Last week we heard from President of Ypulse and Gen Xer, Dan Coates on what it’s really like to work with Millennials. Today, in rebuttal fashion our own Youth Advisory Board member Danielle Gizzo, 24, takes us to the flip side by telling us whats it’s like to be a working Millennial and the sterotypes she has experienced along the way.
MY LIFE AS A WORKING MILLENNIAL
We were raised in a world where attending college was no longer an option, but the norm.
Taught that the degree was imperative for landing the job, we spent four years and countless dollars for what we believed would be the investment of a lifetime. “The degree will pay for itself,” I remember being told, but in today’s recession, how much of that still holds true?
Although we secured multiple internships to gain ‘real world’ experience–crossing our fingers that all of those Iced Skinny Mocha Lattes we were sent out for would get us an offer– and obtained a degree from a 4-year institution, that hasn’t seemed to be enough. The reality of it all is that we still have a 13.1% unemployment rate among the millennial generation today; which, according to a recent Huffington Post article, is approximately 5% more than the national average.
For those who were able to get ahead of curve, it wasn’t exactly the smoothest ride either. I for one, experienced both sides of the spectrum. At age 22, I managed to get hired, laid off, and collect unemployment from a job before some of my friends had even obtained one! While I too joined the unemployment statistic of my generation, I was fortunate in that it was only for a short time, and quickly moved on to where I work today.
So the toughest part is over and you can breathe a sigh of relief, right? Think again.
Being a millennial in the workplace has been an experience in itself. We can have the most professional mindset and positive work ethic, yet still obtain the automatic stigma as soon as we walk through the door of being a ‘typical millennial’: the one who is said to lack interpersonal communication skills, who constantly hits the refresh button on their newsfeed (while responding to office emails), and has a strong sense of entitlement.
This has been an uphill battle I still find myself fighting; but I have turned the negative connotations into motivation to disprove these theories.
Yes, I will admit, I am the tech savvy multi-tasker who prefers to be constantly connected. However, I am also a self-starter who requests feedback from others in order to enhance processes within my organization while also developing myself. It’s these positive stereotypes of millennials that will be an asset to the workplace in the long term, as we transition into a world where organizations are focusing more on collaborative efforts, and less on the TPS reports.
So with that, let the workplace revolution begin.
DANIELLE GIZZO, HOBOKEN, NJ, AGE: 24
Danielle is an innovative marketing communications professional who earned her B.S. in Advertising and Graphic Design from Rider University. This New Jersey native has since been learning the ropes of the corporate retail world through her experience with Macy’s Merchandising Group. Learn more about Danielle by following her on Twitter @Danielle_Gizzo.