Millennials: A Bad Rep

Whew! I just missed the cut.  Born in 1980, I am undeniably a Gen Xer, and I can’t say I mind it.  Let’s be honest, millennials (folks born between 1981 and 1996 as defined by the Pew Research Center) get a bad rep. 

Millennials get stereotyped as being entitled and needy of instant gratification, while not wanting to be told what to do.  Studies show that in the workplace, this highly educated generation, don’t seem to think much of the boomer’s emphasis on loyalty, work ethic and steady career path, preferring a flatter corporate culture and focusing on work-life balance. Time magazine ran a cover story titled Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation, while psychologist Jean Twenge wrote the book Generation Me:  Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled – and More Miserable Than Ever Before.

But, is it all bad? This younger generation has a thing or two to teach us.

As Frank Sorrentino put so eloquently in his Forbes Magazine article Millennials: More than An Audience Segment – It’s A Mindset, millennials have an incredible ability to “adapt and harness the power of our changing technological world.”  What Sorrentino is getting to is that we, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, are learning from the millennial generation to turn to our mobile devices for an instant answer, and in so doing the millennial mindset is disrupting – for the better – how we live our lives, pushing industry to make life easier.  In other words, this generation that we are so quick to dismiss as “me me me” is teaching us old fogies a thing or two about demanding better quality services and, in so doing, pushing industry to deliver.

What’s more, millennials are proving to be exceptionally civic-minded.  In 2010, Karen Myers and Kamyab Sadaghiani published the article Millennials in the Workplace: A Communication Perspective on Millennials’ Organizational Relationship and Performance in the Journal of Business and Psychology arguing that, because of millennials, we see an increase in participation in the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, with volunteering being at all-time highs.

Trust.  Teamwork. Compassion.  These are the values that define Ventura Law.  Since 1957, Ventura Law has employed what the millennial mindset is now teaching the world:  the importance of high-quality customer service, quick response to our clients’ needs, and a direct relationship between client and attorney that encourages honest conversations.  We continue to optimize our practice through the use of technology, employing tools like Skype and DocuSign to promote the attorney-client relationship. And just as importantly, our firm as a whole, and our attorneys and staff individually make it an important part of our practice to give back to the community through charitable contributions and volunteerism.

By Attorney Sabrina Victor