I was narrowly born in the millennial generation in 1999, one of the last years. Growing up a majority of my friends and close cousins were Millennials as well. My closest cousin, Monica Luhar is a 27 years old journalist currently working for NBC Asian America in Los Angeles, California. She is unmarried, lives in the home of her parents and has worked for over 10 different companies in the span of 6 years. However, that is what just meets the eye, growing up with her I have heard her triumphs, heartbreaks, and great successes. Footsteps that I am bound to follow as I am in the millennial generation as well.
One of Monica’s biggest struggles in life was the job pool. Since she entered such a competitive field in such a competitive city, she was often forced to take jobs in which her intelligence was not valued. Often becoming the coffee fetcher or being extremely overworked. This constant repetitive cycle forced my cousin, Monica to constantly look for better opportunities in hopes of finding a company that would value her talents. Monica always had dreams of moving away, but practically with unsound jobs Monica feels that staying at home will leave her the most economically sound in the long run.
Monica saves a majority of her money that would be otherwise pay for rent, for future plans, while her friends are paying half their paychecks on small apartments with no investment value. A common misconception about Millennials is that they are so self absorbed and narcissistic that they do not want to benefit society in a positive way. However, this is incredibly inaccurate due to the fact that Millennials are actually one of the biggest activist generations so far.
In USA Today’s article, ‘Civic eneration’ rolls up sleeves in record numbers, Andrea Jones states, “Young adults who grew up in the shadow of the 9/11 attacks and saw the wreckage of Hurricane Katrina are volunteering at home and abroad in record numbers. The generation that learned in school to serve, as well as to read and write, the Millennials were the first global Internet explorer’s even as they pioneered social networking for favorite causes at home” (1). Due to the amount of tragedy Millennials have seen in their short lives they have become more inept to community service while utilizing tools such as technology to aid their growth.
Andrea also states, “Surveys show people born between 1982 and 2000 are the most civic-minded since the generation of the 1930s and 1940s” (3). Therefore, it is a completely false statement that Millennials have no desire to help society and are just narcissistic. Millennials are using all of the tools and skills they have to their advantage to foster growth in our communities. With the mix of technology Millennials have been able to pioneer through community service. Millennials are constantly struck with stereotypes regarding the fact that they are lazy and prefer to stay at home rather than move out.
This is ultimately a true trend within the millennial generation. In Pew Research Center’s article, Americans are moving at historically low rates, in part because Millennials are staying put, Richard Fry states, “56% of early Baby Boomer 25- to 35-year-olds lived in owner-occupied housing (not owned by their parents) in 1981, whereas only 37% of Millennials lived in such housing in 2016″ (5). Therefore Millennials are indeed moving out an alarming slow rate compared to Generation X, however it is not due to the commonly perceived persona of laziness.
In a personal interview with Mariela Angulo (25 year old, Spanish teacher) she associates marriage with moving out when she states, “In this generation it is not like traditional, I’m gonna marry at 22 or marry at 25. They are more interested in like traveling and enjoying life and getting to know themselves before they commit to anyone, so now marriage like average, they are getting there around 28 to 30’s and that’s nothing bad”. Low marriage rates, cause Millennials to have only one solid income, making homebuying an incredibly daunting task.
Angulo also goes on to say that the economy is not helping Millennials, since they are one of the most educated generations. They face the large burdens of student loans and debt that they are expected to pay right after college. However, Millennials struggle to find jobs right after college in this competitive economy even with a degree. Ultimately leaving Millennials with no choice, but living with mom and dad (Angulo). Another common stereotype that circulates around Millennials is that they are job hoppers and they are constantly not pleased, which is associated with their lack of commitment.
Therefore Millennials are often coined as the worst employees to ever hire. However, according to the Forbes article, Millennials Stop Apologizing For Job- Hopping, Kaytie Zimmerman states, “… the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Baby Boomers job-hopped in their twenties just as frequently as millennials do now” (3). Therefore, it is impossible to coin Millennials with such a negative connotation when the generation before acted the exact same way. Job hopping is just as associated with Generation X as it is with Millennials.
Zimmerman also goes on to highlight, “Millennials can earn a higher salary, grow their career, change locations more frequently, and find a better cultural fit from job-hopping” (5). Therefore job hopping should not be seen as a negative trait of Millennials. Rather, they job hop to guarantee that they are in positions that offers growth and stimulation. Millennials are like cheetah’s constantly pouncing on higher positions with greater authority and benefits because they are constantly looking into the future. Millennials refuse to settle for less than they deserve.
Job hopping should be seen as an admirable and respected trait within Millennials. Millennials are constantly given harsh stereotypes and misconceptions for the way they approach their current lifestyles, however they have positive and justified reasoning behind their actions, therefore they deserve to have a brighter light shone on them. Stereotypes are exaggerated truths that are used to categorize groups of peoples often leading to a tainted perception of the certain group. Meanwhile a misconception is a belief that has no factual based evidence which can also taint the perception of a certain group of people.
Misconceptions and stereotypes are most commonly spread through word of mouth, the internet, and most importantly television. Common misconceptions about Millennials is that they are narcissists who only care about themselves rather than society. However, this claim is based off no evidence due to fact that Millennials have one of the highest rates of activism compared to other generations. Millennials are also stereotyped as lazy due to the fact that they prefer to live at home rather than move out.
However, this is primarily due to the fact that Millennials are the most educated meaning they have racked up the most student debt. Allowing purchases like a home to be financially straining. Finally Millennials are also stereotyped as being the most consistent job hoppers, however Millennials are not the first generation that has done this and job hopping tends to lead to happier and wealthier people. If people continue to inflict oppressive stereotypes on a smart justifiable group of individuals such as Millennials, the world will never be able to perceive Millennials as the intelligent and influential humans they are.