Lazy. Selfish. Financially Flighty. 5 Millennial Myths Busted

We’ve all heard so many myths about millennials. And, of course, they’re mostly super negative

If you’re a regular reader of my blog (thank you!), have heard one of my presentations or have watched my TEDx talk, you know I spend a lot of time trying to dispel millennial myths, especially among different generations at work, so I’m always delighted when research is on my side.

Just recently, there have been a flurry of studies and articles that take some long-running millennial myths and turn them on their head. In fact, I recently tweeted about how millennials actually aren’t impatient—they’re prudently considering workplace realities when they want to excel and advance.  

Here are five more millennial myth-busting facts I hope you find as intriguing as I do. 

They Are (Not) Selfish

“If you look at the numbers, a hefty 84 percent of millennials made a charitable donation in 2014. And on average, millennials give an annual gift of $481, according to Blackbaud’s Next Generation of American Giving report. Considering millennials have been dubbed Generation Debt, that’s a telling statistic about our willingness to give.” — Read more at Huffington Post.

They Don’t Work Hard

“In considering the question of whether or not millennials are workaholics, I’m tempted to say yes. But, I also think there’s more to it than that. As millennials, we’re so used to hitting numbers: hours practiced, criteria for admission, social implications, down payments, tax brackets, likes. Our lives’ success is both outlined and reinforced by data — even if that data lies. We’re a generation consumed with achieving, accumulating, and owning enough of something to prove that we are something. This insatiable need to have something to show for our efforts inadvertently drives us to overwork.” — Read more at Payscale.com.

They Don’t Save (As Little As You Might Think)

“No more lecturing younger workers about fiscal responsibility – Millennials are actually pretty good at saving money. A new study from the personal finance website Bankrate.com found that 62 percent of Millennials are saving more than five percent of their income. Only half of older adults, aged 30 and up, are saving at the same rate.” — Read more at Fiscal Times.

They (Don’t) Want to Live in Their Parents’ Basements

“Not only do millennials, aged 18-34, plan to own a home, they plan to own multiple homes throughout their lifetimes: 68 percent of millennials say their current home is merely a stepping stone towards the home they want to end up in, compared with 36 percent of homeowners across all generations, the survey found. …  It’s been estimated elsewhere that a more than a third of millennials are already homeowners.” — Read more at Time.com.

They Are (Just As) Frivolous Spenders (As Other Generations)

“Research suggests that people from 18 to 34, a group often referred to as millennials, are no more freewheeling with their spending on travel and dining than other generations. … According to the Food Institute, which analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics expenditure data from 2015, people from 25 to 34 spent, on average, $3,097 on eating out …  [only] $89 more than the overall average, including spending among people ages 35 to 54.”— Read more at the New York Times.

What are some millennial myths that you’ve found not to be true? Share with all of us in the comments below.

Lindsey Pollak is the leading expert on millennials and the multigenerational workplace, trusted by global companies, universities and the world’s top media outlets. A New York Times bestselling author and keynote speaker, Lindsey began her career as a dorm RA in college and has been mentoring millennials — and explaining them to other generations — ever since. Her presentations have audiences so engaged that, in the words of one attendee, “I didn’t check my phone once!” Contact Lindsey to discuss a speaking engagement for your organization.

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