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Five Myths About Millennials That You Totally Think Are Facts

Jeevan Sivasubramaniam Posted by Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

Five Myths About Millennials That You Totally Think Are Facts

In Crystal Kadakia's latest book, she dissects the most common misunderstandings around millennials and their work styles and explains how to really understand the millennial mindset, we should study their environment and current technology.

The misinformation about the millennial generation circulates so much in so many circles that many have taken to assuming that what are in fact myths or inaccuracies are actually facts. Well, here are five "facts" to disavow yourself of:

1. Millennials are all young. Researchers argue that millennials are those born between 1980 and 1996, but the Pew Research Center--perhaps the organization that does the most research into generational issues--classifies millennials as those born starting in 1977 and ending in 1992. Yes, that means some millennials are actually 40 years old now and approaching middle age.

2. Millennials are the "Me! Me! Me!" generation. Perhaps the most damning of accusations that portray millennials as self-obsessed and selfish. But the truth is every generation has been, in one way or another, the "me-generation."

3. Millennials are different from their parents and grandparents when it comes to work. Actually, research shows they are no different. The Economist reported that millennials want the same basic things all previous generations did: to be given interesting work to do, to be rewarded on the basis of their contributions, and to be given the chance to work hard and get ahead. However, despite achieving more academically and at work, they earn about the same as their grandparents who had less education and experience did.

4. Millennials are unhappy about work: In the Journal of Business and Psychology, a key piece of research shows that “...compared to Boomers and Gen Xers, Millennials reported higher levels of overall company and job satisfaction, satisfaction with job security, recognition, and career development and advancement, but reported similar levels of satisfaction with pay and benefits and the work itself, and turnover intentions.”

5. Millennials don't value job security and prestige. Research indicates otherwise: Millennials value security and prestige just  like previous generations (or, you know, like humans in general), but they just don’t find it in 401(k)s and titles. Millennials saw what happened to their parents' and grandparents' jobs, income and retirement accounts. Research shows that Millennials tend to value the following three things most: (1) paid time off; (2) freedom and flexibility anchored by a "results-only" work environment; and (3) location autonomy over 401(k)s and titles.