Being in the M generation (for Millennial), sometimes I wonder what we’re thinking.
I know I preach a lot about asking for more money and being tougher in negotiating, but I only mean it if you actually deserve it.
Just read these quotes, and you’ll be shaking your head at my generation the way I am:
” Only at the agency a few months upon graduation, a young lady walked into my office and told me her dad thought that she was underpaid,” an anonymous agency exec told Digiday. “I replied that her dad should call me so that we could discuss the matter. He never called.”
Obviously we’re not ALL like that, but I wonder if we know the difference between simply asking for more money because people [read: your parents] keep telling you that you’re underpaid if you don’t make $100,000 a year, or asking for a raise to a fair salary because you actually did do an outstanding job compared to your peers, not just in your head.
Just because you’re asking for it, it doesn’t mean you should get it.
Do it when it is realistic and if you are genuinely being underpaid compared to fair market value for your skills, not just for the sake of trying to score a deal.
Maybe Helicopter Parents have told M-kids all of their lives how special they are, and say inane, meaningless words of encouragement to keep surviving like:
You managed not to eat all the glue in the glue bottle this time.
I AM SO PROUD OF YOU.
You’re SO special and smart. Mommy loves her little angel.”
All humans are inherently lazy to some extent
We like shortcuts. We like the easy way out to the big jackpot at the end of the rainbow. Saving isn’t fun! Buying the winning lottery ticket is, however.
Children (as they are tiny little humans) are inherently lazy too.
Yes, I am calling it out right here — even children do lousy jobs at things they know they can be better at.
“Good Job” is the automatic compliment that comes out of their mouth, even though they’ve done a lousy job.
My youngest nephew dumps beans on the floor that he’s playing with, makes a huge mess, and is told he is doing a “Good Job”. (For WHAT exactly!?)
My niece in Grade 3 can barely read a baby book, constantly misspells and takes easy shortcuts on words like “for” with the number “4”, or “too” with the number “2”, and she’s told she is doing a “Good Job”.
Literally: “I went 2 the 3 and find a coconut 4 U.“
I guess it’s a better job than last year, when she couldn’t even really read to begin with.
They’ve basically outsmarted their parents into giving them cookies and money for putting in the slightest bit of effort.
Why the heck would they need to try harder?
Personal satisfaction? General desire to succeed and be competitive?
Are you kidding me?! They get cookies for being a special snowflake.
If those are their references for a standard of excellence, and whether they are my family or not, I am objective enough to say that I have no doubt that they will end up being sorely disappointed when reality starts to encroach into their perfect, “Good Job” world, and things are not as rosy as before.
“You do have to speak to them a little bit like a therapist on television might speak to a patient,” Marian Salzman.
“You can’t be harsh. You cannot tell them you’re disappointed in them. You can’t really ask them to live and breathe the company. Because they’re living and breathing themselves and that keeps them very busy.”
(In case you’re wondering, I keep my mouth shut and stay out of trying to lecture anyone directly on their parenting skills. I am not going to get into a fight when they haven’t asked for advice, don’t really give a damn about my advice, and think I don’t know anything about kids because I’m a new parent.
As I agree with all of the above statements, all I can say is that I see all the warning signs for dark times ahead, having been in school and having grown up with these kinds of children.)
“Everyone’s a winner!”
Since we don’t seem to want to set any kind of standard because we think they don’t really understand what any of this means, they learn that they can put in a barely passing effort and come out a superstar.
So at the end of the day, we’re left with a whole generation in their 20s who can’t figure out why they aren’t being given $10,000 raises a year for doing jack squat.
With their parents, they were being praised for breathing.
See, employers not going to pat anyone on the back and encourage anyone to keep going even though they’re doing a lousy, half-assed job.
To put it into perspective, if you got a 60% on your math test because you decided to study a little this time, when in the past you scored only 50%, your Helicopter Parent(s) may have showered you with praise on your “achievement”. Maybe you got money out of it, or you finally got that bike you’ve been hounding your parents for.
All of that? Is utter crap.
In the real world, anything below a 90% (okay maybe 80%) is still a half-assed job, and you’re not going to get praised for your (frankly), lousy results.
I really hate it when parents lie to their kids and say: EVERYONE’S A WINNER!, because they’re just setting them up for a world of filled with failure and disappointment.
You actually have to do something worthwhile to deserve the money
I’m not saying my generation is the worst, I’m sure we have a whole bunch of different types of apples lying around in each generation, but my M generation has been shaped by their Helicopter Parents who have done everything but hand-feed us well into adulthood.
I have a friend who didn’t know how to do laundry until she moved out into her own apartment at 28, or how about the stories I have of people who have no idea how to make a basic meal, and think that frying an egg (in its shell) in a pan, is how you hard boil it.
If that didn’t make you cry out in disbelief, I have more for you to twist your head around.
How about people who think that because they didn’t use the home, wired telephone that month to make ANY calls, they shouldn’t have to pay the telephone company anything?
(By the way, that’s called a “payphone”, a real rarity these days, and I’ve been told it costs $0.50 a call now.)
Or how about asking for things that you think you’re entitled to, but aren’t?
…one of our new hires sent me an email requesting dual monitors and that one of them be a large one.
I simply forwarded the email to that girl’s manager suggesting that she come check out my dinky 15-inch monitor that I’m rocking.”
We don’t all have to act the same way, you know
I agree that the M generation is a bit more freestyle, less concerned about doing traditional things like getting married, buying a house, paying a mortgage for 30 years, buying a car, and having 2.5 kids with a white picket fence, but do we all have to pretend to be wanderers to fit in with the rest of the folks in our generation?
“Although he’s [Andrew Leavitt, 26] is happier at CreativeFeed, it appears as if he’s already planning his next move. “I mean, what kind of millennial would work for the same company their whole life?”
Switching jobs is a good idea if you haven’t found what you love to do, but if you find something you enjoy doing, why would you leave?
Be traditional. Buck the grain. Stay at your job. Work your way up. Companies need leaders too, you know.
These are all things I think about when I encounter (some) of my own generation. It’s no wonder I always felt 10 – 15 years older, even as a kid.
No wait, I take it all back.
Everyone, keep doing what you’re doing.
You’re just going to make the ones who work hard, look a lot better in comparison.
Update: Why Lucy is Unhappy is the perfect article to describe all of the above.