There’s a handful of people from the older generation that always say millennials don’t know how to work. They see teenagers and young adults on their phones or computers all the time to come to this conclusion. In reality though, millennials know how to work and how to get things done.
We learn from examples
As millennials we have some of the best mentors and examples in our parents, mentors, and famous figures around us. Many of our parents had to work their way through college and pay off student debt after graduating. They tell us their stories of grit and tenacity to pull through difficult times. Many of our grandparents worked hard manual labor jobs to raise their kids during a great depression. We see movies in which people work hard to get to where they want to be. While we don’t experience the exact same things they do, we learn lessons from their experiences and we’re able to implement it into our own lives. The hustle and grind we see in the media, our families, and others arounds us teach us how to work hard.
As millennials, we have lots of mentors and people to look up to. I personally look up to professional athletes and CEO’s on their work ethic. We look to the Steve Jobs, the Kobe Bryants, and the Elon Musks to learn from them. Millennials do one small thing that few generations have done before us – we ask for correction. This is not a fun or easy process, but we know it’s how we get better. In school, we ask teachers to teach us where our weaknesses are and how to incorporate our strengths. In the workplace we ask what we can do better because we want to be better. Our teachers, bosses, and mentors not only give us their experiences, but also adapt teaching to us individually. They teach us lessons that we need to get better, and help us along the way.
We learn from school and work
When we were in high school, we really had to work to stand out and be different. College applications wanted more and more from high school students, and we had to adapt. Balancing multiple sports, clubs, and school events all while performing well academically taught us how to work. Millennials understand that if you really want to get to where they want to be, they have to work and distinguish themselves. Millennials are starting their first internships at age 16. They prepare early for college and have a game plan for where they want to go. Even though only some millennials can make it into the top universities, the ones that were just short still have admirable work ethic and grit. They too were working hard to perform the best they could on standardized testing and in school.
School teaches us hard work because it’s a competitive atmosphere. We all want to be the best versions of ourselves – so we work to get there. In addition to school, starting jobs and professional work early helps us learn how to work hard. Millennials are pursuing challenging jobs at an early age. They join competitive clubs, compete against other schools and universities, and use those experiences to push them forward. Millennials are joining model United Nations, Future Business Leaders of America, and other prestigious clubs. These clubs and other professional settings teach us to work hard, as well as build our network and skills overall. We are so blessed with opportunities that previous generations may not have had. We acknowledge these and take advantage of them to invest in ourselves and our futures.
As millennials, we’ve been able to witness some amazing innovations and inventions right before our eyes. We’ve seen the development of the internet, smartphones, and cloud technology just to name a few. Growing up seeing innovation and growth motivates us because we want to be a part of the innovation and growth of the future.
Think about the examples that we grew up watching. In the sports world we watched Kobe Bryant build a legacy straight out of high school. In the technology world we watched Steve Jobs build one of the most influential companies in history from his garage. Even in the automobile industry, we watched Elon Musk do what some called the impossible. These legendary stories make us feel inspired and motivated. We may not be CEO’s or elite athletes at the moment, but we have the same qualities those legends had when they were our age.
Those people were different, and we want to be different too. We work hard, spend time studying, and invest in ourselves and our future. Some may question if we really know how to work based on the resources we’ve been given. At the end of the day, yes I’m a Millennial – yes I know how to work. We work hard not to be the best we can be, but to become the best we can be.