Calling Bullsh!t: Millennial Disloyalty and other Myths

Today, millennials around the world will take a long, objective look at their careers, and tell their bosses where they can stick their jobs.

This seems to happen at an alarming rate. Whether influenced by graduation, relocation or other life changes, the average millennial between 18 and 29 has held 9 jobs.

NINE!

Try mentioning this to a Baby Boomer or a Gen-X’er.  You’ll hear scoffs and whispered declamations of disloyalty.  It’s apparently gotten so bad that websites like Dolphini are instructing employers how to make sure millennials don’t take off with company goods.  Don’t you think that’s kind of backwards?  Sure, some people (young ones included) just suck.  But can you really say that with increasing rates of voluntary employee turnover, it’s just the entitled, coddled, young dipwads to blame?  Please.

Is it so much to ask that if we give up some of our very limited time on this Earth that we get something more than just a chunk of change every two weeks?  Shouldn’t our work mean something?  Shouldn’t we feel like we’re accomplishing something worthwhile and valuable – not just for ourselves or our companies, but for the world?

Why do we still allow ourselves to be slaves to a system where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer?  Where the average joe has to slave away 8 hours a day doing some menial, meaningless task just to afford a shitty apartment?  Where the bosses get all the credit, all the money, all the fun, all the fame and glory… for things that their minion workers accomplished with blood, sweat, tears, and backbreaking labor?

“Baby Boomers were so about determining who a person was based on how they look, their title, their house and car rather then how they act.Millennials are all about determining who a person is based on how they act. They look past the status, clothes, job title and all the stuff Baby Boomers puff themselves up with and just cut the crap,” Dee Valdez says.  She runs a group to help Millennials and older generations connect with each other. (Transparency: Yes, I do work with her. No, I am not paid for my work. I do it all for the Tribe (interns – but better)!)

You want my take?  The 8 hour work day will be gone within 5 years and work will be more like communal subsistence labor than actual work.

You heard me.  The 8 hour work day will be gone within 5 years. We have the tools, we have the ability – and NO ONE, not a millennial, not a baby boomer, not a gen-x’er… wants to work 8 hours straight, stuck in a 6×6 cube from sun up to sun down.  There’s absolutely no reason for it anymore.  It’s a system that rewards the people who do the least amount of work, who game the system, or who spend lazy afternoons on the golf course trying to figure out how to screw the investors out of a few more $30,000 umbrella holders.

In short, I’m pissed off at you jerks who have “titles” and “experience” and think you can use those things to justify treating the lowest-ranked employees in your company like fodder.  I think it’s time we raise an army.  We might lob our rounds through blog posts and tweets, but get one thing straight: This Means War.

Millennials aren’t entitled brats.  We want our work to mean something.  We want to be proud of what we do – and not be just cogs in the machine.  We’re perfectly fine with paying our dues, but we need to be shown respectwhile we’re climbing the ladder.  To confuse that for “demanding praise” or “asking to be coddled” is a huge mistake.  We’re not your daughter’s (or grand daughter’s) punk-ass boyfriend.  Leave your ageism and prejudice at home.

Look, there’s a lot of articles out there that make Gen-Y look like a bunch of whiny, narcissistic, lazy buzzkills. But, the truth is – corporate America has never been more scared of what we have to offer.These aging rockstars of high society know they won’t be able to hold on to their wealth once we get onto the scene in force with positive economic winds filling our sails.  We might have once been showered in trophies, but the only trophy that matters to us now is our self respect.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: fear is the currency of the impoverished spirit. It takes a pretty dead and downbeat spirit to not embrace change. Magazines like the Economist and others make Millennials look pretty damn bad.  But we do have our allies – and ourselves.  There’s an entire movement of uplifting Millennial blogs like Modite.com and others.

A war is coming.  A war for new business mentalities, ethics, morality, and worker rights.  We’re all going to be fighting in it and change will be the only constant. Catch up and change with us, or consider yourself an enemy combatant.

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