A “millennial” is someone who’s just about grown up now. Anyone born after 1980 who is old enough to read and understand this piece may be included in the curious group. Following the Gen X’ers born in the 1960s and 70s, we Millennials have gotten a bad rap for being a generation of educated, but lazy individuals who care more about legalizing marijuana and vacation time than putting in billable hours and settling down.
And this is not merely an outsider’s perspective. According to a Pew Research Center study on U.S. Politics and Policy, Millennials “stand out in their willingness to ascribe negative stereotypes to their own generation: 59% say the term “self-absorbed” describes their generation, compared with 30% among Gen Xers, 20% of Boomers and just 7% of Silents.” We grew up with technology at our fingertips and we were born into a "fast food nation." These concepts go hand in hand. We want results and we want them NOW. Patience for others is not a virtue of the IGeneration, but this doesn’t mean we’re a bunch of inconsiderate, greedy bums. It simply means we are driven on our own terms to achieve our unique definition of success, to the dismay of many of our Baby Boomer parents.
According to a report issued by The White House in 2015, “quality of life appears to be a focus of this generation: Millennials value staying close to family and friends, having free time for recreation, and working in creative jobs. However, they also want to make a positive social impact on their own children and communities, as well as on society as a whole.” While previous generations focused on establishing solid careers in the hopes of providing materially for their children, Millennials are more interested in creating a healthy work-life balance, even if it means bringing home less bacon.
Take, for example, the market of freelancing. There have always been contract workers, but now, freelancers have taken a prominent seat on the employment scene. Websites like upwork.com connect individuals from all over the globe across every imaginable industry. People can work as few or as many hours as they like, while negotiating rates, and everything is done virtually. Freelancing or working as a contract employee allows Millennials the freedom to maintain a healthy quality of life, while still staying connected to their areas of expertise, on their schedules.
Welcome to the future.
Lawyer and legal writer, Julie worked primarily in real estate law before focusing her career on the social media and marketing aspects of the legal industry.