If you’ve been keeping up with culture, you realise that there’s a recurring narrative that’s floating around. It’s the one where Millennials & even Boomers talk about how GenZ is extremely difficult to work with and how they’re not interested in doing their work. There are screenshots of email & Whatsapp conversations with GenZ employees saying some unhinged things to their managers. They apparently take too many holidays. And they’re accused of shitposting & memelording their way through life.
I don’t agree with this view point at all. On the contrary, I feel that the only reason why this narrative exists is because they’re the first generation to know what they want, collectively. They will not settle for anything less and they’re very clear about their boundaries. They do the work to understand what they want out of life. Since in many cases, that’s a life with a slightly different view on work as just being a part of their lives, they come across as lazy, rude or inefficient.
But is knowing what you want really such a bad thing? It goes against the hyper capitalist system that we’ve built for the better part of a century now, and maybe that’s why us millennials and boomers have a hard time accepting it. There’s a little bit of a “I didn’t get to do that, why should they” going on. There’s a bit of a “this is the way things are done around here”.
But is it the only way? I don’t think so. I think GenZ might be on to something when they take breaks for their mental health, prioritise their lives and actually work on living wholesome lives. Because they still manage to get shit done. It’s not about the number of hours that they work or how they’re so blunt in their communication. I’ve been interacting with a lot of folk from that generation and while they have their problems (who doesn’t), I found them to be very driven, hustling hard and living their truths.
Instead of berating them and creating fake screenshots to farm engagement, maybe millennials would be better off learning a thing or two from the generation that follows. It’s always tough to accept the next generation & it’s much easier to criticise & berate them for their funny jeans & their weird slang. But they might just be on to something here.