Millennial Misconceptions: Turning Perceived Weakness Into Strengths

By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars


With millennials making up most the population – there are 92 million of them – it is inevitable that this age group will soon be leading businesses around the globe. Commonly referred to as lazy, entitled and narcissistic, it is no secret that this generation has a bad reputation. While surveys and articles seem to only point out the bad qualities of millennials, it is worth sharing how this group can not only better society, but also the workplace. For millennials, it is crucial to prove you aren’t the stereotype as you interview and begin your career. For employers, it is important to not consider age as a weakness.

No matter what category you fall into, don’t fall into the status quo. To help, we’ve broken down barriers for millennial employment and just how these common misconceptions can lead to strength in the workplace.

While they are often referred to as lazy, surveys show millennials in the U.S. work an average of 45 hours per week. Reversely, between 1970 and 1990 the average American worked just under 40 hours per week. This generation also understands the need for work life balance. Not only are they willing to spend the extra hours to exceed expectations, but they also know when to take a step back and spend some time on themselves.

Another pro to the millennial work ethic? They are changing workplace culture for the better. While competition is commonly seen as a driver in the workplace, millennials much rather prefer collaboration (88 percent do, in fact). This ability to collaborate with coworkers can lead to amazing things – from stronger teams to higher morale across the company.

Employers: look for a candidate that can speak to working well with others

Employees: share stories on how you’ve collaborated in the past

Millennials’ reliance on technology is undeniable, and while the cons are clear, the pros are better. From understanding the impact of a Tweet to brainstorming creative ways brands can utilize all socal platforms, this group offers a fresh take on tech. For those who aren’t convinced of the growing importance of social media in business, research shows friends of fans represent a set of consumers 34 times larger than fans themselves, greatly expanding your digital reach.

Worried about texting in the workplace? Many are – millennial women use texting three times more often than calling. While this may be alarming, the reason why is hard to argue with. Not only can phone calls be ineffective, they can distract from current workflow – a quick phone call can easily turn into over 20 minutes if one slight subject change is made. On the other hand, a text can take very little time to craft and a direct answer can be sent as soon as possible. 

Employers: look for a candidate with social media integrity

Employees: make sure all social media accounts are clean and work appropriate

Often, millennials are referred to as the ‘me’ generation – TIME even went so far to write a cover story on the phenomenon. Many attribute this entitlement to the fact that they grew up receiving participation trophies, which never taught them the same lessons losing does. While this may be true (research shows that 40% believe they should be promoted every two years, regardless of performance), it is important to look at the other side of the coin.

While millennials can often come across as self-absorbed, the truth is this: they are passionate and value worth over earning. Not only do 64 percent of millennials claim they’d rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love, than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring, they also care about making and leaving a real impact. 61 percent report feeling worried about the state of the world and feel personally responsible to make a difference.

Employers: look for a candidate who radiates passion

Employees: share what makes you excited about the company   

We all understand how easy it can be to point out weaknesses, but recognizing strengths can sometimes be a little harder. As you begin to hire millennials (or begin your career as a millennial), be sure to keep an open mind. No matter your perception, millennials will soon make up over 50 percent of the workforce – which is exactly why you should embrace the change this generation will bring.