Milliennial Thoughts Part 1: Is It Really That Hard?

The other day I was talking to my best friend on the phone. I live in Chicago and she lives in Philadelphia, so our talks are the one thing that I can never miss. She has been going through a lot lately at work and at home, and for the past few days she needed to vent. So, of course, I became a listening ear. 


One of her coworkers is completely incompetent. Why she’s even in her role is beyond me? She leaves the office early on a regular basis, always has an excuse for why she can’t do something and, in my opinion just doesn't care about her doing the job. I know some of you are probably saying, “Well, there’s at least one person like that in any office.” You are correct, there is always that one person at work that we always tend to question. The issue here is that her mistakes can’t be swept under the rug or go unnoticed. If she makes a mistake it will be noticed, not only by her manager, but by the public as well. And at that point it becomes a reflection of both of them, and their work ethic. 


So, as my friend and I are on the phone, she starts to explain to me that almost every day she stays late at work to make sure she gets all of her work done for the day. Her coworker, on the other hand, leaves work as soon as the bell rings. I can feel her eyes piercing with quarrel, my friend is not at all happy. How is this fair or is this simply the way of life?


People often question the work ethic of millennials and call us lazy. How are we lazy when we have to fight every single day and work harder than our predecessors just to prove people wrong? Millennials were not given a meal ticket. Previous generations didn't nearly have as much debt after graduating college, they purchased their first house and their first car in their early twenties and often received a decent paying job with benefits as soon as they were done with school. Many have also been with the same company for years. 


I get so tired of hearing the stigma that comes along with being a millennial as if I asked for this position. 


Companies, now probably more than ever, have higher standards when it comes to the people they wish to hire. There are no longer multiple openings in a department and the candidate pool is quite overwhelming. We have to create our own career paths, as one is no longer set out. We have to make more investments in ourselves to seek experience before we even get our first job offer. I am not sure about you, but can I really have 5-7 years of experience, and be a recent college graduate at the same time. I guess I should have had my whole life figured out by the time I was 15 years old. A little over exaggerated, but I think you get the point here. If there is a skill set that I am required to have I will bust my butt to get the experience, whether than means taking on a low paying job or doing non-profit work. I spend my own money before I have any money, in the hope that I will get hired in order to make ends meet and pay back the ridiculous amounts of debt that I’ve acquired just to make this cycle work. 


Now, please don't think that I am trying to be bitter and complain; I’m not. I just want older generations to understand that their perception of laziness is just us fighting to make it to the door without knowing if we’ll even get a foot or a step in. I will agree, yes, a lot of the things we do are unconventional, but how can you blame us. How can you blame a group of intelligent young professionals that create our own opportunities when there are none? We collaborate with each other and brainstorm ideas. A support system is created when we feel as though we have nowhere else to turn when opportunities are limited. We have taught ourselves the skills that we need to run a business and create our own. We don't want to settle for having a job just to have a job. We need to do something that we are passionate about and can wake up every day being happy about. 


I started my own business when I felt that I had no other choice. I read every day and taught myself the necessary skills needed for me to be successful. Now, I am finally ready to launch my jewelry business, LILLY GRANT, the way I need to in order to be successful. What started out as a hobby became a business that I needed to launch in order to push myself forward and become successful in my career. And for that, I am thankful for the millennial life that I was given. One filled with young professionals wanting to pursue their dreams and not settling for anything or just any job. 

By: Rachel M. Roberts