­­­­­­Opinion: The Problem with Millennials


Katie Smith

Katie Smith

Our generation is flawed and somewhat set up for failure. You’ve heard it before: we’re entitled, we’re lazy, and we can’t communicate unless it’s through technology.

Do I take personal offense to these broad generalizations? Of course, because they’re just that: broad generalizations for an entire generation. Are we all entitled? No. Are we all lazy? Absolutely not. Is our generation completely incapable of face-to-face communication? Of course not. The problem is the rest of the world thinks we are exactly that. 

My sister is 11 years older than me, and she’s never been afraid to tell me how wary she and her friends are of millennials. While it’s hard to hear that my sister doesn’t care for many in my generation, it’s also made me hyperaware of my actions especially in professional settings.

The fact is my sister and her friends aren’t the only people who think our generation sucks in more way than one. This is the mindset of our future bosses. The odds are against us, but we have the opportunity to show the rest of the country we’re not a terrible generation.

The Internet changed us; there’s no denying that. We grew up with technology blossoming around us, and we wanted it all. We submerged ourselves into our online presence and interacting via social media. Depending on whom you talk to, they’ll tell you we’re either more connected now because of social media, or less connected because we can’t hold an in-person conversation.

I decided to talk to my sister, Jessica Smith, a director of global sourcing for a fashion retailer, about her biggest pet peeves with millennials and share my advice for millennials entering the work force based off her assumptions.

“They’re self-entitled, and they think everything should be handed to them with little work,” Smith said.

If your parents have given you everything you’ve ever wanted, don’t boast about it, and don’t expect to get a promotion because “your parents think you’re special” (this is another stereotype of our generation, our parents told us we were special so often that we started believing it). Work your tail off, and you’ll secure that raise.

“They are always on social media – even at work,” Smith said.

We want to know what’s going on with our friends at all time, but the truth is, they’re not tweeting anything so profound that it can’t wait until your lunch break.

“Millennials often act like they know everything,” Smith said.

I think she means we should shut up sometimes because we unfortunately do not know everything – at least not yet.

One day we’ll be in charge, but until then, put your phone down and respect those who have come before us and maybe learn a thing or two along the way.

Contact Katie Smith at [email protected].