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Millennials Don’t Like Grunt Work, Says Millennial Grunt

How much time and effort does TPTB waste surveying Millennials to find this shit out?

Like the PwC NextGen study, which surveyed 40,000 Millennials and non-Millennials just to glean this insight into those scary, misunderstood kids in the workforce:

Millennials aren’t keen on grunt work. We won’t pretend that this is the first time in history that young people have wanted more engaging work or been upset when boring or tedious assignments landed on their desk.  But it is the first time they are speaking up about it.  “The previous generations just kind of grumbled, kept their heads down, and secretly hoped things would change,” says Levit. “But the millennials are not willing to do that. They are saying, ‘No, I want to do meaningful work right away, and I’m not going to do grunt work.’” Often this assertiveness results in value for companies; their young employees with mega-tech skills and a fresh outlet on life end up inserting themselves in the action. The key is empathy says Pollak. Bosses can work on appreciating why millennials want meaningful assignments, whereas millennial employees can be mindful that bosses need certain tasks to be done (and that these tasks can actually teach them much more than they realize.)

Sooooo… you're telling me interns don't want to stuff confirmations in envelopes or fetch lunch for the team? ALERT THE MEDIA.

Like many teenagers, my first after school job was in fast food. And, like every working teenager before me, I not only started at the bottom but had to work my way up from there. The guy flipping burgers didn't start out flipping burgers, he earned it. It would be months of swabbing out bathrooms before I got put on drive-thru, and by then there was another new 14 year old coming in to clean the bathrooms. That's how it works.

Back then (remember, I'm the oldest Millennial, so old that they don't always include my birth year on these stupid articles), there was no word for my generation. No one was conducting studies of high schoolers working fast food jobs to find out they wanted to be respected and challenged, and didn't appreciate going home smelling like french fries.

That was 19 years ago and shit hasn't changed. Workers haven't changed. Except now if a working high schooler would rather text his friends than clean the bathroom at work, he can say "I don't find this work fulfilling" and he's considered an outspoken, technology-driven Millennial. No, he's a lazy, entitled asshole.

PwC offered some suggestions to readers of its NextGen study on how to accommodate these entitled assholes Millennials in the workplace:

There are a number of key considerations organisations should think about in light of the findings of the NextGen study. For example, organisations may wish to:

  • Create a flexible work culture
  • Fully leverage technology
  • Increase Transparency around compensation, rewards and career decisions.
  • Build a sense of community
  • Consider introducing or accelerating your global mobility program
  • Evaluate the impact that Millennials may have on the contingent workforce strategy of your organisation.
  • Invest time, resources and energy to listen and stay connected with your people.
  • Remember that one size does not fit all.

What does any of that even mean? That you should let people come and go as they please and give them iPads? Please. This isn't rocket science. It's work. If we were all so fulfilled in our careers, we wouldn't have to be bribed with paychecks just to show up.

Stop it already. STOP.