Rein4ce’s first millennial employee leaps to the defence of her generation.
If I were to say millennials to you what would your first thought be? Annoying, lazy, boring, stupid, entitled…? As a millennial, I Googled it and the above list was not far off!
I decided to consider this matter in more detail, and began to wade my way through article upon article attacking my generation. I do not consider myself to be lazy, entitled, boring, or stupid – my university degree and my full-time fledgling career in PR show my dedication and hard work.
Criticisms have been flung at millennials for expecting to walk into cushy jobs and run before they can walk at work, all while earning a fortune. I was shocked at the vitriol of many of the articles, which were an attack on my age group.
Having not been aware of how strongly some people viewed my generation I asked the rein4ce team what they have heard about working with millennials.
The story that sticks out the most is from rein4ce boss lady Mairi Mallon (aka @reinsurancegirl). She recalls a story of speaking to the head of a big accountancy firm in Bermuda about millennials. He said: “F**king millennials, I hate them. They come to the island, get into work at 8am, finish at 7pm and don’t go out at all. They save all their money for a house back home – wherever that may be. What is the point being in a tropical paradise and not having fun? When we got here, we worked hard and played hard. Not this lot.”
Hang on a minute! It’s you lot who created an environment where it is near impossible to get a job without some form of a degree or qualification. As for the house comment – if I had a pound for every time a baby boomer criticised my generation, I’d be able to afford my own place in an economy they helped to ruin.
Technology and the way we use it is often thrown in our face. Yes, we need to look up from our smart phones more often, but that technology was developed by baby boomers and generation X – the very people who are now whinging at us, while at the same time, being happy to take advantage of our ease with modern communications.
How many times have you seen a person over 50 calling for a teenager to help them with their new phone. In our office, I keep being asked “technology questions” … but I’ll let you into a secret, I just google it. There’s a YouTube video for everything these days (and I look very clever indeed for knowing the answer)!
In all seriousness, as millennials, we are naturally accustomed to the interconnectivity and immediacy of technological devices and rather than shunning that difference surely we should embrace and encourage it. As a generation, we bring something to the workplace that has never been there before, just as generations have done before us.
In an article by Vertafore it said that by 2018 one quarter of the insurance industry will be retired and by 2020 there will be 400,000 jobs available. With a huge sweep of retirement and loss of knowledge heading our way the industry must stop considering ‘millennials’ a dirty word, and accept the fact that we are here to stay and that by working together we can help advance the industry in which we work – or fear extinction!