The Millennials got their name quite recently, maybe it started in the last 5 years, maybe 6, but I remember when I was little we were “the generation after Generation Y”. We were mainly born to “X generation” parents. Now that’s a generation of innovators, movers and shakers. They literally changed the world, they went for it and still go for it.
I mentioned the generation of my parents because it’s important. I’d like to state I do know the difference between literally and figuratively. They did truly change the world. From music, to movies, to business and more. If you look it up you will be in shock that some of your favourite actors, or musicians are born in the 60s. That is the X generation. They didn’t take “No” for an answer, they invented “My way or the highway”. They are bold, strong, brave and very capable. Those are the parents of most Millennials.
We, however, leave a lot to be desired. A few successes here and there in sport (Novak Djokovic, Christiano Ronaldo), or innovations (Mark Zuckerberg), but mostly we are in the corporate world described as lazy, indecisive and quick to change jobs. I actually once stumbled upon a manual of sorts entitled “how to keep your Millennials happy”. There’s something particularly sad about that, we obviously behave like curios toddlers exploring the world but never for more than a few hours. You don’t really want to smack them but you have to find a way to keep them entertained because when they have a tantrum, it’s insufferable.
Is this though completely true? Do we all have a form of ADD or Peter Pan syndrome never wanting to grow up? Could we truly be the forgotten generation? Or is something else, is something bigger a factor? I like to be positive, it’s a big part of who I am and I believe it’s not simply who we are. I believe it can all be changed, and that it’s never too late.
Let’s take a look at the reality of the situation. Just the facts, no opinions, no outlook just as things are right now. Most Millennials still live with their parents, though their own parents had a whole family at this point in life. The ones who have moved out for whatever reason, have mediocre jobs. Many have finished university and either are unemployed as they are still trying to find a job in their field, or are working in the local Deli hoping to get the call.
Another problem is we are getting older, for those who weren’t “lucky enough” to get on a career path are very close to being “overqualified”. What that means is you are too old to be taught anything new and the company doesn’t need you.
Starting your own company has its own set of new challenges. Unless you are super intelligent, super lucky or a very good salesman, you are competing with a lot of already established companies. It used to be a few cafes, bars pubs located in one area, now they are everywhere. A few shops and supermarkets, now you have huge corporations with low prices and you cannot compete. Any business, any idea, it’s already been done, already established and probably owned by an X-Gen and we know they are ready to kick their dead grandma’s ass let alone yours.
To make things worse, our parents are the X Generation. They had plenty of challenges we will never face. The cold war, the Berlin wall (they brought it down), high unemployment, their own set of very active, home bread, terrorists and more. When they were little, people didn’t lose their heads over a parent physically disciplining their kids even if it went too far. It’s safe to say, they did not have it easy. We don’t even get to complain. So what’s left, we’ve given up hope.
I believe that last sentence and only that sentence is the reason why we are stuck on our computers, watching funny animal videos and living an imaginary life online. We are not lazy, we are out of hope. Hope, the main reason why men fought wars they couldn’t possibly win, why woman went on the streets to fight for their right to vote, why people ever tried to change the world. Hope the maker of men and women and more than that. Hope the maker of children and families. Without hope, you can never truly believe it’ll get better. Most Millennials will never admit it, but however unique we are, we all feel this deep down inside. This is it. It will never be better than now.
Give it time and don’t give up. You don’t need to be amazing right now. It’ll come. You don’t need a ton of fans or friends to make it. It’ll come. You don’t need to be cool or unique or weird or lucky. You need to be ready, to remain hopeful, to keep working IT WILL COME.