Millennials are entitled because that’s how they have been raised to be. We have high expectations. We have been told, actually more promised, whether from family, teachers, mentors or whomever that we will get great jobs after college to earn enough money to afford luxury lifestyles. This is the perception but it is actually not the whole picture.
We can be seen as spoiled, entitled, narcissistic, and arrogant however we may actually just be confident, capable, and hungry..
Millennials are being labeled as entitled because of how quickly we are looking to advance in our careers. From an outside perspective this looks like we, “don’t have to do any work to advance in their career and that they just expect to get the promotion no matter what,” says Marc Robertson, author of the upcoming book, Working with Millennials. But this is simply untrue as we are willing to work very hard to achieve our goal.
We want to have, “balance and fairness and want inclusivity and transparency,” says Jeff Fromm the millennial marketing guy and president of FutureCast a marketing consultancy that specializes in millennial trends. “These things don’t equal being entitled, but people see this wish list as ‘different’ and then label them as entitled.”
While Millennials are often labeled as the ‘entitled’ or ‘spoiled’ generation, Thrivent Financial’s 2015 Money Mindset Report reveals Millennials are in fact a generous generation, with nearly one in three (31 percent) stating the purpose of becoming financially secure is so they can give more money. The report also debunks many common myths about the Millennial when it comes to generosity and finances:
Millennials actually donate as often as their parents. The study reveals that 77 percent of both Millennials and Baby Boomers have donated to nonprofits at least once in the past year, while only 72 percent of Gen Xers have. Furthermore, one in four Millennials have donated six or more times, and 93 percent admit they would give more if they made more money.
And according to Rebecca Brooks, founder of Alter Agents, a marketing research firm that works with Fortune 500 companies, their research shows that millennials and Generation Z are willing to put their dollars where their values are and are confident that they can change the world and they are looking for ways to do so. They look to find brands – think Tom’s Shoes – that align with their values and fulfill perceptions of their own generosity. Millennials are more concerned than past generations with, “how their investments and companies will affect the future as they are determined to create businesses that aim to benefit communities and turn a profit,” says VC investor Stuart Rudick, founder of Mindfull Investors.
The Thrivent Financial report also reveals that millennials believe donating time is more valuable than money. It is clear that Millennials believe in the power of giving even if they are not financially successful. 63 percent think donating time makes a bigger impact than donating money, while only 57 percent of Baby Boomers share this sentiment.
Furthermore, leading insights consultancy, Actûrus, found that Millennials respond to experiences. They are not necessarily interested in what a product is made from or what it costs, but rather the experience it can provide. Millennials are also more concerned about preparing for future uncertainties than say, Gen-Xers. Millennials are actually a concerned and caring generation – looking out for themselves and others.
So what should Millennials do to change the entitled perception?
Instead of allowing the conversation to be manipulated by outsiders, Mikey Rox, a millennial lifestyle expert, states that, “we need to be more visible and vocal and not just let the Internet stars of our generation be our spokespeople.”
We need to be proactive to prove that we are not who everyone says we are.