We’re Not Lazy: Debunking the Myth of the Millennial Work Ethic

Flipping the Narrative | Rachel Bishop

When reading the word “millennial,” what comes to mind? “Privileged?” “Entitled?” Some Internet café Stacy that’s putting off a real work in order to pursue a life of Insta fame?

This seems to be the pervasive perception of the dreaded millennial crew, a perception that’s reinforced in media everywhere (thanks a lot, Girls). Recently, though, femme-focused digital powerhouse Betches posted a video entitled Typical Millennial, an honest take on the millennial that’s, well, not Lena Dunham.

Definitely watch for yourself, but just for this article’s sake, here’s a wee bit of a summary: the video starts out with your typical millennial girl talking about how some lame AF dude ghosted her, obnoxious striped outfit and all. And then:

“You know what else is lame AF? The fact that we were born into the economic prosperity of the 90’s and told that all we needed to succeed was a college degree but by the time we graduated from college, the economy had been so destroyed by the mortgage crisis that all that was left for us was crippling debt and now we’re constantly condescended to by a generation of Baby Boomers whose fault this all is and who accuse us of not working hard enough...”

Of all the accusations made against millennials, “not working hard enough” is the most inaccurate. We broke into the workforce in swarms, entering an economy that had barely recovered from previous recessions after getting a higher education that saddled us with debt for years to come. The jobs we took were (and continue to be) managed by bosses that condescend to us because they know how expendable we are, that there are thousands of other millennials with degrees scrambling out there for hire.

Let’s also just think about how drastically different jobs and job-searching was only ten years ago. Millennial job searchers today are confronted with perfecting one virtual resume after another, blasting them out and sharing their links to faceless job posters that most likely won’t even open their applications. That, plus the social media pressures of having the “perfect job,” adds to frustration and stress of not making it big by the time you’re 25. Jesus, it almost sounds like how modern dating has turned out.

Know that we’re teaching ourselves how to navigate through today’s world, especially in the job market, since previous generations are just as lost as we are. And please, for the love of God, don’t associate us with the Hannah Horvaths out there. We’re far better than that.