staying home on snow days, labeling millennials, and increasing your pay

Three recent (well, recent-ish) articles of possible interest —

* I’m quoted in this Chicago Tribune article talking about working from home during snow days, and why some employers still don’t allow it even for jobs that can be easily done from home.

* SHRM addressed whether labeling millennials is misguided (answer: yes), and then quoted me but ultimately disagreed with me.

* I’m also quoted in this Forbes article about asking for a raise (along with the wonderful Suzanne Lucas), covering all sorts of interesting questions, like whether it’s better to name a specific figure or wait for your boss to propose one.

{ 139 comments… read them below }

  1. GOG11*

    These all demonstrate/reinforce that you’re an expert/someone of authority in your field right? Congratulations!

      1. GOG11*

        Ah, the whole “fake it til you make it” bit people keep telling me about. You’re doing it right!

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Yes, please. I write and then slap stuff up and don’t always thoroughly proof (it’s the trade-off for posting this much) so I appreciate it.

  2. Steve G*

    Thank you for point #2. I am sooooooo sick of being labelled this or that for being a millenial. I was born in 1981 in a small town and feel smack-dab between both generations. However, the media has pegged me as 100% millenial over the past few years and has written all sorts of general articles labelling me as is or that and saying I grew up this or that way. Some have some truth to them, others are total BS and make me mad whenever I read them. What makes me mad is that alot of these articles are trying to re-write my childhood and early memories. Those memories are golden. You can’t totally re-write what happened after the fact. No, I didn’t grow up with the internet, blah blah blah. Even if the internet was going to happen tomorrow, it didn’t matter then or have an impact on me then, because it didn’t happen yet. Believe me, when I was in my formative years, running through the woods and biking all day (with no computer!) and playing with my blondie, madonna, huey lewis and the news, belinda carlisle etc. records well into the early 90s (because it was expensive to get new music then!), the last thing I thought was that when I was in my 30s, was that I would be getting written about as if I was some adult-adolescent. Some of the articles out there about millenials can be quite offensive, especially when they are condescending in nature.

    On a side note, I hate generational barriers altogether because they make my older sister a different generation than me and my younger sister (if 1980 = millenial, as many articles propose). I also find it silly that my middle sister, born in Jan 1980, a few weeks out of the 70s, is lumped into the same group of people born in the late 80s and 90s. It just isn’t the same generation. It’s not an ego thing, there is nothing cool about not being a millenial, it just…isn’t the same generation. Don’t know how to describe it….

    1. Just Visiting*

      Look up “Xennial” or “Catalano Generation.” We also got the Internet super-late, and were effectively a one-income household until I was ten (and it wasn’t any six-figure income, haha). So yeah, I definitely feel in between generations, and also in a sense like I’m straddling social classes.

      My sister is eight years younger than me and hits more of the Millennial touchpoints than I care to admit, though who knows how much of that is being raised in a much more middle-class household during her formative years. So I think it’s possible for two siblings to have wildly different generation-linked traits. There’s a difference between encountering the Internet at 17 vs. 11.

      1. steve g*

        Hi….I guess I also hate millenial articles because they always make it sound ironic when a millenial does something adult like. Since when did one need to be 40+ to engage in adult-like activities?! When I take care of the nyc rental property I partially own, I don’t view it as some sort of ‘sign of the times,’ or sign of anything having to do with housing or financial or generational trends, or some ironic way of playing adult – it’s just me being an adult, doing the same things as 2-3 prior generations of my ancestors in the USA.

        1. aebhel*

          That always weirds me out. I was born in 1985, putting me solidly in the millenial generation, albeit on the older end. That also makes me almost thirty. I’m a married homeowner with a kid, a Master’s degree, and a professional job. I find it both irritating and offensive to be talked about like I’m an unusually sheltered teenager.

          1. Steve G*

            ….or that it is ironic or some sort of amazing exception that you own a house, etc…..because every 30yo now wants to rent and avoid adulthood until they are 40:-/

            1. aebhel*

              Or that. :P

              Honestly, most of the people I know who can afford it own houses. The ones who don’t aren’t settled in a particular area, and after the housing market crash, most sensible people are a little leery of dumping money into real estate if they’re not planning to live there long-term.

              Some of it’s regional, too. In NYC, renting is definitely not seen as a sign of immaturity. I’m in a rural area where houses are relatively cheap and there aren’t a lot of decent rental properties. So that has an impact on the decision.

              But of course, all millenials are upper middle-class white suburbanites, so why should we consider regional, cultural, or financial differences?

