A few days ago I read an article on Inc. 500 that made me acknowledge some things both in a good way and a bad way. The title of the article is “Three reasons why millennials are getting fired”.
I was born in 1991, and growing up I cannot remember a time in my life when we didn’t have a computer at home. I have always been in touch with technologies and I’ve witnessed the rise of new forms of social media.
I have always lived in a fast paced environment, but I’ve also witnessed a global economic and financial crisis, so I believe – thanks also to my parents education style – I’m not a shallow person, but I always try to look beyond what is in front of my eyes, to understand people and the World in general.
Now, back to the article. The author is J. T. O’Donnel, CEO of CareerHMO. According to her the first reason why millennials are getting fired is because “employers do not want to be parents”, second “anti-work attitude not appreciated”, and third “millennials happiness is not the employers’ responsibility”.
Whilst I could say that these things are true and legit – I mean of course work needs to get done, we need to step up and be independent – at the same time I feel sorry for how my generation is being misunderstood.
What Mrs. O’Donnell sees are just the results of what the generation before us did, or of how we’ve been raised.
We don’t want our employers to be our parents, we want them to be our mentors, what we want them to explain is not how to use that software, and that by clicking the button on the right you will get that result and you’re done. We want to understand what is behind that action, why it has to be done. We want long-term knowledge. This is what they should be transferring us.
The second point regards a so-called “anti-work attitude”. Why leaving exactly at 6pm should be a problem? If the tasks assigned are completed, why should I stay longer and exhaust myself? In life there are other things we should give our time to: family, friends, hobbies. It can be only a good thing. Free time for things that I enjoy can only make more creative and efficient at work.
Third point, millennials are “tough to keep happy”. This is entirely true. But have you wondered why? It is not because we want to have it easy, but because we have grown up looking at people like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Malala to name a few. People that dare to do what they love and fight for their vision.
Since we were toddlers we’ve been told we can be whatever we want in life, whatever makes us happy, because “if you find a job you love you will never have to work a day in your life”.
That is what the most of us is trying to do. And realizing how endless possibilities are, it’s not easy to make the right choice. That is why we look at our parents, teachers and ultimately to our employers, asking for guidance, not parenthood.
We need to change our attitude, be more patient, but at the same time our employers need to make one step forward and realize that we’re in mostly for the experience and the long-term learning, not just for the money or to put something on our CV.