“Millennials are lazy. They don't like to work. They are self-centered, uncommitted and full of excuses."
Well first, that's just mean.
Even if a few individuals in our generation truly possess these characteristics, who made it ok to characterize all 80 million millennials with these character traits? It's almost impossible for 80 million individuals to all be lazy, self-centered, uncommitted and full of excuses. A few us, if not majority of us, have to be the opposite.
The true issue is that we're misunderstood. Yeah, I know that sounds so cliché, right? But we are. Because our strong opinions and values appear abnormal from previous generations, our values are deemed flawed, wrong and faulty. When in actuality, we have the same values older generations wanted deep inside but never spoke up about and we just so happen to be in the era of technology and progression where the things that we all desire can be fulfilled.
One of those values is work-life balance, or as new age calls it: work-life blend. We understand that work is a major chunk of our lives, but we also know that it is only one piece to the puzzle. A study in Harvard Business Review found that integrating our work and personal lives may even stir more productivity. But nonetheless, here's why we desperately need a balance between work & life:
Many millennials grew up in single or two-parent households where work consumed the lives of our parents. We watched our parents wake up early to go to work, only to see them come home late from a long day of work. Often times, work caused our parents to pick us up late from school. It made them absent from our extracurricular activities and made them less attentive to our own young passions and pursuits. Though we ended up becoming lovely adults with amazing relationships with our parents, we secretly vowed to do better if we can. And, do better is what we shall do. We would rather not miss out on baseball games and swimming competitions, we would like to be able to drop in during our kids' lunchtimes and surprise them every now and then, and we desire the flexibility to do so.
Our College Experience
Many of us who attended college took on 16 – or even 18 – hours within one semester. We experienced the stress of having to study and take four tests within 3 days. We mastered attending classes throughout the day, while studying into the wee hours of the night. We managed to come out on top with passing grades, and even A's for the luckiest ones among us. On top of that, we still had a thriving social life. We made time for friends and relaxation, and did it all successfully. And though, college is nothing like the workplace – whatsoever, the superpower within us still believes we're capable of enjoying both work and our social lives.
You Think It's Impossible
With the amount of millennial entrepreneurs, it is evident that we thrive on the idea of impossible. You tell us that we can't do it, we'll show you we will. We love to prove others wrong, maybe it is the narcissist within us. Nonetheless, we've watched older generations including our parents, family members and mentors struggle with balancing work and life outside of it. We've seen our supervisors choose work over family time and we refuse to believe that's the only option. So, we'll work hard. Work hard to be successful and work hard to enjoy the fullness of life, just to show you that during all those years you could've done the same.
*Originally posted on employeeredefined.com
Do you crave work-life balance? What are some things that you do to ensure you obtain it? Let us know in the comments below!
Adunola Adeshola was the girl always searching for jobs in her free time and having weekly mini meltdowns about her career. Now, she is the founder of employeeREDEFINED and she teaches driven, purpose-minded millennials how to get more out of their careers and lives. Visit employeeREDEFINED.com for more tips and advice on how to get unstuck in your career and life.