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Millenials: The Lazy Generation?

Millenials: The Lazy Generation?

By Lauren Bayne Anderson

April 29, 2011

A 2008 broadcast of 60 Minutes that was recently re-aired, says some damning things about you—or rather your generation—when it comes to work.

They’ve labeled you as narcissistic, immature adolescents putting off adulthood. Workers who can’t take criticism or direction, who flippantly change jobs frequently and have a “me first” attitude — a result of your parents and Mr. Rogers telling you “you’re special”. They even referred to you as “the teenage babysitting pool”.

Nope, we’re not making this up.

According to 60 Minutes, there are about 80 million of you—the Millenials—born between 1980 and 1995, and you’re rapidly taking over from the baby boomers who are now pushing 60. Other sources consider anyone born from as early as 1977, to as late as 2001, to be part of the Millenial generation.

And, while they allege your generation is "attacking everything they hold sacred” about the workplace, they admit that they can’t do without you because of your stellar tech-savvy.

Not only does the story attack your work ethic, but it also portrays Millenials as children, who have their parents call their bosses and professors to deal with issues they should be handling themselves. But they also portray you as not wanting to work, instead demanding office parties and workplace “nap rooms.”

And among the attitudes and beliefs of Millenials the story found so appalling, is idea that Millenials put their personal lives first— namely friends and family.

‘"We definitely put lifestyle and friends above work. No question about it," said Jason Dorsey in the 60 Minutes piece, who created a website which helps fellow 20 some-things cope with work.“We’re not going to settle. Because we saw our parents settle…And we’re going to keep adapting and switching and trying new things until we figure out what it is [that makes us happy].”

The 60 Minutes piece essentially portrays the Millenial generation as a bunch of spoiled brats for having a family first attitude, but it didn’t give a fair explanation of why Millenials feel the way they do. And it gave no credence to the very valid feelings and concerns of many Millenials as it relates to their attitudes on work.

Tiersa McQueen, a marketing associated for a major shopping chain, says she is appalled that her generation is being made out to be selfish because they put family over work. McQueen, who was born in 1980, has four children.

“I think that it’s not about being lazy as it is about reevaluating the ‘American Dream’,” McQueen said. “It turned out to be a nightmare for a lot of people who went after it and are now divorced, don’t see their children, and are underwater in their homes. They did everything they were told to do and what happened?”