The name Talia Jane is currently all over the internet. She is a young former employee of Yelp who recently wrote a blog post to the CEO of her company telling him he did not care enough about his employees due to the fact that those in her former position are getting paid a San Francisco minimum wage. The post itself has sparked controversy and outrage all over the internet. Unfortunately, many responders to Talia Jane’s blog post are not just responding to the post itself, but are broadening the scope of the post to encompass all millennials. People are stating that Talia Jane’s entitled thoughts are what is wrong with the entire millennial generation. However, this is not the case. Talia Jane’s complaints should not be thought of as the complaints of all millennials.
It is true that the millennial generation is different than older generations who entered the workforce solely to make money. Millennials want more communication, for example, and a balance between work and life outside of their job. They also want to feel like they are valued in the workplace. This does not mean they are lazy and entitled, it just means they want to care about the work they are doing. Of course, CEOs should want all of their employees to care about the company, as that breeds a stronger work ethic, which helps the company do well.
Furthermore, discounting the entire millennial generation as lazy and entitled ignores what they can bring, and have brought, to the workplace. Millennials are the authority on technological innovation, for one, and also have entrepreneurial mindsets that help them think outside of the box. This is invaluable to companies looking to increase efficiency and productivity. Millennials truly are the face of the age of the entrepreneur, and, when they care about a company’s mission, they will use their innovative mindsets to help said company.
I will concede that there are quite a few millennials out in the world with the mindset of Talia Jane, although I think her blog post stemmed more from a place of fear than it did from a true desire to jeopardize her career. However, there are so many more millennials who are angry at Talia Jane for misrepresenting their generation. Stories have been rising from the woodwork about young people doing whatever they can to make money, including working several part time jobs and living with roommates, which Talia Jane refused to do. Sure, several millennials want to pursue their passions, but they are not simply waiting for a career to be handed to them. They are working hard to make the money they need to support themselves so they can pursue work that excites them.
All in all, we should see young people like Talia Jane as anomalies, rather than representations of the entire millennial generation. There are more than enough millennials in the workforce willing to do whatever they can to help a company, make money, and grow into a position they love.