After this week’s Yelp kerfuffle with one disgruntled Millennial–and then another rebuking the first Millennial’s rant–I got to thinking: Man, it must really suck to be a Millennial these days.
Pretty much two entire generations (Gen X and Boomers, predominantly) scoff at everything you do (or don’t do, in many cases).
You are written about daily. Actually, scratch that: HOURLY.
And you are widely labeled as lazy, entitled and high-maintenance.
Where do I sign up to be a Millennial? 🙂
But, as I’ve said before, much of this Millennial stereotyping is far over-blown. Do some Millennials display this type of behavior? Absolutely. But then again, I’ve seen similar behavior from many Boomers, too (Boomers were, after all, the original Millennials!).
So, I wanted to tackle that stereotyping head-on today and provide examples of six Millennials I believe are bucking the trends and defying these stereotypes each and every day.
Stereotype: Millennials are job-hoppers
Millennial who’s defying the stereotype: Allison O’Keefe, Exponent PR
I just featured Allison here on the blog last week–and brought up this very point. Here’s a Millennial who’s actually been at the same job for SIX years. In fact, Exponent PR has been her ONLY job upon graduating from the University of St. Thomas. And you know what? That’s turned out pretty damn well for her. After starting as an intern in 2010, Allison is now an account supervisor and is widely regarded as one of the firms brightest stars.
Stereotype: Millennials are narcissitic and routinely take 45+ selfies per day on average
Millennial who’s defying the stereotype: (tie) Danny Olson, Weber Shandwick and Allison Buckneberg, Bellmont Partners
He’s probably on the fringes of being a Millennial, but Danny (photo credit: Brianna Gallet) bucks the Millennial trends in more ways than one. But, narcissistic is probably never a word I would use to even come close to describing Danny Olson. Go look at his Facebook page–nary a selfie. His Instagram page: A steady stream of pics of his adorable daughter. In my interactions with Danny, I’ve found him to be effusive with praise, if anything.
Alison (pictured above–at right) seems to be a bit of an anti-Millennial. I mean, I thought all Millennials were supposed to be social media power users? Yet, one look at Alison’s profiles and you see minimal involvement at best. I see very few selfies. I see very few posts, really. In fact, I can’t even find an Instagram account for her (GASP!). Don’t even bother with Snapchat. My guess: Alison’s too busy cranking out award-winning work for Bellmont Partners to be snapping selfies and tweeting all day.
Stereotype: Millennials are entitled and believe they should be VPs of Marketing by age 25
Millennial who’s defying the trend: Kaitlyn Cox, Sleep Number
The entitled tag is a label Millennials are famous for–although, to be fair, many generations before them have also been tagged with the same label (see Boomers above). But, Kaitlyn Cox is one of those people who clearly defies this trend. Hard working. Humble. Likable. Driven. Easy to work with. These are words and phrases I hear others using to describe Kaitlyn. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone use the words “entitled” and “Kaitlyn Cox” in the same breath.
Stereotype: Millennials want a damn trophy just for showing up
Millennial who’s defying the stereotype: Katie Miller, OLSON
Sure, she might be the self-proclaimed “Queen of OLSON” (check out her Twitter bio). She might take more 5K running selfies (with her Mom) than anyone I know. But, I’ll be damned if Katie Miller is the kind of person who demands a trophy (or recognition) just for showing up. Truth: I’ve never worked with Katie, but based on what I hear from others, and in my observations, she is down-to-earth, self-effacing, exceptionally driven and an extremely likable colleague. Doesn’t really sound like your typical stereotypical Millennial to me.
Stereotype: Millennials are lazy and would prefer to Netflix and Chill all day (am I using that correctly? Remember, I’m not a Millennial!)
Millennial who’s defying the stereotype: Sarah Reckard, Sleep Number
Yeah, so another Millennial from Sleep Number. Lay off–they’ve been a fantastic client for six years! 🙂 And, to be honest, Sarah Reckard is a big reason why Sleep Number has been so successful as a PR team the last number of years. Sarah is as hard-working and driven as they come. Lazy would be about the last word I would ever use to describe Sarah Reckard.
Stereotype: Millennials need hand-holding at all times and are as high-maintenance as Mariah Carey at her peak
Millennial who’s defying the stereotype: Morgan Hay-Chapman, space150
If you’ve met Morgan, you’ll know within five minutes this is not the type of woman who needs a lot of hand-holding. This is a woman I met 3-4 years ago at the U of M when was the president of the Minnesota Daily, was a full-time student AND the held the title of president of the U of M PRSSA chapter. Yeah, those kind of people don’t require a lot of hand-holding. And, I would dare to say no one has ever called Morgan Hay-Chapman “high maintenance” in any way, shape or form in the workplace.