Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Millennials are Misunderstood

Today I decided to go down to the Kansas City Plaza Public Library, my favorite one in the area. I sat down, did some research, read my book, applied for some jobs and then I came across this interesting article called The millennials- ever optimistic about jobs, by Allen Chernoff, CNN correspondent.

The article, prudently arriving near graduation, discusses how the millennial generation is not worried about jobs, that we are demanding for our job and salary and we are all about the "140 character" world.

Quoting leaders of big companies, Chernoff depicts my generation as a hard- working, yet "demanding" audience because of our up- bringing.

Alison Brod, from "Alison Brod Public Relations, a beauty and fashion marketing firm," describes the generation, from which I am from.
She says, "'They want to celebrate, they want bonuses, they want presents, it's Friday afternoon they want pizza parties and things like that. So there's this constant sense of number one.'"

As I sit here reading this article, I am trying to imagine what business would be like without this attitude. What would facebook and Craig's list done without the confidence to pursue new entrepreneurship? Perhaps we did grow up in a generation of praise and winning but confidence has always been a strong point, especially in business. The one disagreement I would have with Brod is in fact, we do still have to take responsibility. We have to face reality but we can try to enjoy ourselves in the midst of it.

I have no job at the moment. I came into public relations late in my college career, so I have been involved in internships during and after college, instead of just during. I have help so I am lucky (perhaps it's my generation) and I have family that can help me while I hunt for a job but I know many others who are in my generation who can't.

I think that my generation is "demanding" and feels "entitled" if they know what they want. For me, it took a while. I started off as a dance major and musical theater minor and then changed my major at least two times preceding. I feel that internships are important and they do help you figure out what they want but they provide me no financial stability - even having a large amount of social media experience. Is it so demanding to want a salary when you have seen the effects on the generation before you?

Brod also says in Chernoff's article, that the generation doesn't like to read any more than 140 characters.This trend is annoying to me but necessary. With all the information we are given do you think there is another way to filter? Although, I don't agree completely with Brod in her opinions of my generation, I do think that there is a word of caution to Chernoff's article. I think that my generation should be worried. I think they should network, apply and write as much as possible and not rely on the facebook, twitter and foursquare because they will not be there forever.

I don't think that this is a teaching error either. The whole faculty at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, taught me "same rules, new tools," which I'm sure many students of my generation have heard in their college career. We just know how to adapt. We travel more, we read differently, we explore more options and it has helped take our generation to the next level.

Being from a fast- paced, "demanding" and "trophy kid" generation, I'd say some of us are worried but we know one thing - if we keep learning, keep confidence and keep up we'll certainly be on top.