Over the last few weeks I’ve come across so many videos, graphics, articles and more all directed at millennials and the stereotypes that surround us. As a millennial, let me tell you this: we are not a stereotype.
Let me first address the most important, in my opinion, stereotype I come across far too often: respect. I just watched this video of what I assume to be considered an exaggerated job interview with a millennial. When I first watched it, I couldn’t help but to laugh out loud at just how ridiculous this video is. There’s no way anyone would sit in an interview with their phone out acting so incredibly disrespectful. And then it hit me: this is what employers see when they look at me. They see someone with no respect and no sense of reliability. While that video might be accurate in some cases, the majority of us find it completely offensive that we are depicted like this.
A conversation in one of my classes struck me as everyone went around discussing this exact video. So many of us who chose to participate in the conversation are full time students while working part-time jobs. We take these jobs seriously, show up on time, get someone to cover our shift if something comes up and we are always respectful of those above us. So how on earth are we supposed to find jobs, or even be considered for an interview, if this is the way employers see us?
I’ve been out at restaurants and paid close attention to those around me. More often than not, I observe parents on their phones, taking calls or showing videos and pictures to those they are with. I won’t sit here and judge the way anyone deals with having their phone, but please stop accusing millennials of being so addicted to their phones when SO MANY adults are the same, if not worse.
I have forgotten my phone at home. I have left my phone charging upstairs while I do other stuff around the house. I won’t say I don’t love my phone, but do not assume things about me until you’ve given me a chance.
A professor told my class last semester about a question that was asked to both millennials and their parents’ generation. The question was, when you’re older do you expect to be wealthy. It’s not asking if we want to be wealthy, but if we think we will. Not comfortable, wealthy. My parents’ generation were more likely to say yes, they expected it. Us millennials have been more likely to say no, we don’t expect it. We know we will have to work hard to be comfortable and even harder if we want to be wealthy, so we don’t just expect it.
In order for a stereotype to stick, there has to be some truth behind it. I can’t deny that. But what I can say is that every millennial is an individual. And every individual deserves their own chance. And while you may come across some disrespectful and irresponsible ones, you have to give us a chance.
Scarily enough, we’re the future. Be as picky as you can be when it comes to job interviews, but don’t cringe when you see an application from a millennial until you’ve met them and fully assessed them.
There are plenty of good ones out there. You just have to be open to seeing us individually and not as the stereotypes.