Millennials – We Need You to Push the Working World Forward

Aaron Blank / March 8, 2016

Dear Millennials,

I get you, I really do. You get a bad rap. Your elders slap labels on you like it’s a sport. Lazy. Entitled. Narcissistic. Coddled. The media loves to pick on you and in some ways you’re an easy target. A simple Google search of “millennials and workplace” brings up 1.15 million articles of tools and advice, which shows we haven’t really come to understand who you are quite yet. Kids these days, am I right?

But there’s a different way to look at it.

I get it. You were raised differently. Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are your major news networks. The Week and theSkimm are your daily newspaper.

You walk around with your face in a phone and people call you self-absorbed. But really you’re probably doing 12 things at once, connecting with people and shopping and publishing a blog post on Medium simultaneously. The people calling you lazy might actually be half as effective as you.

Being misunderstood is so commonplace in your life that it’s become the default conclusion any time things don’t work out for you. You’re probably so over it.

But we need you to keep pushing the working world forward.

Yes, you will need to work hard to get to a higher position. I don’t believe the stereotype that you think you deserve to be CEO on day one. You know that if you work hard and learn that will come in time. In the meantime, use your enthusiasm, curiosity and dedication to drive yourself forward. These are all timeless, universal attributes of the successful.

I read once that laziness is the mother of efficiency. It’s important that we learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and how they are often two sides of the same coin. I think your generation only appears lazy out of your ability to make excellent use of the conduits of information you grew up manipulating like a third arm.

It’s time the status quo professional work environment sees you for what you are, a hard working generation that has fresh ideas and creative solutions. Maybe we can all learn from each other. Go ahead, challenge the workplace paradigms, but don’t forget to work hard along the way. Find your true purpose in life. Bring in new apps that will help our business. Show how you’ve built your own brand on social media. We need you to help define the workplace of the future. Let’s do it together.

Now let’s have a look at that resume.


Aaron Blank

President and CEO

The Fearey Group

Comments (2)

    David Landis avatar

    David Landis Mar 9, 2016, 1:30 AM

    Well written, Aaron. Like any group, Millenials are diverse, multi-faceted, creative and looking at life anew. The world doesn't stop spinning, we just evolve in new and different ways. Let's give the next generation the latitude to figure out how: I think they're up for the task. Cheers, David Landis, President, Landis Communications Inc. (San Francisco)

    Stephen Mahnken avatar

    Stephen Mahnken Mar 15, 2016, 3:30 PM

    Well said, Aaron. I couldn't agree more. It has been something I have been thinking about for a long time, wondering why we are tagged with those unfair stereotypes. For the majority of my peers, I have learned that we can be as efficient and as hard working as anyone else, if not more so. However, I think you nailed it on the head when you said that you can't think you deserve CEO on day one.
    I think the root problem with us millennials is that we are living in a instant gratification society. If we are hungry, we get food immediately. If we want an answer to something, we are upset if we can't find it on the first page of a google search. We are alarmingly impatient people.
    This is where you bring up a great point of us working together with the generations ahead of us. We can bring efficiency to the table as well as understanding of the newest technology and tools, where the generations before us can teach us the importance of bringing your best self to work day-in and day-out in order to prove yourself.
    I am a firm believer that good things come to those who wait, and it worries me sometimes that millennials (myself included) don't have that mastered. I do know, however, that my most meaningful accomplishments in life have come from things that I put a lot of work into for many years that didn't pay off until later.

    Appreciate your thoughts on this post!

Aaron Blank, Puget Sound Business Journal's 40 under 40 recipient - 2015

Aaron Blank

CEO, Owner

Aaron has been engaged in the conversation since the late 1990s, where he discovered his love of media while working at local radio stations. After five years as a radio reporter, anchor, producer and promoter in New York and Connecticut, he and his wife, Lacey, ventured west to begin his career in PR. Soon he caught the attention of industry legend Pat Fearey and the rest is history. Two decades later, as CEO and owner of The Fearey Group, Aaron leads with tireless enthusiasm and contagious drive. He takes his breakfast at 4:30 AM and never eats lunch alone. You can find him working to connect the next business with tomorrow’s leader.

Personal philosophy: do something amazing every day!