By Sadie Gribbon
Gen Xer’s and Baby Boomers have coined the term for working Millennials as the “slash generation,” and although they are constantly criticized for their work ethic, Millennials embrace this label with open arms.
While the nickname has a negative connotation, many Millennials take pride in it. Being a slasher means one isn’t just a writer, but a barista/student/intern/writer. Millennials dream big and push for what they want; they value community, family and – most of all – creativity in their work. But in most entry-level careers, creativity doesn’t pay the bills.
This is where waiting tables at night, being a barista early in the morning and stocking the shelves at Target during the graveyard shifts come into play. Millennials work for what they want, and while having a menial job to make up for the lack of pay in a career that they are passionate about doesn’t seem desirable to the generations before them, they hold on to every shred of their dreams until they become a reality.
Here are three key reasons why Millennials have been forced into a slash generation:
They are a generation trying to pick up the pieces from the “Great Recession”
Millennials endured the rise and fall of the 2008 recession, while some experienced the failing job market first-hand; others saw it in their parents’ careers. According to White House Archives, “while Millennials have made a substantial labor market recovery, that recovery is not complete and is slightly lagging that of other age groups …”
The Great Recession showed Millennials the value of a college degree and accounts for why they have the highest rate of higher education degrees than any other generation: “Research also shows that perhaps the single most important determinant of a person’s income is their level of education. And as the most educated generation in history, this will tend to boost earnings for Millennials over the course of their lifetimes—and help to offset any longer-term harms from the Great Recession.”
But just because Millennials have a different style of working, that doesn’t mean they have different values. CNBC studies show that Millennials have the same goals and values of Baby Boomers and Gen Xer’s, they just happened to land in a different economical era where they have been forced into this “slash generation.”
They see internships as a step toward the bigger picture
Life during and after college consists of peers and parents nagging at Millennials about the importance of having internships – and they’re right. Millennials find themselves in a never-ending circle of internships during and after college. This can be attributed to their willingness to land the dream career tailored to their wants and needs in the workplace. When it comes to a job, Millennials are willing to tough it out until they find an ideal setting that offers these qualities: personal life balance in work, creativity, creating a social/environmental impact from their work and receiving unconventional benefits like free meals at work and, if they work at a company like Google, nap pods.
They value creativity over stability
Millennials value creativity more now than ever before, possibly because they were nurtured by technology. While previous generations find this a burden on creative minds, Millennials are the generation who make apps for living and socializing more efficiently and more often. “They [Millennials] are somewhat more likely than previous generations to report that they consider creativity to be a very important job feature. Perhaps this is no surprise for a highly-connected generation for whom technology was a key part of their upbringing,” according to White House Archives. For example; Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, is a Millennial. Snapchat and Instagram both have Millennial creators and founders as well. Millennials value unconventional creativity and find new outlets to produce their style and vision.
Being a part of the slash generation is only an example of a Millennial’s work ethic, how far they are willing to go to attain their personal goals and dreams and how they stick to their creative values. While not every Millennial can be considered a slasher, the ones that are don’t mind the name calling because to them, it’s a positive quality.