Answer by Alyssa Satara, millennial:
Millennials Need to Hear This:
If you're a millennial you should be validated, not because that's a "millennial characteristic" but because you are constantly being put down.
We're told that what we want is dumb, or silly. Our dreams are greeted with an eye roll that suggests can't have it all. We're told to not quit our day job, and that we need to work out way up the corporate ladder.
We're categorized as one big mass of technology-obsessed youth who have received too many participation awards, when we are really a unique generation of individuals.
Millennials: Go after what you want.
It's not dumb to not want to sit in an office all day. We live in the digital age where almost anything is possible if you try hard enough.
It's going to take a lot of work. But figure out what it is you want, work towards it and you'll get there.
Don't listen to other generations who mock our sense of adventure, or our need to break the mould.
Do you feel like breaking the mould? THEN GO BREAK IT. Mess that mould up.
When you listen to people who play into your fears by saying the things you want are a product of being a "millennial", it distances you from your true self. It makes you want to take the easier way. It makes you want to stay at the office job you are grown to hate.
Worst of all it makes you stray from the person you want to be. Listening to people who tell you not to do things your own way will silences your hopes, and your dreams and the truest form of yourself.
There is a beauty in having the balls to bet on yourself.
Is it scary? Yes. Would older generations suggest it? Probably not. Should you do it? Absolutely.
This isn't me telling you not to put in the hours. No matter what career path you choose, if you want to be successful, it will be work. I just hope you realise that the internet literally brings the world to your fingertips. Now more than ever, you can create the lifestyle that you want for yourself. It won't be easy, but it will be worth it.
Don't listen to anyone but yourself, go after what you want.
Millennials: You are your own person.
There's a lot of us millennials--we're the largest generation in western history-- so we are inevitably going to share certain characteristics. But your life experience, your millennial experience, is your own.
Many millennials crave individuality, yet our individualist expression get labeled as being a millennial.
Embrace the label. You're going to be called a millennial anyways so put that label to good use.
I was working for a company that was established in the early 80's. My coworkers were (for the most part) 40 or older. I was on of the only millennials when I started. The word millennial was almost used against me. Anytime our office got wind of any millennial doing anything "millennial like" it would cause a coworker to shake their head at me and say "oh you millennials", as they exhaled. As if we were in some secret millennial club and all knew each other's whereabouts, and approved of each other's actions.
Still, I was the only one who knew how to add Instagram stories to our page when Instagram had its update. I was the only one who could track our online algorithms and produce a marketing strategy out of it. I became the office cameraman, website fixer, and teacher on how to pronounce "gif".
Growing up in the millennial generation gave you great skills. We speak internet fluently, we were taught to think outside the box and be (environmentally, socially, economically etc) conscious.
While other generations may not understand you (or your millennial-ness) it doesn't make you less useful or undeserving to be there.
Go be your millennial self!