Growing up a millennial

We are all formed by the events of our youth. Whether you like to admit it or not, what happened to you in the past has a lot to do with the type of person you are today.

Example: If you always had to work hard in school to get the good grades, that work ethic will stick when you have your first job. If your parents ate out a lot, you will eat out more. If your parents cooked at home more, you will cook more. If you grew up in a military family, you most likely have a whole different appreciation and understanding of our armed services.  NO matter what your situation may have been, you took those experiences with you.

Now, how does this relate this to millennials?  I am sure some of you can already guess. Think about the world that the “millennial” grew up in.  Below is a chart that shows the differences in the major events we grew up with, versus those events past generations lived through.

Generations.png

Of course each generation faces their own unique set of events and circumstances, but no two generations have identical experiences. And remember, events and experiences shape who we are as people. Millennials have felt pain points that those before simply did not. We were surrounded with terror, financial uncertainty, shootings, rising college costs and debt, and a fast-paced technology that has progressed mankind faster than any other era! HOW do you expect us to live, look at life, and work the same way you did, when we grew up in such a different world?

Don’t mess with my money

Studies have shown that Millennials are actually more sensible financially than generations before us. We also tend to be more motivated by money because the market crash of 2008 taught us to be incredibly careful with our finances. Couple this with the fact that we are paying into a Social Security system with no guarantee of ever benefiting from it, you may start to see why we’re focused on earning while we can.  A survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International found that when it comes to emergency savings, 27% of millennials have at least 3-5 months saved compared to the 11% of Baby Boomers.

Reshaping the workplace

Another thing about us, we don’t want a life separate from work. We want to enjoy work enough that it is a part of our lives. We want a workplace that is diverse and inclusive, collaborative, more flexible, and provides equal opportunities for advancement.

‘Me, Me, Me’?

Not so fast. If we were taught anything during our youth, it was that nothing is guaranteed and that life can change or be taken away from you at the blink of an eye.  So we try to make a difference, live it up and enjoy every minute of our time on this earth. There simply isn’t any time to waste.

Millennials were shaped by a nasty, cynical world and we clearly aren’t afraid to call bull$hit on it.  Yet, we still came out wanting to love what we do, desiring to make an impact, constantly progressing further, and above all, remaining hopeful about the future. So maybe instead of judging, try giving us a little empathy, and perhaps a pat on the back for turning out okay!

Sometimes I wish I grew up in a different time- a more innocent era, where I could trust our politicians, our financial system, and the world. But, we’re here. We’re millennials. And we will keep going.

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