In a provocative cover story, “The Me Me Me Generation,” TIME’s Joel Stein gives a great argument why the Millennial Generation will “save us all.”
Millennials, roughly those born from 1980 — 2000, are often criticised as lazy and entitled. While that may hold true to some extent, millennials are also the most adaptable, creative generation in history.
Today’s 80 million millennials are coming of age in the aftershocks of the Great Recession, amidst technological changes and globalization that will forever change how we live and work. Job security is a thing of the past, and the education system isn’t delivering in the way that it should.
With so much unpredictability, this generation has learned to adapt and iterate in ways their parents never could have imagined — even if they are living in their parents’ basements.
Below are five key arguments from Stein about why millennials will save us all:
They believe they can change the world
The millennials may be a little narcissistic, but they’re so self-confident, they believe they can change the world.
“They’re so convinced of their own greatness,” Stein writes, “that the National Study of Youth and Religion found the guiding morality of 60% of millennials in any situation is that they’ll just be able to feel what’s right.”
They don’t believe in hierarchy
Millennials have no problem skipping over rungs of bureaucracy, or creating an entirely new system so they can avoid it completely.
“They are the most threatening and exciting generation since the baby boomers brought about social revolution, not because they’re trying to take over the Establishment but because they’re growing up without one,” Stein writes.
They’re resourceful and adaptable
Today’s young people know that the Great Recession, technology and globalization has changed the future of work forever. And they’re adapting. “What idiot would try to work her way up at a company when she’s going to have an average of seven jobs before age 26?” asks Stein. They want to have a sense of mission Millennials don’t care about money as much as they care about working with a sense of purpose. This is a huge game changer. Especially since work is now 24/7 vs. 9-5, young people want to at least find value in what they do. “Dan Satterthwaite, who runs the studio’s human-relations department and has been in the field for about 23 years, says Maslow’s hierarchy of needs makes it clear that a company can’t just provide money anymore but also has to deliver self-actualization.” They think before they act Instead of just blindly accepting what’s in front of them, young people carefully consider their choices. Stein writes that “Gary Stiteler, who has been an Army recruiter for about 15 years, is otherwise more impressed with millennials than any other group he’s worked with. ‘The generation that we enlisted when I first started recruiting was sort of do, do, do. This generation is think, think about it before you do it,’ he says. ‘This generation is three to four steps ahead. They’re coming in saying, ‘I want to do this, then when I’m done with this, I want to do this.'”Ultimately, millennials believe that they deserve something better, and they’re not afraid to create it themselves — which is why they’re the “most threatening and exciting generation,” ever.
Read the full story at TIME here.
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