All too many times I hear millennials being labeled as entitled, arrogant and, in rare cases, overzealous (is that a bad thing?). I like to think the default persona that people tend to give millennials is both a gift and a curse. True, we millennials expect to be praised and given credit for our contributions to society and in the workplace, but only because we feel so passionate about our endeavors. As a millennial, I am too familiar with this paradox and have found that there is often a gap in the perspectives of millennials versus the perspectives of older generations – typically at the expense of millennials.
A few weeks into my internship, IGS presented me with an opportunity to help create a program geared toward millennials. Titled “Share the Love,” the millennial networking event provided local Washington, D.C. public relations students with “tough love” on how to manage real-life professional expectations.
This was my first time planning a corporate event. Although my primary role was to ensure that the event was successfully executed, I found myself soaking up every word and every detail, as IGS’ seasoned professionals shared tricks of the trade.
Those who attended the event were exposed to open and honest advice from experienced professionals in the communications/marketing industry. From a millennial perspective, I loved that the event spoke from a place of compassion, but also concern for our futures. As a student, I can appreciate a company taking the time to show millennials a little TLC.
What resonated with me the most? Not the actual event itself, but that I, an intern and a millennial, was entrusted to contribute creatively to such an insightful event.
I found myself thinking, “Aha!” They do get us after all. Maybe the gap between millennials and older generations isn’t as wide as it appears.
“They have a unique confidence and passion that no other generation has witnessed,” noted Towan Isom, CEO/President of IGS about millennials.
It was a sight to see IGS headquarters transformed into a “safe zone” where millennials and older generations could converse candidly about the elephant in the room — millennials in the workplace and how people really feel about us — and leave with a better understanding and respect for one another.