Last month, I took an opportunity to speak in front of a hall of business professionals. This event was designed for audience members to learn about young people and their role within the workforce. My purpose at this event was to advocate and represent the ideals of the millennial generation. That’s over 75 million individuals.
I was born in 1994. I study Communication Theory and Broadcasting at a New Hampshire university. I’ve held a variety of jobs and internships since I was 13. The first decade of my life was spent outdoors. The second decade was embraced with an iPod in my hand.
This was the first speaking gig that I’ve had in a professional setting. I felt excited to help stimulate a conversation. Far too often I overhear people talking about a certain set of flaws, which are possessed solely by millennials. You know these claims. “Millennials are lazy, entitled, narcissistic, and unreliable”. So, people say these things but obviously it doesn’t apply to every individual born after 1980. That would suggest a pretty bleak future.
While I began delivering my thoughts, I could tell that these people were genuinely interested in what I had to say. I don’t think that the ideas I chose to vocalize that day were significant. I’m saying that I could see true engagement with the audience. What I saw was mutual misconceptions being broken and corrected.
Here’s some of the questions I was asked:
A person’s aspirations are truly personal and will reflect other aspects of their life. However, I do think there is a trend for young people to desire new forms of happiness. For one, there is a ongoing shift away from traditional consumerism. If people do not fixate on physical ownership, they can learn to find enlightenment elsewhere. Personally, I do not have dreams of financial wealth. I see myself living comfortably with a garden, family, and a little extra time to go fishing.
I have only heard the ‘trophy’ concept a few times. My understanding of this belief is that the people my age need constant praise for a job well done. This is a misconception. 15 years of public school has taught me to follow directions, ask for help, and expect feedback. Characteristics of this system are likely to carry over. When I am working a new job, I want to make sure I am performing adequately. I also find comfort in knowing that my work is beneficial to the company. I can only improve if I know where my weaknesses lie.
As an Eagle Scout I was fortunate enough to be exposed to leadership at a young age through scouting. Through community service and winter camping expeditions, I learned that community is at the core of leadership. A leader is great when they can empathize, communicate and inspire a group. Government leadership will not be the same in the future. Online, everyone holds the same hierarchical potential. In the modern world, one person cannot effectively represent the ideas of a whole nation.
Liam Ouellette Media Consultant | Millennial Expert | Inbound Marketing for