Millennials get a bad rap in the workplace. We’re branded as lazy, entitled, or both. But I disagree. More often than not, I feel like we’re the sleeper picks of the workforce. Give the right millennial a chance and they might blow the competition out of the water. Here’s why we actually make the best entrepreneurs:
1. Expectations are low. Like really low.
It’s sad but true. “A millennial walks in for a job interview” sounds like the setup to a really lame joke rather than the everyday grind of most college graduates. From the second we step foot into an office, most of us are typecast as lazy and entitled – a bad combo. But when the bar is set so low, it’s easy to exceed expectations. So maybe a lot of us are lazy. We are the generation of instant gratification after all. But for those of us with a strong work ethic and the right mindset, that laziness can translate into creative solutions and more efficient ways to get things done.
2. Student debt.
Sure, it’s debilitating and pulling down our whole economy because we can’t buy houses or make longterm financial investments like our parents did after college. But aside from the decades of loan repayment that lie ahead, it’s forced us to be innovative when it comes to making money. Millennials are the largest workforce this country has ever seen, which means landing a job out of college is even more competitive than it used to be. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a a few years to land that first gig. But loans have to be paid, and figuring out ways to do that has sparked a new kind of hustle. That drive to do whatever it takes to get the job done, to land that client, and to make the business succeed, is a trait every successful entrepreneur needs.
3. Having it all, or at least trying to.
“Having it all” is no longer just a sexist thing, it’s a millennial thing. It used to be a concept forced on working women – the myth that they were only complete human beings if they both killed it at work and had a happy home life as the perfect mom and wife. While society hasn’t really eased up on that pressure, millennials have found a way to broaden the scope. Now men and women are striving to “have it all” – the job, the Pinterest-ready home, the healthy lifestyle, the Instagram-worthy trip to Machu Picchu. That’s a tall order for anyone. And while it’s debatable how realistic “having it all” really is, it’s definitely a good source of motivation for anyone to get creative with how they make their money.
4. Social media.
Ah yes, the rise of millennial entrepreneurs and the simultaneous fall of humility. Social media has created a new wave of entrepreneurs and never-before-seen ways to make a living. Older millennials pioneered ways to make money from paid posts and sponsors, while younger millennials were born right into it. Making money from social media is still the Wild West in a lot of ways, but plenty of millennials have figured out how to play the game and monetize those thousands and thousands of followers. We’ve had to think outside the box and make it work to our advantage. Even for those not even remotely interested in monetizing their Instagram accounts, social media has made us all reluctant entrepreneurs in some form.