What a difference a few years makes! I just finished presenting a course on Bridging Communication Across the Generations to an agency based in DC, where I met some incredible Millennials. My first encounter with the new breed of Millennials occurred on my flight down to DC. I happened to sit next to a gentleman who was a political consultant at the ripe age of 24. He had an undergrad degree from the University of Beirut, and a master's degree from Suffolk University and was attending law school evenings, while running his practice.
This gentleman appears to represent what seems to be a new rendition of the Millennials. These are the workers who are thirty and under, who only a few years ago were creating havoc in the workplace. You don't have to look very far to see how this generation is now stepping up to the plate and creating a name for themselves. Many, like the gentleman and people I met at my workshop, are now willing to buckle down and work as hard as their parents have worked, to make a name for themselves in this world.
Those in my session were committed to making the world a better place. Their jobs involved rehabilitating people who had been in the prison system. Their commitment and thirst for knowledge made me hopeful that this generation would do some amazing things, if given the chance.
So the next time you encounter a young person who appears to be a slacker, remember there are many from his or her generation who are already making a difference and will continue to do so for years to come.
Roberta Chinsky Matuson is the President of Human Resource Solutions and author of the forthcoming book, Suddenly in Charge! Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around (Nicholas Brealey, January 2011). Visit Roberta's Blog on the Generations at Work or her Linked-in Group Suddenly in Charge! Sign up to receive a complimentary subscription to Roberta's monthly newsletter, HR Matters