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Millennials are lazy.”

“They expect more while doing less.”

Millennial misconceptions and the modern work martyr

One defining characteristic parroted across many mediums about the newest generation to enter the workforce: the millennial generation.

“A complete generation of people has been spoiled by participation trophies into more results with less effort”.

This misconception has propagated through media like wildfire.

The mere mention of millennials springs forth images of selfie-snapping throngs in search of brunch rather than a fulfilling career. 

The truth couldn’t be further from that misconception, however.

The generation of “martyrdom”

A new study conducted by Project: Time Off, an organisation founded by the U.S. Travel Association, has concluded that millennials are actually more prone to sacrificing their personal lives in favour of their work.

The study described the average millennial as belonging to a new generation of “work martyrs“.

Those who regularly put everything behind the demands of their careers due to fears of appearing undedicated to their employer or company.

An estimated 48% of millennials within the workforce described themselves as work martyrs or wishing to be seen as “martyrs” by their superiors.

This number is a significant increase from reported numbers of self-identifying “martyrs” from previous generations of Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers. Both reporting numbers of 39% and 32% respectively.

How can a generation be so clearly mislabeled then?

Summing up the new wave of young adults entering the workforce as privileged, self-obsessed, and lazy has become the default description employed by older generations.

They want to easily categorize a varied and diverse subsection of the populace.

This is at no fault to those who propagate the misconception and is certainly not an attribute unique to either generation.

For a long time, we have been distinguishing people by the grouping of years they were born into.

 In this context, previous generations have pushed unfair and overly generalized titles onto the subsequent generation after them.

In the most often used term to describe millennials, the headline-grabbing the title  “Me Me Me Generation” is actually not a new term.

Journalist Tom Wolfe, who published his piece The Me Generation in Time”, first described the “Me Generation” in 1964.

The piece focused on the then self-obsessed youth of its time, the baby boomers.

Millennials are sacrificing vacations at higher rates than previous generations

The entire generation is coping with difficult circumstances. On one hand, they have to face downturn of an economy.

On the other hand, they are entering the workforce at a time when well-paying positions are quite scarce.

More now than ever, the outcome of finding a fulfilling career with benefits is often preceded by long and difficult job searches.

To not talk about the many hours spent working in less than acceptable employment.

So once millennials have found a position offering vacation and paid leave, they are less willing to take the time off.

This might due to social pressures from other millennials as well as fears of being replaced. 

They know that there are many equally capable and intelligent young adults willing to take their position.

This produces a feeling of guilt among the millennials forcing them to relinquish their paid leave.

According to Travel and Leisure, the millennial generation is facing incredible debts from education.

This, combined with this “vacation shame” has left an entire generation less willing to take time off during the workweek for themselves, let alone significant leave for perhaps an International Vacation.

An overworked and misunderstood generation

It is easy to completely sum up an entire generation of people from diverse backgrounds as self-obsessed, lazy and entitled.

But it doesn’t accurately reflect the true nature of the new iteration of a “Me Generation”.

Perhaps instead of “Me Me Me” a more accurate title would be the “Martyr Me Generation”.

What do you think about the new Me Generation? Are millennials really what the previous generations think they are? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.


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