Who Are Millennials?
Written by Emma Gannon
As we proudly present our My Generation campaign, we celebrate each generation's lifestyle, what they're renowned for and how they choose to live their lives. Meet Emma Gannon, who has an award-winning blog, has been published everywhere from the Telegraph to Teen Vogue, and is author of ‘CTRL ALT DELETE: How I Grew Up Online’ – her Millennial memoir released in 2016. Allow her to tell the truth about Millennials and reveal why she is super proud to be one.
If you Google “Millennials” all sorts of stereotypes come rising up out of deep corners of the Internet. Did you know Millennials are hideously narcissistic? Did you know that Millennials are lazy fragile snowflakes who need to toughen up? Did you know that Millennials can’t afford a house because of their obsession with avocado on toast? It’s a generation who the Internet and the media love to mock. Lol #Millennials! They don’t know what they’re doing! They love to walk into moving cars while vlogging!
Although it can be quite tempting to look at the first generation who grew up with the Internet and think they are stupid and selfie-obsessed, I on the other hand feel this is our strength. I’m proud of being a Millennial. I can’t speak for everyone because (shock horror) not every generation merges into one big faceless homogenous group, but growing up with technology in my life has helped my life and career tenfold. I learned to code aged 14, I learned how to fix problems online on my own, I learned how to make my own website and communicate well with people. Like many Millennials I know, we have even created our own jobs. Fast forward to 2017, my entire career is based on making money on the Internet. All I need is my laptop and phone and I can travel the world.
Millennials often have a hard time fitting into the “old school” structure of the workplace. We grew up cutting corners, creating things, staying ahead of the curve and upgrading our tech at any opportunity. Many anecdotes say that Baby Boomer bosses find Millennials quite hard to work with, because we are known to challenge the status quo and suggest new ways of working. Not good for hierarchy, but good for idea generation.
The thing is, Millennials make up a huge percentage of the current workforce so our “way” of working is not something that can be ignored.
We will be over half of the workforce by 2020. Research says we are now the most frequent business travellers. We are the 75% of people who said they’d take a pay cut to work for a company they really truly cared about. We care about the world and we like the idea of work/life freedom. We are a cohort of society who deserve to be taken seriously, treated as individuals and trusted to use our unique skills to grow businesses in new ways and use our influence for good.
Millennials are often called lazy because we reject workplace traditions. But I would say we are the opposite: we are the generation who are likely to burn out from overdoing it if anything. Our online ambition is stopping us from perfecting the art of chilling out.
When it comes to switching off, a generation I look up is Gen X. This is the generation who partied hard in the 90s, are described as Cool Parents and don’t take themselves too seriously at work or at home. I interviewed Tiffanie Darke (author of “Whatever Happened To Generation X?”) and she is the epitome of Gen X. Top career woman, mum and still manages to go out and party. I am in my twenties and often prefer staying in and watering my plants. There’s plenty of time for that, so I’m taking a leaf out of Gen X’s book and making sure I’m going out to the pub more often and perhaps even without my phone.