      2. Cassie H.*

        Even encountering the internet at 11 is different than “growing up with computers.” I was born in 1992, and I have distinct memories like Steve G, playing outside and riding my bike everywhere. My family didn’t have the Internet until I was in high school (though, that might have more to do with the fact that my family couldn’t afford it). I certainly feel like I’m in a different generation than someone born in the 80s, but I also feel completely different than someone born in the 00s.

        I’m going off the fact that many articles define Millenials as someone born between the early 80s and the early 00s. That’s a huge range, as far as technology goes.

        1. Cassie H.*

          And that’s another thing I realized as I was posting my response…a lot of these articles about Millenials just assume that we grew up with computers, even when a lot of families couldn’t afford them at the time. Articles about Millennials just lump everyone born into this age range into the same social class.

          1. VintageLydia USA*

            I agree. My rich friends had the internet in their home by 4th or 5th grade (I was born in ’86) but most of us didn’t get it until middle school. I didn’t get it until high school and that was only because my mom got a job that required access to email. We really couldn’t afford it and we were not exactly struggling otherwise. Still didn’t get broadband in that house until college, only a year before I moved out.

          2. Tau*

            Or for that matter, that “growing up with computers” meant a very different thing back then than it does now. I’m an older Millennial and actually did grow up with computers because my parents were well-off and had jobs that led to a lot of early technology use… but for most of my childhood said computers were running DOS, or eventually Windows 3.1 (hey wow, a mouse! what is this wizardry!) Whenever an article suggests that this is basically the same experience of computers as a kid born in the early 2000s, I roll my eyes.

          3. Jon in the Nati*

            Quite so.

            I was born in ’86 (upper-middle/professional class family), and we had neither cable nor internet until I was in high school. As a result, I’m one of the few people my age who really remembers what it was like to have only 5 channels (6 on the days we could pick up WGN out of Chicago!). Heck, I didn’t even use the internet for the first time until I was in 6th grade.

            All this is to say that one of the great fallacies here (even if one believes that there is really something ‘wrong’ with millenials) is to attribute everything one thinks is wrong with millenials as a result of being a digital/internet native. Newsflash, folks: pretty much no one born before 1988-89 or so is a digital native.

            1. matcha123*

              I don’t know about that.

              I was fortunate in that I went to schools in a university town which was one of the few public universities to have internet in the 70s. So, my mom was doing programming and coding in the 70s when she was in university and my elementary school had Macintosh computers along with a computer in every classroom.
              When I read those articles, I’m thinking about things like that: Schools that had Macintosh computers with Oregon Trail and Number Munchers or Sim City. I can’t remember when we got the internet at home, but the public library down the street certainly had it.

              I remember in elementary school when going to sleepover at a friend’s house, she fired up her Apple 2 and bragged about chatting online with strangers. This was maybe in…1994?

              And familiarity with electronics isn’t about iPods, imo. I mean, everyone wanted to have a Game Boy back in the day…and Nintendo or Sega Genesis or Sony Walkman…
              While I may not have had a computer of my own with a cable connection like my peers, I knew about it and the computers at school had internet access, the libraries had internet access and such and so on.

              So, again, when I read those articles, I see them as pointing out things that were more readily available at those times and that kids in those times could have grown up with.

              1. Editor*

                We lived in a university town until the end of the 1980s but didn’t have personal computers or home internet. My children were in elementary school when we were transferred to a rural town south of the Mason-Dixon line. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that we had a computer in the house and dial-up Internet.

                Unlike matcha123, we were at the lagging end of technology access, even though the school did have a computer room where playing Oregon Trail was a big thrill. Our family was also slow to adopt electronic gaming. The reason was partly financial — the transfer put me in a job market where the work I’d been doing was not available. It took a while before I began earning money again, and even so I never got anything full-time, so the problems of rural lag in technology access and rural job limitations combined to put our family behind the tech curve. That certainly affected my “millennial” children, who from my perspective aren’t typical millennials.

                There’s also not much acknowledgement that later life experiences can profoundly change so-called millennials. My children were laid off and then their father died unexpectedly when they were in their 20s. It was life-changing for them, so I get a little tired of the stereotyping.

        2. Natalie*

          Same with cell phones, which are always brought up in “millennials” trend pieces. I was born in 84 so I’m a millennial apparently, but no one I knew had a cell phone until high school and I didn’t get one until I was 22. My parents still don’t have one, except for a prepay one in the car for emergencies.

