12 Frustrating Myths About Millennials (And How To Fix Them)

YEC (Young Entrepreneur Council) surveyed some folks about frustrating Millennial stigmas. Here are the responses.

What myth about being a millennial creates obstacles for you and how can you overcome it?

1.  We’re constantly distracted by our devices

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Technology is changing the way everyone lives. This isn’t only true for the younger generation. While we may be more tuned in to the latest gadgets, that doesn’t mean we are too distracted to focus on being productive. In fact, millennials are often very efficient at using technology to find solutions and to communicate more efficiently.

- Shawn Porat, Fortune Cookie Advertising

2.  We lack patience

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One big myth is this idea that all millennials want everything “right now.” I can see how older generations arrive at this perception, yet it’s not so simple. Millennials want opportunity, and we want to know that all the things we want are possible. You can overcome this by asking for opportunity, not outcomes. Don’t ask for the salary, ask how you can earn it. Then go do it.

- Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Technologies, Inc.

3.  We’re flighty

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One of my companies is staffed completely with folk under 32 years old. Our culture, despite our all-Millennial workforce, is sharply loyal, which seems to buck the notion that Millennials seek temporary two-year or less stints. Because we have a carved out 10-year plan that we constantly refine and discuss, our team seems focused on the collaborative mission rather than the dull day-to-day duties.

- Beck Bamberger, BAM Communications

4.  We’re not driven

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Most people think Millennials aren’t driven and want everything to come easy without working for it. The thing is that they are driven, just by certain things, such as work that gives back to the community or environment and is more meaningful to consumers. It’s not something we need to overcome, it’s something we need to embrace. It’s the drive to do more than work and to provide some good; the world needs that!

- Kyle Clayton, Better Creative

5.  We don’t learn anymore

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There’s a myth perpetuated that young people don’t read anymore. Reading is being defined as having a hardcover or paperback book, and sitting in a chair and reading it — as if this was the only way to learn anything. Today we get to learn directly from experts via blogs, podcasts, etc. We have incredible access to knowledge, expertise and experience via text, video and audio. And we use it.

- Adam Stillman, SparkReel

6.  We’re overstimulated

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Millennials are used to having immediate access to news and events via the Internet. But this can numb them to moments that would usually be exciting or stimulating. My suggestion to overcome this obstacle is to take time to appreciate the unique and original instead of following trending news.

- Kevin Xu, Mebo International

7.  We change jobs too frequently

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Interviewers, my team included on occasion, often view the short-tenured and numerous early jobs that many Millennials have had as a negative. Personally, I’d much prefer someone with varied experiences, who has tried a number of paths and then chooses to work for me, than someone who just knew what they wanted to do from childhood. Life experience outweighs industry experience every time.

- Brennan White, Cortex

8.  We’re entitled

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It’s easy to believe Millennials are arrogant and delusional. Their ambitions and needs often seem far too grandiose. But that stereotype ignores the fact that our youth are smarter and more talented than ever. There are plenty of Millennials that are worth their weight in gold, and it simply takes an open mind to encounter and engage those that would be exceptional players on your team.

- Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

9.  We’re all the same

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One of the biggest misconceptions about Millennials is that we are all the same. We are often judged as a generation and so miss out on the opportunity to prove ourselves as individuals.

- Jess Levin, Carats & Cake

10.  We lack a work ethic

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I have constantly run into the perception that I am from a “lazy generation,” which requires that I make sure timeliness is one of the most important factors in my company’s services. We want things done on time and beyond a client’s expectations.

- Jon Cline, Rokit SEO

11.  We’re lazy

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Millennials are often described as lazy. My generation can overcome this myth by continuing to work hard and accomplish large milestones in business. Our generation is known for startups run by aggressive youths. I hope that will continue to counteract the negative myth of laziness.

- Amanda L. Barbara, Pubslush

12.  We don’t respect authority or elders

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The myth is that Millennials don’t respect authority or elders. However, the reality is that Millennials respect authority, mentors, elders and loyal leaders. Millennials work hard and listen to employers who also show a mutual respect for them. Millennials can overcome this myth by continuing to always treat their employers and colleagues the way they would want to be treated.

- Jason Grill, JGrill Media | Sock 101

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Innovation » future of business