Being a Millennial

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Both negative and optimistic characteristics and traits have been correlated with millennials. When people hear the word “millennial,” they always think of the younger generation, including those born in the 1980s and 1990s. However, the majority of people have followed a single age definition for millennials. They have also been referred to as generation next, generation Y, the net generation, among other words that the general population is ignorant of. The different definitions of the millennials highly depend on the demography or social environment which is so diverse, the reason why it is not possible to collect all terms used to refer to this specific generation.

The purpose of this paper is to discuss everything about being a millennial. It elaborates the age definition that has come to be adopted by a majority of the population. It also discusses in depth, their character traits and how they differ with those of the older generation. The social behavior is not left out as it is what creates the difference with the previous generation. The millennials’ workplace attitude has been identified to stand out and contrast what has always been the norm. In trying to discuss what it is about being a millennial, the paper also highlights the different ways in which the population is perceived by those who belong to different ages.

Age Definitions

There have been different definitions for the millennials by different scholars and researchers. However, the most adopted definition is that of the two researchers, Neil Howe and William Strauss who claimed that the millennial age starts from those who were born in 1982 and an estimate of 20 years afterward (Howe & Strauss, 7). The contemporary highlights claimed 2004 to be the endpoint year of birth for the millennials. According to Harvard University, they come just after the generation X and are intertwined with the generation Y.

Character Traits

The character of narcissism has been greatly attributed to the millennials. Psychologists claim that the population is marked by a lot of people that admire their self-attributes. Some have claimed that the generation stands out because the world has never seen such a young generation with a similar amount of self-love and confidence. Naturally, narcissism has been claimed to be a negative character trait. However, the problem arises when it is a trait of an entire generation. Studies claim that this character can be attributed to the kind of evolution the generation has grown through (Howe & Strauss, 10). It is an era of political, economic and social liberalism. Thus, it can be claimed responsibly for the millennials’ characters. Studies show that the millennials exhibit narcissism at higher rates than the older generation and it is approximated as 16% higher.

The millennials have also been accused of being attention seekers. They have claimed their presence both in the actual social environment and in the different media they have been exposed to. They claim power regardless of their age and gender, and this can be seen like music and culture they represent. They communicate their message on different platforms, and for them, everything else that comes with being a millennial is good, regardless of how any other person sees it. They network and are united amongst themselves, and this is supposed to be a representation of the power they claim. Because of this, those belonging to older ages have alienated them because of their ‘different’ ways of life which have made it difficult to blend with any other person that is not them (Howe & Strauss, 18).

Social Behavior

The social behavior exhibited by the millennials is linked to their character traits. As earlier mentioned, most of them are narcissists. This has highly affected how they relate to other people, especially in their immediate social environment. Millennials have turned out to be the most popular generation, not only because of their traits but also how they perceive things and express themselves. The highest number of people advocating for the legalization of marijuana is classified as being millennial. This among other things they advocate for such as gay rights and ending racism can make one to term them as a liberal-minded generation (Howe & Strauss, 12). Millennials have gone against all the odds and are a major factor of change in every sense of life.

This generation is marked by the evolution of the internet, social media platforms and other broadcast links in which people can interact globally. This has been a major factor of influence for the millennials as they have made the world to connect in different aspects. They are viewed as lazy and social media addicts that cannot realize their full potential as it is supposed to be. However, those who claim to have not taken time to analyze the productivity that has arisen as a result of being lazy and spending full days on electronic devices. The millennials have brought about new ways of communication, marketing, and advertising through their lazy behavior. It is through this form of laziness that one is presently able to shop online for commodities that are manufactured continents away (Howe & Strauss, 22).

The millennials have also brought about a different kind of energy to the social environment. Besides the technological developments, the millennials have introduced a new way to look at things. They pay less attention to agents of division such as race and sexuality and pay more attention to a unifying factor. The highest number of new organizations have been registered by the millennials. They bring together people of common interests and unify them in the process, thereby creating a positively motivated group that achieves goals and solves current problems.

Millennials have different attitudes to work which contrast the way in which the older folk looked at things. Generation X was marked by people who believed in staying in a single work environment and working tirelessly till one was promoted. They believed in a single career for a lifetime and could not balance work and social life. The millennials undo all these beliefs and place in theirs which have turned out to be interesting and all the same achievable. They have brought a new perception of work and careers and have also displayed the importance of an active social life regardless of whether one is working or not (Howe & Strauss, 54).

The millennials believe in a fulfilling career. Studies express them as a passionate generation that not only cares about the job but also the impact created while doing the job. They can be defined as the most inspiring generation because such traits have not been exhibited in the older ages. Income is viewed as a token of appreciation, or rather what one gets after achieving their goals. The older generation believed in corporate jobs and being able to study for a profession that lands you to that job. According to the millennials, it is about utilization of talent and being able to achieve the purpose one was designed for. Some of them have taken up jobs they did not study for and have become perfect in them to the extent of making a living from them.

Regarding their workplace values, the millennials can be defined as smart people. They utilize the resources they have been exposed to, to solve both local and global problems. They believe in a strict working environment with adherence to policies and regulations that govern them. They are the generation that has highlighted the importance of structure in organizations. They work in organized groups and have shown the relevance of teamwork. The millennials have proved to be good managers, the reason why the world is characterized by many young managers that run successful organizations (Howe & Strauss, 62).

For millennials, the workplace is not an environment run by few people that run the systems. They are a web of intertwined forces working together toward achieving common objectives. They believe in transparency of political, education, work, and healthcare systems. They have for the past decade especially, advocated for creating an environment with a liberal-minded population.


For a long time, people have viewed millennials as a lazy generation that does things differently. However, if we choose to look at the different side of the coin, millennials might turn out to be the most influential generation for creating a liberal society.

Works Cited

Howe, Neil, and William Strauss. Millennials Rising. New York, Vintage Books, 2000.

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