Career Advice for Twenty-Somethings (Part Two): The Millennials

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About Marcia Brom Smith
Attorney and Independent Blogger based in Des Moines, Iowa.

7 Responses to Career Advice for Twenty-Somethings (Part Two): The Millennials

  1. Carl says:

    I’ve thought about this post a lot. Some of it I agree with, and some of it I hope is true but don’t have any reason to believe. It is definitely true that the relationship between the generation coming of age and its parents is very different from when I grew up in the so-called “Generation Gap,” when you couldn’t trust anyone over thirty and the squares had nothing to teach. It was, of course, ridiculous, but the split was very real. Now it certainly does seem that kids think their parents have something to teach them, which is a bit of an interesting irony in relation to your post, since the working world they’re entering has changed massively from the one many of us experienced.

    They have to value education, because it’s become the absolute yardstick by which people are measured in our corporate culture. In my own job searches, it doesn’t matter what I have done or accomplished – if I don’t have the specific academic credential that has been set up as the desired attribute, I can’t get past the electronic gatekeepers to even apply. In my daughter’s chosen field, she may as well plan on going straight through for her master’s because she’ll have to get it eventually or be passed over by the people who have decided that hiring can be done through algorithm. This is not a good thing.

    I hope it’s true that they are more tolerant of diversity, but I just don’t know that that’s true. I grew up behind the civil rights movement, and while there has been a tremendous amount of improvement, I don’t see that racism has disappeared or necessarily even diminished all that much. I continue to be shocked by the things I hear from people my age and younger, and am especially shocked by their assumption that someone who shares their skin color must share their attitudes. I hope you’re right, but the things I hear don’t suggest that the young generation is immune to prejudice.

    As for tattoos, I’m going to continue to be old-fashioned. Our kids laugh at the gigantic glasses we all wore in our high school and college photos, and I remind them that glasses can be changed — tattoos are a permanent stupidity.

  2. Marcia Brom Smith says:

    Thinking is good. This post is about what the Pew Research Center found in its study, and my own observations. I am pretty sure all of it is subject to debate.

  3. Gman says:

    I think a lot of the diversity issue may be as subject to geography as demographics. In places like Los Angeles, immense diversity was a given. In the Finger Lakes, diversity meant somebody had a different colored pickup truck.

    Heck, back when I was in school, my friends from eastern NC would come up to the Hudson Valley and be bowled over by all the exotic Italian and Jewish girls in the clubs we’d haunt. That was a while back, granted, and the overall trend is a more widespread diversity, but I don’t think it’s a given that a twenty-something in flyover land is as tolerant of diversity as one in Brooklyn or Santa Monica.

    • Marcia Brom Smith says:

      Probably not. The Pew Research Study was designed to compare the attiitudes of Millennials at ages 18 to 28 to those of Gen Xers and Boomers at the same age (if available) or currently, when relevant. I think it is fair to say that this generation is more likely to be exposed to and therefore is more tolerant of people who are different than we were at this age.

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