If you've been on the internet in the last five years, you're sure to have come across countless articles about how millennials — also known as Generation Y or the "Facebook Generation" — are ill-equipped for the workplace thanks to our indecisiveness, entitlement issues, cell-phone addictions, and pure laziness.
We beg to differ.
“I graduated in 2009, right into the middle of the recession,” says Mallory Ortberg, cofounder of feminist website The Toast. "My experience is that most young people didn’t feel a lot of entitlement — more of a sense of panic because of a lack of job prospects, and the amount of student debt." Ortbeg is a New York Times best-selling author, she was named the new voice of Slate's "Dear Prudence" in 2015, and she was featured on Forbes' 2015 "30 Under 30" list. In other words, she's a millennial who's out there in the world, totally killing it. And she's not buying the negative headlines, either.
Here's the hard truth: Our generation has been met with lower wages, fewer job prospects, and more debt than any other, according to research. However, our large size — we're so big we're slated to overtake baby boomers in population — has made us the majority of the U.S. labor force in the past year.
Rather than adapting to a new, younger workforce with a different perspective, society has managed to come up with myths and criticisms for millennial workers. If you don't believe us, do a Google search and prepare to be irritated.
"I think these myths come from stats that exist — that have been debunked — showing that millennials have 20 different jobs, that they’re in and out, and every single one of them thinks they can run a company," says Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputation strategist at Weber Shandwick, a public relations firm based in New York City.
Gaines-Ross and the team at Weber Shandwick, with help from the Institute for Public Relations, completed a study of millennials in the workforce, learning about our behavior, goals, and opinions on what makes a great employee. Their findings show that millennials are hard workers who are just wired a little differently — not lazy, entitled, couch-dwellers. And this isn't the first study to prove that.
So why the disconnect? Where are these rumors coming from? And can we finally put them all to bed?
We’ve rounded up 10 of the most overused and overhyped myths about millennial workers that you’re so tired of hearing — and debunked them. So, the next time someone suggests you're a member of the "lazy generation," hit them with a big helping of truth.