Dear Employers: What You Need To Know About Millennials, From Millennials

by Frank Macri

Millennials are here to shake up the status quo's way of paying the bills. We're here to challenge how we work, when we work and why we work.

And our collective voice is only getting stronger.

Evelyn Fiskaa, director of career development at Dominican College in Orangeburg, NY, told USA Today,

By 2025, 75% of the American workforce will be Millennial workers, and employers will have to adapt to the market.

As "entitled, lazy and naive" as we may be perceived by our elders, Millennials bring a fresh and much-needed perspective to the routine 9-to-5 grind.

Millennials know self-worth is worth more than net worth.

We don't have much of a desire to join in on a white-collar rat race, especially if it will strip our lives of any meaning and purpose.

When I graduated from college, I was offered a recruiting job in a small office. The workspace consisted of one long table serving as a desk for a team of six.

At the head of the table was a dry-erase board with a number tally of all the recruits each team member made that week.

I was told during the interview every hour of the eight-hour shift is structured and spent together with each employee.

But before I made too many negative judgments, the manager assured me the job had a generous starting salary and the ubiquitous "room for growth."

"Room for growth" doesn't have to mean you sell your soul to a company for a year or two with the hopes they might give you a job promotion. And it should definitely not mean "growing" into a robot, trying to rack up the biggest numbers each week.

Millennials don't tolerate this and will only continue to not tolerate it.

FYI: I ended up ditching the job and spending a year teaching English in China (no regrets there).

Dear Employers: If you're going to care so much about what we can do, you should also care about who we are.

Millennials believe in working smarter, not harder.

I remember, during an internship I had in college, I asked one of my colleagues, a Gen-Xer, why everyone wasn't given the option to work from home one day a week.

She replied with complete shock and borderline anger at the mere thought of it even happening.

To me, it was common sense: Some people might actually work better from home and experience more joy in the process. Happier employees and higher productivity, what's not to love?

Working from home is a win for all parties involved, including Mother Earth. The less people commuting, the less stress on the environment and other irritable drivers waiting in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

It's not a challenge for Millennials to do our work at home. In fact, we want to do so, badly.

Any company caring about attracting Millennial talent would make it a priority to offer some flex time.

Why are companies so hell-bent on the idea that the more time a person puts into a job, the better an employee he or she is? It's about working smarter, not harder.

You're hired by a company to do your job, and Millennials don't need to be trapped in a cubicle for eight hours a day to ensure that happens.

Dear Employers: Trust us with some flexibility, and you'll be pleasantly surprised at the results and loyalty you get in return.

Millennials see right through the BS.

We don't like how it feels to put on an act for the office environment. If we wanted an acting job, we would have applied for one.

Millennials don't buy the whole look-like-you-have-everything-together act people so often put on.

Rather, we appreciate a work culture where people are encouraged to be themselves and not take everything so seriously.

We realize having an overly serious workplace actually inhibits collaboration and creativity.

We were raised to openly express ourselves and encourage others to do the same. Studies report we're the most open minded and diverse generation in the workplace today.

Shouldn't employers want to take advantage of the free-flowing creativity?

We also don't want our work to jeopardize our identities. We want to go to work and share our ideas, be personable and take on responsibilities.

But this only happens once we see businesses actually caring about the integrity of their employees.

Dear Employers: If Millennials ever feel like they need permission to be themselves at their jobs, don't expect them to hang around the office for long.

Citations: Millennial workers want free meals and flex time (USA Today), Millennials Confident Connected Open to Change (Pew Research Report)