generations desperately
  • They are entrepreneurs: They are more likely to start a business and freelance than to work for other people.

Others include:

  • They are praise hungry.
  • They want special privileges.

If this is not over-generalising, what it?

When I look at a person, I see a person- not a rank, not a class, not a title.”- Criss Jami.

While it is said that we should not pay heed to stereotypes, it is not always easy to avoid them. Sometimes, it affects us so much that we begin to doubt our abilities.

People out there love to over-generalise everything. But sometimes I wonder if they ever realise how much this bothers the target! purpose of this article is not to ascertain whether or not the claims are correct. However, it’s essential to see every generation as humans and dissociate from criticizing a particular generation.

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