          1. Anx*

            I was middle class, around the same age. Cell phones were a ‘going to college’ thing for most of us. Or a senior year thing (once a lot of friends were driving, etc).

            1. RecentGrad*

              I’m younger than both of you and cell phones were a college thing for most people I knew, too. I had one towards the end of high school, partially because I took a lot of public transit and my parents were worried, but refused to give out the number to “friends”/classmates in school. Hell, I have a prepaid smart phone now and I still don’t give out the number. I routinely “miss” calls and “don’t recieve” texts. I like being able to have a small computer in the palm of my hand, but I don’t like others assuming I’m always connected…(which is a rant for another day!)

        3. RecentGrad*

          I was born a bit earlier than you but also didn’t have internet at home until I was 13-14, and even then it was dial up. I didn’t have high speed at home until I was almost leaving for college. My college education however was heavily influenced by the internet (ability to do research, etc) than it was for people older than me. And my parents had a computer from the time I was ~7, well before we got internet access.

          At this point, I find computers so intuitive that they’re almost an extension of me, but that’s really only true of the last few years. I wouldn’t say I grew up with computers or that I “don’t remember a time before the internet” as I’ve been informed. (Yes, I’ve actually been informed by other people that I don’t remember a time before the internet.)

    2. matcha123*

      I somewhat prefer and like being a millennial, even if I was born closer to the beginning, rather than the end, of the cut offs. Any generation is going to have “starts” and “ends” and the people that are closer to those parts are going to feel caught in-between. I don’t think there’s any way around that.

      And with every generation, the previous one is going to complain about the new one.
      If someone wants to discredit me due to the decade I was born in, then I can’t do anything about that. All I can do is the best I can.

    3. Myrin*

      What I find especially weird is that these generational categorisations are by no means universal yet are apparently treated as such. Case in point, terms for different generations don’t exist in my country at all (although there’s this typical “ugh YOUNG PEOPLE”, but I have a feeling that’s existed forever and continues to be used in regards to current teenager, not a whole generation), and while having heard expressions like “millenials” or “generation x” on the internet a handful of times before, I only learned through this very site what that actually meant. Yet American media seems to be kind of fixated on it? (Or aren’t they? As someone not in the US I can’t really judge this. But at least it’s something everyone seems to know about.)

      1. fposte*

        It’s effective clickbait. Millennials hate-read the articles, older people read the articles to confirm their annoyance with young people, and the more you read of them the more you’re convinced it’s a Thing you should read about some more when new articles show up.

        Not that dissimilar from a lot of other common media topics, really.

        1. Not So NewReader*

          Much of what is printed adds to our problems, under the guise of “identifying the problem”.

          For example: I am having problems wrapping my mind around why anyone would want to do a study to figure out if ANY group of people are narcissistic or even thought of as narcissistic. What is wrong with people that they would craft a study to follow up on this point???
          I do not see any thing that is factor in to compensate for age. When I was 20 on into 30 I had to be self-focused in order to launch my life. I wasn’t going to make it if I did not give it some concentration. grrrr. I guess whoever did the study forgot what an effort it takes to start out in this world.
          I can’t remember baby boomers being studied in this manner and I think it is insulting. Additionally, some consideration might be put into the changes in parenting beliefs that went on. Baby boomers did a lot of things differently from how the Greatest Generation did. I think they made some remarkable improvements. And now the baby boomers kids are yet, AGAIN, making some remarkable improvements as they parent their own children. But we don’t read about that stuff.

          I remember all too well, people saying my generation was going to hell in a hand basket. We were lazy, self-focused, selfish, didn’t work, etc. And now we are doing this to other generations. Hopefully, there will soon be a generation that will stop this cycle.

          I think the studies say more about the myopia of the person doing the study than any thing about the generation of the study’s focus.

          /rant. But not feeling that much better.

        2. Anx*

          Yep. Just today I hate-read something going around the internet about how millenials ruined the music industry. As if millenials are soley responsible for their having less spending money and more forms of entertainment to compete for discretionary dollars, selling off radio companies to generic broadcasting firms, wrote up the record deal contracts, and invented the technology which they grew up with (partial blame for that, though).

      2. Steve G*

        What country are you in? I lived in Czech Rep for 3 years and they didn’t really have these generational descriptions either, but I do think you can categorize young people now as “those who remember communism” and those who don’t, so the cut-off point would be the mid-80s……but yeah, they don’t talk about these sort of generational descriptions there.

