Ask a non-millennial to describe a millennial in the workplace and it will probably be seconds before they mention beanbags, tech startups, flat whites and neediness. You might also remember this video (watched over 10million times on YouTube) in which motivational speaker Simon Sinek cheesed off an entire generation by saying millennials confound leadership, are entitled, have been over-rewarded, demand free food, can’t stand change and are not happy.
Now, you can’t swing a cat without hitting a millennial. Broadly defined as anyone born between 1981 and 1996 – meaning some are knocking on for 40 while others are fresh out of university – millennials make up a quarter of the global population; in the US, they are the largest generation in the workforce. They are bakers and teachers and delivery drivers, fishermen, lawyers, cobblers, waiters and chief executives. You name it, they do it. To stereotype the entire generation as lazy, narcissistic, entitled and weak employees simply isn’t fair.
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