A Millennial’s Ranting Response to a Gen-Xer’s Rant

I’ve been reading a lot lately about young employees in the workforce. For example, Forbes recently published a five-part series entitled “Youth in the Office”. But one article in particular has caught my attention, and quite frankly, offended me: “A Gen-Xer’s Rant: What’s Wrong with My Millennial Employees?” published by Inc.com. Yes, the author does point out that she can’t generalize, but then she goes on to say that she doubts her employees are unique (which is a bit of a contradiction).

I am a 24 year-old who was born and raised in New England, where the schooling is known to be more rigorous, life moves a little faster, and professionals work longer hours. I started working a few weeks after graduation in 2010. My friends are all “twenty-something’s,”as are most of my co-workers, along with some of the candidates I work with. The article in question is by a founder of a company in Miami.

Her List:

We’re Cocky: This is the common debate – cocky or confident? You call it cocky, we call it confident. We want to show our employers that we can get the job done and need little direction, but of course we’ll take it when we need it. As for talking back and speaking to others in a condescending manner; maybe you should re-think who you hired?

We take things for granted: Most of the millennials I know were excited to get their entry-level job out of college, and they work hard every day to prove themselves.

We don’t follow through: I’m a bit worried about your hiring process if your employees can’t complete tasks. The millennials I know won’t finish the task the next day — they’ll stay late until it’s done. Our main goal is to further our career — why wouldn’t we complete our responsibility? 

We don’t want to pay our dues: In my experience “twenty-something’s” have been very hard-working and hungry for success. Does that mean we don’t want to “pay our dues”? Absolutely not.

Now, I do believe that this employer has these problems. However, I do not think it is the age of the employees but the employees, themselves, who are to blame. Just as I believe the writer (and anyone else making generational generalities) is basing her judgment off of a small sample size, I know I am as well. Every generation contains people who feel entitled even though they haven’t proven themselves. This is why a well-trained recruiting team is essential for a company to hire the right employee for the job.


Senior Talent Manager, Engineering
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