I was born in 1987 and am considered a millennial. But what’s a millennial? We are called millennials, generation Y, generation net and many other names. In essence, these are all different names used for the same demographic of people. Millennials are born between the early 80’s and late 90’s/early 2000’s. Born in a period where technology and social media took over, millennials are considered to be quite tech-savvy. There are many discussions about the characteristics of a millennial and the benefits or disadvantages of them. As with everything else, there are pros and cons of being a millennial. Below are the ones that I definitely recognize.
Pros of being a millennial:
- Embrace diversity. Millennials grew up in a time where change was constant and normal. Things such as, same-sex marriages and parents from different cultural backgrounds became a norm. For us this means that we are the most diverse generation yet to exist. Because of this, millennials don’t shy away from being different, we embrace it.
- Confident. Our parents, teachers, and any adult around us regularly told us: “you can be whatever you want to be”. This gave us a sense of confidence that is now very obvious in our behavior. We are go-getters and don’t let hurdles stop us from doing what we want. Having an optimistic mind-set is a common result of this.
- Conscious. Whether it may be on social, environmental, health, economic or political topics, millennials are quite conscious. Conscious about what happens around us and what impact our actions might have. This entails a high sense of duty to on-board others to also become conscious.
- Global citizens. Millennials usually consider themselves to be global citizens and can feel at home anywhere in the world. Often feeling more concerned about global issues, we are willing to act towards making the world a better place.
- Entrepreneurial. With the mindset that “we can do anything we want”, we realized that being an entrepreneur can teach us more than working a 9-to-5 job. Growing up we saw many startups rising and young innovators find their place in the world. This has changed how we approached careers. We don’t shy away from starting our own companies, even if we might fail.
Cons of being a millennial:
- Confident. The same confidence that can be considered a pro, is also a con. This confidence often times spills over into a feeling of entitlement and can even become narcissistic.
- Less financially stable. Millennials usually jump from one job to another, because we always want something new and better. These high expectations can become our downfall and cause us to be less financially stable than our parents.
- Global citizens. Because millennials consider themselves to be global citizens, their sense of belonging somewhere disappears. We don’t feel patriotism as much as our parents do and we’re less politically affiliated. More often than not we end up asking ourselves where do we really belong.
- Impatient & lazy. Nothing can happen quick enough for millennials. We grew up with technology where everything is at our fingertips. It becomes quite frustrating when we don’t get what we want when we want it. Next to this, most things have been handed to us on a “silver spoon”. This makes us feel entitled to get what we want without putting in much effort.
- Social media exposure. There is this constant need for attention among millennials which leads us to overshare our lives on social media. Gone are the moments that we feel present and enjoy our surroundings. This leaves us open to objectifying, low self-esteem and social illiteracy.
Everyone has their own opinion about the pros and cons of being a millennial. I could write endlessly about all the discussions surrounding our generation. Whether I agree with all the notions is a different thing. But being a millennial isn’t a good or bad thing. In the end, it’s what you decide to make out of your life. Regardless which generation you are.