I have to admit: On first read of both of these blog posts, I felt attacked and hurt (Can you guess I am of the Millenial variety yet?). I also felt that I needed to defend myself and my generation. I know I was not a particularly pampered youth. Well, maybe I was to a certain extent, but I never felt I was given awards I did not deserve. Growing up dancing in the competitive studio world, only winners were given trophies. I never belonged to a soccer team where every member was handed a trophy “because you tried really hard this season, and even though you never made a goal, you are a winner in our eyes.” I felt rejection left and right from all of the awards I never won, and the awards I saw some of my best friends regularly win. My senior year of high school, I finally received a coveted “Gold” on my dance solo. While I felt proud, I still felt incredibly self-conscious about my dance abilities. Having lost repeatedly throughout the years, one gold was not going to change that. I still am self-conscious to this day.
While I think both of these men offer great insights into things that we Millennials should change about ourselves and do to make it in the current PR industry, I think both missed the fact that not all Millennials are the same. I am constantly feeling challenged in my classes both by the assignments and by my fellow students. Now that we are all attempting to enter the public relations workforce, I am all the more aware of my weaknesses as a public relations student, my portfolio’s weaknesses and my resume’s weaknesses. I know I lack the skills that some of my colleagues have, and I know that I have a lot of learning to do once I enter the public relations profession.
In my job search, I will definitely keep everything Defren wrote in mind. All of his tips are excellent. The one that caught me off guard the most was his suggestion to stick with a company for 3-5 years… I have been told by a variety of professionals that it is good to stay at your first job for at least a year, but if you truly dislike it, to leave at that point. Defren’s argument completely makes sense, and I will definitely strive to follow it once I receive my first job.
Both of these men offer great advice. I am not saying it does not apply to me, as it most certainly does. I am saying that believe that the Millennials are not a one-size-fits-all group. Each of us should be evaluated on our individual qualities and not analyzed as a whole. I realize my own imperfections and know the likelihood of landing my dream job in a corner office right after college is slim to none. Make that none.
I know many others feel the same as I and would argue that while many of the qualities Sledzik and Defren point out are realities of our generation, not all apply to one person and not one person has them all. Like I said, we are not a one-size-fits-all group, just as no generation before us has been, but we do still have quite a lot to learn.