November 25, 2017

Enough with the generational divide

There are plenty of articles and feelings about the generational divide among Millennials (people who reached young adulthood around the year 2000) and Baby Boomers (People born years shortly following World War II).

For whatever reason there is a lingering dislike among these two groups of people. Most noticeably in the work place. I’m here to tell both groups of people to knock it off.

Millennials

As a generation, we love short, quick to digest tidbits.  To address the Millennial generation, I will communicate the best way I know how to with them, in quasi-inspirational quotes.

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Life is excruciatingly uncomfortable, there’s not much you can do about it either. What this quote is saying is that shitty things happen. You can’t control everything that happens to you. All you can control is how you react to it, how you learn from it, how you become stronger from it. Stop complaining, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back out there. Resiliency is an inspirational quality to have, now go inspire.

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We have grown up our entire life thinking we are special. That we can do anything we set our mind to, which for the most part is true. Where the fault lies is that this assumption, that we are special, entitles us to not work or even work that hard. The world is run by those who show up and if you aren’t coming in and putting in the work and effort needed with everything you got, then no one cares about your talent. You have wasted it.

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Don’t do it for awards, don’t do it for recognition, Don’t do something with the sole expectation people will praise or sympathize you for it. If you start an endeavor, do it for yourself and not for the spotlight. If you do it for the attention, you will be sadly disappointed, as no one is going to care about your accomplishments or failures as much as you will.

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What this quote is stating is that if you want to get far in life, have it be personal or professional, that you need to be able to work well with others. Working together with people means there will be an array of different views and opinions. No one is going to agree on everything. Being able to see past differences in opinions and be able to strive for a common goal is essential to getting far in life.

Baby Boomers

Bob Dylan once wrote, “the times they are a changin’.” He wrote that in 1964. He could perform that song today in 2016 and it would still hold true. The challenges Millennials face today has changed since back when Baby Boomers were growing up.

The environment of the economy has  shifted. Nowadays interest rates are lower, but debt among households has increased. College debt has increased tenfold. Along with that, Millennials started in the job market about the same time the Great Recession started in 2007/2008. Inflation has risen more than the average annual household  income.  These factors play a part into major life events in Millennials lives, such as buying houses, getting married, having children.

With the Millennial generation growing and developing as young adults along with the boom of the internet and social media, societies ability to share ideas to a multitude of people in an instant has developed right along side it. But, with that sharing of ideas, so does the sharing of fear and anxiety become just as easy. Cyber bullying and fear mongering are two great examples.

Because of changes like those stated above, Millennials view life differently from Baby Boomers. When they hear Baby Boomers say something like “back it my day” it doesn’t do anything for them, because times have changed and their priorities in life are different from that of what the Baby Boomers had at that age.  It doesn’t mean Millennials are better, and it doesn’t mean Baby Boomers are better. It just means different, not less. This idea that Millennials are lazy, and self absorbed is pointless. Instead of painting Millennials with a broad brush of lazy and self absorbed, validating how a Millennials feels can go a long way.  Look to be coaches and mentors as opposed to belittling the younger generation.

Brett Stiles
Brett Stiles 14 Articles

Former Staff Writer

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