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Maybe you’ve heard that millennials are impatient. That they’re self-involved. That they just don’t know what the heck they’re talking about. Fill in the blank.
What’s funny about everyone trying to “figure out the millennials” is that most millennials I know are currently doing the same thing a past generation coined as “faking it until they make it.”
Though, some people realize that to “make it” takes more than believing you’re something. It takes work, research, passion, networking, ongoing soul-searching, etc. This is not an exclusive lesson for any age.
Still, a little bit of game face never hurt anyone.
My head spins at the first talk of “understanding millennials” in the workplace and elsewhere. Like we come with a manual. First, please remember that people are complicated. Second, please note that for many, now is the time we’re really trying to understand ourselves too, professionally and personally. Should we take over the family business or should we customize a career? Should we start thinking about kids? Should we change our profile pic to something that is a little bit more, like, business casual? Are we, you know, happy? Or at least happy-ish?
WHO ARE WE??? (Veins exploding in our foreheads)
From what I hear of the wise folks ahead of me, this question never sleeps. Speaking of sleeping, apparently, this question can affect that, too.
A mentor of mine recently bemoaned: “At yet another conference general session where a bunch of baby boomers are telling us all about how millennials think. They never seemed to put this kind of focus on Gen-Xers. I'm pretty sure they think we can be motivated with flannel shirts and Stone Temple Pilots CDs.”
It’s hilarious, but true. We’ve never been looking over our shoulders at each other more than before. If you ask me, I think we need to give each other some space to exist, try new things, get messy and make mistakes, and maybe even succeed in ways that generations well before all of us weren’t able to.
If we don’t, then there’s the next one. I hope that the future generation of the hour strives for many more next ones who inevitably will carry with them the best and worst of the previous ones.
I also hope you enjoy our August issue, which includes the boiler report and heating season preview, as well as pieces on fire protection compatibility, water utility awareness and much more. If you have any tips, suggestions, story ideas or general feedback please reach out to this eager millennial at firstname.lastname@example.org.