The Guilty Millennial

By Tru Pettigrew | Small Business

The Guilty Millennial image the guilty millennialThe Guilty Millennial

Calling all stars… calling all millennial stars! Be on the look out for lazy, narcissistic, self-centered, sense of entitlement millennials! They’re wanted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia on charges of reinforcing negative stereotypes. This is obviously not a real situation, but maybe it should be.

The reality is that we’re all guilty of something. This particular post is in reference to those members of the millennial generation that reinforce the negative millennial stereotypes that have been listed above. There are a few other stereotypes floating around out there but the four listed above along with “seeking instant gratification” are among the top ones that we all usually hear.

Stereotypes are obviously offensive, inappropriate and shouldn’t be used, but they exist. Because they exist, we unfortunately have to deal with them whether we like it or not.

We should also recognize that stereotypes don’t come out of nowhere. Stereotypes are typically born out of shared commonalities and/or behaviors of a specific group or types of individuals. These behaviors usually have something to do with cultural, generational, environmental or other major behavioral shaping events and influences.

In the case of millennials, there are clearly generational shaping events that have had a universal influence on how this generation sees and approaches things that is different from its older generation counterparts. Unfortunately, some of the generational differences have led to sweeping negative stereotypes of the entire millennial generation.

What’s interesting is we all know that people are individuals and you can’t and shouldn’t judge an entire group of people by the actions and/or behaviors of a few, but people do it anyway. Furthermore, we shouldn’t automatically define someone as bad or negative just because they may approach things or see things differently.

The reality is, the world is not the way that it should be, it’s the way that it is.

Based on that, there are people that will allow the behavior of a few bad apples to impact how they see you. Unfortunately there are lazy, narcissistic, self-centered millennials that make it bad for the rest. They may have screwed up on a job or in an interview and caused an employer to assume you are no different. They are the guilty millennials! There are even times when millennial stars that want to shine can inadvertently become guilty millennials also. This happens when you are in a position that does not meet the intersection point of your gifts and your passions. When this happens you just don’t shine because you simply aren’t good enough or care enough for that particular job. You then reinforce the negative stereotype without even intending to. Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t be the guilty millennial!

Here is a checklist that I use to determine if what I am doing will put me in the best position to win. I use my 5 C’s of leadership criteria as a checks and balances to make sure I’m not being guilty. Use these same criteria for yourself and stay out of millennial jail.

  1. Competent – Is this something that I’m good at? Does it align with my gifts?
  2. Confident – Do I believe in myself and my abilities enough to perform at a high level based on what’s expected of me?
  3. Commitment – Can I dedicate myself to this based on the mission, vision and values that are in place
  4. Consistent – Am I willing and able to show up everyday physically and mentally and give 100%?
  5. Concern – Do I care? Am I passionate about what I will be doing and the overall vision that I’ll be contributing to?

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