Millennials have been given derogatory labels like: lazy, disrespectful, irresponsible, sloppy, and uneducated. We resent these names of course, but before we shoot our own choice words back at the Boomers and Gen Xers, we should consider where these stereotypes originate.
We’re from different worlds. I honestly believe this. My mom is always telling people I’m so sharp with technology, but for a member of Gen Y, I’m average at best. Millennials pick up on new gadgets and machines with ease because we grew up with them. Texting rather than initiating a face to face or phone conversation may seem lazy to Boomers, but it’s more about convenience. It may seem rude, having a phone glued to our thumbs, but we are busy connecting with our friends. They should realize we don’t do it in disrespect. Technology is who we are. However, I do feel our generation could cut back on virtual relationships and more carefully choose the time and place for them.
The idea that Millennials are uneducated is preposterous, but understandable. I am a strong advocate of reading. It improves grammar which is a primary cause of this stereotype. When people don’t know the distinction between there, their, and they’re or your and you’re, of course we come off as unintelligent. We don’t know our own language. It is a simple matter to conclude we don’t know much else.
What to do
Each stereotype can be dealt with, one at a time. Prove they are wrong. Work hard, be polite, organized, and pick up a book. That last one is important. Even one grammatical error on your resume can ensure it a spot in the trash.
Because I am positive any Millennials will find this reason outrageous, take a breath and let me explain. Social media is only half a reason you may not get hired because it can also be the reason you do. Employers have taken to looking at candidate’s online profiles—LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Don’t believe me? Watch this two minute video and see for yourself the impact your latest status or tweet could have. So maybe you think, “I’ll just turn on all my privacy settings or get rid of my Facebook.” That’s a bad idea too. Apparently, if a potential employer cannot find you online, you look suspicious.
What to do
Easy: just be careful what you’re putting out there. Don’t put up photos of you and your friends getting smashed. Don’t bad-mouth a previous employer. Take the time to use complete sentences and proper grammar. This is common sense stuff, but I’ve seen all of it online, and more. Don’t let our love for technology become the obstacle between you and your dream job.
Even with unemployment so high, this is no excuse not to pursue a career. Each of the reasons above, as well as the reasons listed in Part 1 of this post, are fairly easy to overcome. Work on these problems and with time, you will be in your ideal career. Millennials are capable of great things--we just need to be willing to prove it.
Originally published at Sendouts.