    4. The Cosmic Avenger*

      These millennial stereotypes are, for some reason, considered an acceptable form of ageism and stereotyping. When someone perceives a trend among people of a specific race or religion or nationality, or even among senior citizens, it’s bigotry, but for some reason the print media considers it “journalism” if they spout this kind of nonsense about younger generations.

      1. Not So NewReader*

        Agreed. If a study like this was done on a protected class, it would rain down on the authors of the study.

    5. VintageLydia USA*

      “[T]he last thing I thought was that when I was in my 30s, was that I would be getting written about as if I was some adult-adolescent.”

      THIS SO MUCH! I’ll be 29 next month. Most of my friends are at least a couple steps into their chosen career, at least half of them own their own homes, most of us have at least one kid. I think most millenials are in that age between “young adult” and “middle age” at this point. Even if some of us are still floundering around I can guarantee you the current and recent economy has more to do with it than how young we were when we first got AIM.

      1. Not So NewReader*

        My father was part of the Greatest Generation. He floundered into his 40s. (Great Depression, then off to war, then home again, jobless. That was the first 26 years of his life. It took almost 15 years for him to recuperate from all that.)

        He never forgot the struggle to get situated in life. I can just see him spitting nails on this one. “This is not how you support your next generation, it’s not how you help them.” And so on.

      2. Anx*


        And you know what, I’m not doing so well. I’m not financially dependent on my parent, but I was for a few years longer than I cared to. And if my relationship ended, I’d probably move home.

        I don’t own a car, have a kid, have a full-time career, am unmarried, or own a home. But I still am an adult. I still do my own taxes and navigate my own insurance and pay my bills. Sure, rent may not have been one of them, but how is it not adult-like to live with family if you have the ability to when you don’t have the means to move out?

    6. Episkey*

      +1 — I was also born in ’81 and have tons of memories like you do! I grew up mainly on Naval bases where our parents still felt we were all “safe” and can remember literally being outside with my friends riding bikes or romping through fields for HOURS with no adult contact lol.

      We didn’t have the Internet at home until I was in high school, I didn’t learn to type until I took a typing class in high school, and I didn’t have a cell phone until I was about 19. I can still remember writing school reports by going to the library and looking stuff up in encyclopedias! I certainly wouldn’t say I grew up with that kind of technology.

    7. Lindrine*

      Try being part of the “slacker” “gen-x” group. Super fun, let me tell you. Yeah my brother is a 1980 baby too. Those labels aren’t you and it sucks when people use them to make quick judgements.

    8. Tau*

      +1 . I was born in the late 80’s, so not even close to the cut-off if we set it at 1980… and yet when I read statements like”

      For instance, Millennials’ behaviors and values often stem from their immersion in technology, she said. They grew up with computers, cellphones, the Internet and social media, expecting speedy responses to their questions, and benefitting from instant interaction with friends and co-workers.

      …I just boggle. Like you said, it’s redefining my childhood. I *did* actually grow up with computers (but, as mentioned upthread, mostly ones running DOS so it was still a very different experience), but the rest? I was 10-11 by the time we got internet and 15 when we got broadband (and was thus allowed to use said internet), my classmates started getting mobile phones when I was around 14-16 and I got my first just before I left home for university, I never had any kind of social media account before I moved out from home because the whole concept didn’t really exist yet… by all means, tell me more about how I grew up around mobile phones and social media!

      And it’s not like this is a hard calculation to make, you know? Facebook launching in 2004 means that (at a cut-off date at 1980) the oldest Millennials will have been in their early twenties when it happened. That’s light-years away from “growing up with social media”. You can do the same maths with things like mobile phones becoming widespread (around 2000 from my memories, although it might have been earlier in the US) and broadband becoming widely and cheaply available… but somehow none of the people writing this sort of article care to think about the subject that hard.

      On a side note, I hate generational barriers altogether because they make my older sister a different generation than me and my younger sister (if 1980 = millenial, as many articles propose). I also find it silly that my middle sister, born in Jan 1980, a few weeks out of the 70s, is lumped into the same group of people born in the late 80s and 90s.

      Yep. And on the flip side of people born a few years apart ending up in different generations, my brother (an older “Millennial”) narrowly escaped being lumped into the same generation as his own daughter. That’s the point where I just have to shake my head.

      1. Myrin*

        Very much this. I was born in 91 and distinctly remember getting my first mobile phone – a real brick – when I changed schools, which was in 2001. I still use a pretty old-fashioned phone (not brick-like anymore, though) because I never really got into it (and also don’t care, but that’s me personally, I know most other people my age do have smartphones). That first phone as well as the three after that were primarily used for texting, calling, and sometimes playing Snakes and tinny music. That seems very different to me from the 11-year-olds I see in the train who have super advanced smartphones and a kind of technical lingo that makes me boggle and feel like a 90-year-old who doesn’t understand how to words.

