It’s undeniable – millennials are entering into and rising through the workforce in droves. And what’s the common sentiment that seems to be shared about this shift? Brace for it… change is coming, and it may not be for the better.
I get it. Our generation was raised largely by parents with a comfy baseline of discretionary income. We earned participation trophies for any sport we were barely mediocre at. We grew up in the age of the Internet and The Bachelor – instant gratification at its finest. The millennial generation can be entitled, self-absorbed, and, well, annoying. But you know what? We can also be inclusive, transparent and passionate about social responsibility. We strive for diversity, we crave collaboration and we demand work/life balance. We want to do quality, meaningful work while also experiencing the other gifts that life has to offer.
And where did we get these qualities that will transform the workplace? From YOU. Yes, the generations ahead of us, those who helped pave the way for the workplace we’ve inherited, are the same ones we’ve grown up learning from.
Change has come and will continue. And millennials will disrupt the workplace. But so did those before us. Like Bill Gates. And Steve Jobs. And Sheryl Sandberg. So rather than feeling like our predecessors need to brace for change, we hope we’ll show that they can embrace the change.
Disruption means progress, and that’s all that the millennial generation strives for. We inherited a pretty cushy deal – and we want to make it even better. We have inspiring role models who we’ve seen push the bounds to fight for a stable and diverse workforce offering the most equal playing field we’ve seen yet. We’ve learned from the best, and we’re aware of what we need to do to pay it forward.
So rather than another column about tips for managing millennials or what to fear in the years ahead, here’s a column with a simple message: Thanks. Thanks for your patience with us, and thanks for all you have done to get us here. We want to keep your hard work moving forward – we may just have a different way of going about it. We won’t always get it right, and we won’t be liked by everyone, but we’ll continue to fight for the changes we want to see in the world. Because we learned from you.