Dear Boomers and Generation X,
You’ve whined. You’ve moaned. You’ve blabbed on about how we, the millennial generation, are lazy, entitled and disloyal. But unless you can overcome the linear nature of time, it’s about time you got off your high horse and found something new to complain about.
The truth is, the people who really care about the stereotypes you’re trying to propagate – you and all your boomer and gen X buddies – are leaving the workforce. We, millennials, now make up the biggest generation in the workforce. What’s more, we’re slowly redefining what a workplace and work culture looks like, and there isn’t much you can do about it.
If you think that millennials are lazy because they prefer to work from home or leave the office at 3 pm, think again. We’re fed up with bureaucratic systems that make absolutely no sense. We’re guided by the belief that things are broken in the corporate world, and we’re driving towards improving efficiency. We, in fact, don’t have short attention spans. The problems we face are bigger and more complex than they used to be and we have no time to waste.
Growing up in an era where we constantly have to learn and adapt to new technologies has led us to be results-driven rather than process-oriented. So, we won’t just toe the line if the reason things are being done a specific way is because that’s just how it used to be done.
Gone are the days of annual performance reviews and hierarchical corporate structures. While the age of technology has primed us to seek instant gratification, we’re also in pursuit of instant information. We’re constantly connected and we don’t have the patience to wait months to find out how we could have done better. We want to learn and grow constantly.
The corporate structures we’re creating will do just this. We don’t care about titles and hierarchy. We’re constantly communicating. We’re creating cultures of honesty and transparency. And, we’re working together. The days of micro-management are over. Today is the age of autonomy and empowerment.
Might I remind you that you borrowed irresponsibly from the banks you empowered? You never thought twice about the damage you did to the environment. And, you set the ball rolling that led to the conditions of today’s job market. Now, we millennials are stuck with the mess you made but couldn’t be bothered to clean up.
So yeah, we don’t care for arbitrary workplace rules like dress codes, set office hours and meetings to talk about meetings. But we care more than any generation before us. We care about the things that matter like “justice and human trafficking and the fragile ecosystem of the earth.” We care about people and want to do good. We’re not just looking for a job to pass the time and earn a living wage. We’re looking to be part of something great. Something that’ll give us a sense of purpose, be meaningful and make a real impact.
The world we live in is the world you guys created. Now we’re trying to fix it. And whether you like it or not, the game of work isn’t going to be played by your rules for much longer.
So stop criticizing this generation that’s making the most with what you left us. We are the generation you’re going to depend on to care for you in your old age. So, get over yourself. Get used to it. The millennials are here. And we’re here to stay.
If this is all a bitter pill to swallow, just remember what your parents and grandparents said about you when you were our age.