        I definitely remember that my father had a computer when I was eight (maybe even earlier, but I don’t know that) and I sometimes used Paint to draw silly pictures on it. It also had an internet connection but I only ever learned how to use that when I was like… thirteen or so? And about a year later I got my first computer, a hand-me-down from my father. My school had one computer room with about 20 seats and there was a voluntary class where you could learn typing without looking at the keyboard one year (I didn’t participate but shortly after that taught it myself) and that was it. My younger sister though, born in 96, already had mandatory IT classes and was expected to have a computer at home, whereas that wasn’t a deal for me and my classmates at all.

        As I said above, these generational classifications aren’t a thing in my country but my mind still boggles that someone would think people being born from 1980 till 2ooo had the same kind of universal experiences when that can’t even be said for me and my sister who are only five years apart.

        1. Anx*

          Most of the time I don’t really want a smart phone, but I do get resentful when I see elementary school kids with their own. It boggles my mine.

          But I also grew up fairly middle class and while I didn’t have my own computer, I did have an outdated TV in my room. I’m sure some 20 something trying to scrape money together for bills would have rolled their eyes at that one.

      2. matcha123*

        Is Facebook the only social media?
        What about Xanga? MySpace? or even (gasp) GeoCities? or AIM chat rooms? or AIM in general?

        I think people forget that those things were what allowed something like Facebook to become big.

        1. RecentGrad*

          Oh man, GeoCities. That brings back some memories! My first real “social media” experience was on LiveJournal, and it’s still the only one I use, the account is about 12 years old.

    9. GenericGen*

      I know how you feel. I was born six weeks after the end of the Baby Boom. I am technically Gen X but sometimes feel more like a Baby Boomer. My older sister is a Boomer and my younger siblings are all squarely Gen X, so I listened to 8 track tapes and 70s rock like a lot of Boomers but also really enjoyed the 90s music scene as did Gen Xers born ten years after me.

    10. Moe*

      They did it to GenX too. We were apathetic slackers that would never amount to anything, doncha know. And boy do I ever hear you on rewriting childhood memories. According to the media we were all latchkey kids fending for ourselves in Lord of the Flies situations while our Boomer parents were busy getting divorced and chasing personal fulfillment. My mother, who did not enter the workforce full-time until I was fifteen, would have to disagree.

    11. Another Lauren*

      All of this. According to the article I am apparently a Millenial. Yet I very definitely did not grow up with computers, internet,…and certainly not with Social Media. In fact, I’m pretty sure we got our first family computer when I was 14, and didn’t get internet until I was 16 (dial-up, AOL). What’s more, Facebook wasn’t even around until after I graduated college, and I didn’t get an account until well after I started working full-time (and my younger brother was the one who set it up for me). Oh yeah, and my first cell phone…not until college, and I paid for it myself.

      A lot of the descriptions attributed to Millenials simply don’t ring true to me and my experiences, which is what makes it so frustrating to read or hear about “everyone born in 1980 or later…”

      1. Another Lauren*

        And to put the timing of my family getting internet/AOL when I was 16, I was a senior in high school at that point…a boarding school, so I literally had access to my family’s internet for a year before college on the one or two weekends a month that I visited home… Please… The whole thing is just ridiculous…

      2. Fucshia*

        I agree with you, but wanted to make one point: Facebook was not the start of social media.

        There were a few others even earlier, but America Online (AOL) was probably been the one that really made things take off and get into more homes. AOL started in the mid 80s. It used a dialup phone connection at the time and was about $30 a month. Not cheap, but accessible for many and easy to use.

        1. Fucshia*

          This was meant to be a reply to Tau above, who seemed to be suggesting social media started with FB.

    12. Kelly*

      I’m in the beginning part of millennials. I can remember being allowed to go door to door selling Girl Scout cookies on my own, a practice that is discouraged today. I do remember having a home computer in elementary school with internet access because it was something my dad needed for work. It ended up being filled up with games for my sister and myself, including Oregon Trail and other edutainment games. My parents didn’t get cable TV for over 5 years because the connector on our TV got damaged in a lightning storm. It still would work the VCR though. Neither my sister or I had cell phones until college. We came from an upper middle class family that certainly could have afforded them but my parents didn’t feel it was necessary for us to have our own until college. For a matter of perspective, my mom got her first Iphone a month ago and really doesn’t care for it. She asked if some buttons could be installed on it. She’s tech aware and wants either an Ipad or Macbook to replace a very buggy Dell laptop, but she doesn’t like how small the screen is on Iphones.

