As any think-piece can tell you, Millennials have been subjected to a variety of negative stereotypes over the last few years, especially as more of us have entered the workforce. Many have fought back against these negative stereotypes and the seemingly out-of-touch individuals who believe them. As a Millennial myself, it’s tough to sit back and watch some of the commentary about our generation.
Just last spring, Australian millionaire Tim Gurner — who is a Millennial himself — became the butt of jokes and memes when he implied that the reason our generation experiences financial troubles is because of our affinity for avocado toast.
Thankfully, many companies have chosen to have faith in Millennials and take a closer look at our thoughts, opinions, and experiences when it comes to money, saving and investing. Last Wednesday, Charles Schwab released the results of a new nationwide survey, which examined the attitudes and behaviors of 500 American workers who currently contribute to a 401(k), across a variety of generations. The survey found that not only are Millennials as financially savvy as other generations, but sometimes, even more so.
According to the survey results, 86 percent of Millennials consider a 401(k) to be a must-have benefit of a job, with 76 percent citing it as their only source of retirement savings. It’s clear that Millennials have taken notice of skyrocketing living costs and are preparing for a potentially unstable economic future.
To top it all off, Millennials are over four times more likely to put extra money toward their 401(k) than their Baby Boomer counterparts.
This is awesome to hear. So much for that avocado toast theory.
These practices are certainly indicative of personal responsibility, as well as unparalleled access to a variety of financial counseling resources. With everything that is available on the Internet, one would hope that today’s generations understand more about how the world works than their parents and grandparents.
Millennials are the “creative generation”–and that’s not a bad thing.
So what does this mean for the workplace? Most Millennials don’t live the stereotypes some have been led to believe. Financial responsibility and maturity is critical, and the data above makes me proud to know that our generation is looking out for our future.
But what else marks our generation? What should we be excited about?
I’ve always been a proponent of the “creative generation” description. We have unprecedented access to information — therefore knowledge that we can apply in so many different ways.
Smartphones have birthed millions of ideas for apps, and many Millennials are at the helm. Given these digital tools, we simply want to create, build, and make an impact. I’m proud of this force.
Age is a mindset.
I’ve always been a fan of focusing on a youthful mindset versus numerical age. To stay young, you must be curious, always ready to learn something new, and appreciative of the wondrous things in life.
I have met folks with these characteristics across generations. What unites us is the desire to learn new things not only from our amazing information source, but also from each other.
Think of wisdom as cheat codes for life. Think of past mistakes made as lessons you don’t have to learn the hard way.
Let’s forget about generalizations of generations. It’s safe to say that it’s probably best not to underestimate any group, or assume that they don’t know their true value or worth. It’s more important that we learn from each other, and make sure we all become a part of the ever important creative generation.
Who will you help? What will you build? And most importantly: What legacy will you leave behind?