Myth Busters: Five millennial stereotypes, debunked

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 21) — Lazy. Entitled. Narcissistic. Millennials have heard it all.

Like every generation before them, Generation Y is getting flak from their older counterparts, who grew up in a starkly different world from them.

But just how accurate are these claims? And what does it mean for millennials?

Check these five myths on millennials that studies prove aren’t true:

1. Millennials are lazy

Millennials have been branded an “entitled” lot who aren’t willing to put in effort to reach their goals.

But it turns out that as long as they’re learning, millennials are willing to do the dirty work.                          

Despite their reputation for laziness, a 2014 multi-national study by global organization EY revealed more millennials have had increased work hours in the past five years than Baby Boomers or Generation X.

A separate study by Universum Global (2014) showed that they’re raring to exercise their management skills, with two in three millennials saying they’re willing to work harder and juggle more stress if it’ll give them a shot at leadership.

2. Millennials are impatient

There’s no denying it: millennials come from an era of “instant.”

Thanks to the digital age, millennials are used to getting things easy and getting them fast. This has supposedly made millennials a restless bunch — ones who can’t hold down a job.

But job loyalty hasn’t completely died down with this generation. A 2016 study by real estate firm CBRE said globally, three in five millennials see their careers as in line with the company they are in or with only a few employers.

Two in three millennials also consider themselves lucky to have a job — a departure from the entitled attitudes millennials are said to have.

3. Millennials don’t save

Millennials are often painted as wasteful and financially irresponsible, choosing to spending their money on gadgets rather than long-term investments.

It turns out, however, that millennials aren’t completely clueless when it comes to finances.

A 2012 report by Visa found that four in five millennials save as much as a third of their monthly income for a rainy day.

And while they have decades to go before exiting the workforce, millennials are also concerned with preparing for retirement, counting it among the top things they save for.

4. Millennials don’t plan for the future

Millennials just refuse to grow up — or so they say. 

Instead of taking on responsibilities, it’s often claimed that they’d rather have fun right now than plan for the future.

But studies show millennials are concerned about their future. Universum Global (2014) said millennials value their careers, with two in five saying becoming a manager or leader is important to them.

In the local setting, a 2015 study of college freshmen by the Far Eastern University shared to CNN Philippines revealed that millennials understand the value of working for their goals.

In fact, two in three students “strongly agreed” with the importance of working hard to gain success.

5. Millennials are selfish

We’ve all heard it before: millennials are all about “me.”

Generation Y gets such a bad rap for being narcissistic that even they agree to it (Science Daily, 2016). But did you know that families play a huge role in their decisions?

Breaking stereotypes of self-centeredness, research shows working millennials actually value family ties in their lives.

A 2012 Visa study revealed millennials put an emphasis on helping the nest, with four in five considering how they provide for their family when making decisions.

They also set aside earnings for mom and dad, and contribute an average of 14 percent of their monthly income to their parents.

Filipino millennials: Changing times, same values

Filipino millennials make up nearly half of the country’s labor force, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

And while they’re often painted in a bad light, they’re not such a bad lot.

While they seem to shun older measures of success, studies show millennials carry traditional values of work — life balance, financial security (Delliote, 2016) and family (Visa, 2012) — albeit in different manifestations.

As they take the reins from the older generations, millennials must get ready for greater responsibilities and changing roles.

But Filipino millennials need not fret. With their values in line and their family’s support, it won’t be a problem for this bustling generation.