Millenials are today’s corporate counterculture

There have been a lot of comparisons lately of the millennial generation to the hippie generation. Some of these comparisons are spot on and others are a stretch in terms of similarity.

First of all it’s important to know that the millennial generation is defined as persons reaching adulthood at the turn of the millennia. In other words, 60 percent of the people who are currently in college are not millennials.

Those born between 1981 and 1994 are loosely defined as Generation Y or the Millennial Generation. Common put-downs include being lazy, debt-ridden and programmed for instant gratification. They are portrayed as demanding and unrealistic in their career aspirations. Even “Internet-addicted” and “lonely” have been added to the list.

How can you possibly apply all of those stereotypes to a group that houses both a 34-year-old and a 20-year-old? That’s a 14-year gap. Those two people are in completely different places in their personal and professional lives.

I don’t feel that I’ve been alive long enough to be labeled and categorized for my “unrealistic career aspirations” when I haven’t even graduated college yet. I’m sure that when I start my professional life I will have plenty of faults to label, but I don’t want to be blamed for a group that is 13 years my senior.

Elitedaily.com does the most radical comparison I’ve read thus far. I agree in terms of fashion there is definitely a resurgence of daisies in our hair, bell-shaped sleeves and we brought tie-dye back in the early 2000s. I recently saw a photo of my grandparents on their wedding day and I saw my grandma with long black hair down to her waist just like I have. However, my grandpa’s baby blue tux will probably never come back into fashion.

Coachella is not nor ever will it be the spontaneous magnitude of Woodstock.

With the topic of legalization in the air, it’s indisputable that our recreation habits certainly mirror that of the 1960s and The Beatles are still very popular.

Our civil rights movement focused on equal rights for same sex couples and we also lived through a war started by our parents. It’s clear to see that history has cycled back to the ‘60s.

Here is where we differ. That generation was much more passionate about free love and social equality than the millennials. Looking at what we’ve done, our biggest event may have been Occupy Wall Street, which was sparked by a desire for social and economic equality worldwide.

To illustrate how far removed I am from from the elders of our generation, on Sept. 17, 2011, I was in Times Square when I saw the Naked Cowboy walk past with hundreds of other protestrrs. It wasn’t until I got back from NYC that I knew what was happening. I was just there to see “Wicked.”

These millennials are corporate counterculture. We want a economic system that is sustainable and careers that are justly paid and accessible to all persons. The hippie generation told their children they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up. The millennials found out after the recession that that is just not true.

Millennials seek careers with a purpose. We want to be treated with respect and have an impact on the organization that we work for. We balance both the creativity of the hippies with the knowledge of experience from Generation X. Please, stop labeling millennials as “Internet-addicted” and “unrealistic” because in truth, the world has no idea of what this generation’s revolution will be.

 

BRIANNA WOODS

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