How can Millennial lawyers combat negative perceptions about their generation?


IBM Institute for Business Value surveyed nearly 1,800 multigenerational employees from 12 countries and 6 industries to ask them what they thought about Millennials—those born between 1980 and 1993—and uncovered five major misconceptions about newer workers. Employers believe:

  1. Millennials’ career goals and expectations are different from those of older generations,

  2. Millennials want constant acclaim and think everyone on the team should get a trophy,

  3. Millennials are digital addicts who want to do everything online,

  4. Millennials, unlike their older colleagues, can’t make a decision without first inviting everyone to weigh in, and

  5. Millennials are more likely than others to jump ship if a job doesn’t fulfill their passions.

Here’s the crux of the report “Myths, exaggerations and uncomfortable truths: The real study behind Millennials in the workplace” written by Carolyn Heller Baird: these five beliefs are myths. The study shows they’re just not true.

If you’re a Millennial lawyer, then it’s bad news employers buy into these myths about you. These misperceptions may negatively affect the entire hiring process, from the moment your resume comes in the door to your interview to final hiring decision. These myths may also color your work experience and opportunities for career development.

But there’s good news too. The more you know about employers’ perspectives—both fair and unfair—the more you can do to combat them in your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, interview, and on the job.