The hippies were considered to be an altruistic generation. That is, until they shed the Patchouli, sold the Volkswagen, entered the workforce and, eventually, got a reputation as an acquisitive generation. Both perceptions are somewhat skewed, of course. Ditto for that human projection screen called the Millennials. Communicators and PR folks who manage Millennials, take note.
The rap on Millennials, or people born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, is that they are narcissists with an overwhelming sense of entitlement and an underwhelming work ethic.
We’ve all seen the videos on YouTube satirizing Millennials’ behavior in the workplace, with managers talking severe pains to praise their every (boneheaded) move and downplay their mistakes. After all, Millennials grew up in an environment where everybody wins, so the story goes.
However, PR pros and communicators know full well the power of perception. It can get away in the way of a realistic assessment of a situation. It can color your thoughts, often for the worse. It can prevent you from hiring someone who may turn out to be a terrific writer, videographer, or someone who enhances your crisis management plan.
With that in mind, we asked our audience: What’s the biggest misconception about millennials?
Here are 5 of them:
> Automatic assumption that [Millennials] are computer and social media literate. So many only know how to use Facebook!
> We're actually not as lazy as people depict. I'd argue that most of us work too hard to the point we run ourselves down.
> That they believe they should be given everything without working their way up. Not my experience
> That we are easily swayed as we our fickle minded.
> That we're all the same.
What’s been your experience working with Millennials and what would you add to the list?
Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @mpsjourno1