There was a point in my life where I questioned if there are any advantages to being a Millennial in today’s world. Stereotypes portray us as entitled, lazy, and idealistic. Many of us entered the workforce during a down economy when job opportunities were limited. Once we got a job, we began working alongside generations with decades of experience, which makes us feel like complete amateurs.
Despite the challenges we face, it’s important for Millennials to remember that we’re in a season of life that provide several unique benefits when it comes to work and making a difference in our world:
The Advantages of Being a Millennial
After multiple conversations with mentors and friends, here are a few advantages of being a Millennial:
- Millennials are eager to prove our value, but even more eager for guidance. Despite the negative stereotypes, many Millennials want to show they can make a difference through our work. At the same time, we’re inexperienced enough to realize that we can’t do it on our own. We’re hungry to make a difference, but embrace the idea that we don’t have to have all the answers.
- Millennials live in a season of new challenges, which often promotes our best thinking and work. For most Millennials, there’s a huge learning curve whenever we take our first job or get our first promotion. While overcoming this challenge isn’t easy, it forces us to look around and ask questions that others might have never considered. It’s easy to lose this sense of curiosity and wonder over time, but it’s incredibly valuable while we have it.
- Millennials aren’t weighed down by past failed experiences or knowing how difficult a task might be. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said yes to a new opportunity thinking, “How hard could this be?” only to find out several weeks later. But I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t said yes to those opportunities. Without having a reputation to uphold or resources to protect, Millennials are more eager to say, “yes!” to the next potential paradigm-shifting opportunity.
How Every Generation Can Experience the Benefits of Being a Millennial
The good news is that you don’t have to be in your 20’s or 30’s to benefit from these advantages.
- Stay hungry. Look for ways to rekindle that spark you had when you were first starting out. Think about what it was like to have to prove yourself and identify small ways you can bring that same energy and passion into the way you approach your current work.
- Don’t allow your reputation & responsibilities keep you from following a new dream. While you definitely want to weigh your options, don’t give up the thing you feel called to pursue by playing it safe. Those that have made the biggest impact in this world are ones that abandoned the “safe path” to go after something much greater.
- Step back and evaluate your work as if you’re just starting out. A fresh perspective is the best source of inspiration. What questions might a person ask if they were just stepping into your position? What new ideas might they bring to the table if they didn’t know about the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities that bring you down?
- Spend time with “the amateurs.” If you want to renew your energy and sense of excitement about your work, take some time to connect with Millennials that haven’t lost that enthusiastic courage. The benefit to this is obviously two-fold: You get to be inspired by them, and they get to learn from you.
Even as we grow and gain experience, my hope for Millennials is that we would never lose the sense of curiosity and enthusiasm we have when it comes to the way we approach work and making a difference in the world.
Millennials: What are some other advantages we have when it comes to making a difference?
Older Generations: What are some ways you embrace being an amateur to capture your sense of wonder and curiosity?
Let’s start the conversation!