Dear First Gen,
On December 21, @DeltaProtectiveServices posted a video to Facebook of their interview with @Simon Sinek, who presented on the challenge of working with millennials. After watching this video, I posted three reasons I didn't think it fully described first-generation professionals.
I will elaborate on my facebook post that addressed Sinek's comment on the first factor that describes Millennials. Sinek defines millennials as individuals born in 1985 and up, and says that they are difficult to manage at work, act entitled, are self-interested, lazy, and unfocused. Yet he also points out that they are motivated by wanting to work for purpose or make an impact.
He credits "failed parenting strategies" for millennials being challenging to work with.
Statement: "Told special, all the time".
Response: We are bred to believe we are special but not in the manner to make us feel entitled (or an amazing gift to the world). Our parents tell us that we have the tools and knowledge to learn and develop into the adults that will allow us to accomplish and reach our dreams. We are elevated to believe that we have the capability to succeed so long as we are determined and make an effort.
Statement: "Can have anything they want in life, just because they want it."
Response: We did not grow up being told we could have anything we wanted because we wanted it. Many #firstgens wanted the basic necessities and wished for them. We were happy to have them. There are first-generation Americans that may have wanted their own room, toys or gadgets, or new clothes rather than hand me downs or sewed.
Statement: "Some got into honors classes not because deserved it, but because the parents complained. Some got A's not because they earned it, but because the teachers did not want to deal with the parents."
Response: We received or earned our grades and did not have parents with clout to switch them. Our #parents generally trusted the teachers and worked with them to improve our grades. We were nervous to receive any bad reports from teachers because our parents did not think the teachers would mislead them about their child's education or progress so we were diligent with our studies.
Statement: "Some got medals for participation, not for winning. They received it because it would make them feel embarrassed and did not want them to feel worse."
Response: We did not get a pat on the back or a high-five unless it was complete and total win. Second place winners were rarely congratulated or even spoken of in the home. Feeling bad about a loss was not allowed, and we did not get time to mope. Rather we had to jump back in and work hard for the next victory.
He also attributes "environment and surroundings" as a reason for difficulty interacting with millennials at work.