    13. JoJo*

      Trust me, I know exactly how you feel. I was born in the early 60’s and I’ve been lumped in with the Woodstock crowd my entire life. Uh no, I didn’t protest the war, I don’t remember JFK, and the Beatles were just some band that broke up when I was in grade school.

      1. Not So NewReader*

        They keep moving the end date for boomers. It used to be 1960. Recently, I saw an article where now it’s 1964. I dunno- I can’t relate to the poodle skirts and bobby sox stuff. That feels like a different era to me. And definitely anyone born in the early 60s was not a hippie, their parents might have been at some point.

        1. Natalie*

          The “baby boom” isn’t actually hippies, even though people use it that way. It’s just denoting a period with a very high birth rate, that started when everyone came back from WWII and had kids (1946) and ended with the birth control pill (1964).

          Which is exactly the problem with this sort of labeling. The baby boom is useful from a historical context because there where just tons of kids and young people around, which shifts the culture in various ways. But it doesn’t necessarily mean anything about individuals born in that time period.

    14. Not telling*

      Gen Xers and baby boomers have all kinds of generalizations made about them as well. The vast majority of them are not true. But that doesn’t mean they get bent all out of shape about them. Most people couldn’t even tell you what their generation is named or when their generation begins and ends.

      So in summary: if you want the generalizations and labeling to stop, then stop getting worked up over them.

      1. Formerly Bee*

        Yeah, I agree. It bothers me, but the only thing you can do about it is stop clicking the clickbait.

        1. Steve G*

          That’s one way to approach it, but the articles still pop up and other people read them, and then it can still feed into their misunderstandings of other people. For example, a while back on this blog we had someone asking how to approach a manager that kept printing articles on how to manage a millenial, i.e., the OP. The OP wanted to be treated as a person, not a stereotype. A few months ago at work, I had a similar conversation with someone 4 years older than me and someone 4 years younger than me. The older person was taking the “millenials do xyz” approach to the personnel issue we were discussing, and me, not being far in age from either of them (though the 8 year difference between them is quite considerable), didn’t see it as a generational thing at all.

          Also, people like me get “bent out of shape” at these articles because we do want to belong to a generation, and I want to be able to talk about things I have done/do without people thinking “but you are a millenial so you couldn’t have done xyz/remembered xyz, etc.” because most of the descriptions of millenials describe someone born circa 1990, not 1980. We, or I, just need the description of my generation correct so I don’t need to keep correcting it!

      2. Sue Wilson*

        Please give me an example of when this has ever actually worked for a group of people categorized on a social scale because it hasn’t yet worked for sexism or racism.

      3. Koko*

        “But that doesn’t mean they get bent all out of shape about them.”

        This very thread is full of Boomers and Xers complaining about stereotypes about them. So it would seem that Boomers, Xers, and Millennials are all equally likely to “get bent all out of shape about them.”

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Are they though? I think they’re more sharing what stereotypes they were saddled with because it’s an interesting data point, and a way to empathize and point out that this happens to everyone.

    15. Andrew*

      I agree. I was born in 1958, and few things irk me more than the assumption that my experiences are identical to people born in, say, 1947. After all, we’ve both been declared baby boomers, right?

      Uh…no. Labels are for file folders.

    16. Paula*

      Just a point that generation labels typically are close to 20 years. My husband is a 1964 baby boomer…and you are correct, his upbringing is nothing much like those born in 1946. That said, just because you are statistically part of a labelled cohort, doesn’t make you that thing. Just because you are labelled male/female, doesn’t mean you have to conform to the label. So next time you read about your “generation”, remember it’s just a grouping, not speaking and saying you conform to the grouping. I think it is interesting to hear about the differences.

      I would also say your birth year is more likely to put you as “Generation X” like myself. Keep in mind that all these labels are changing…and it will be years before the sociologists stop redefining everything and agree (if ever).

      There are interesting things those born even within just a few years of each other share with those who don’t. I know for myself, mothers came to preschool events like Valentines in heels, pantyhose, dresses, and coiffed hair. Not true of people just a couple years older than me. (I was born in ’69 in Texas). By my grade school years, casual wear was becoming much more common.

  3. Susan*

    I just relocated to Southern California from Denver, so I guess I don’t have to deal with this anymore, but driving in snow/ice with low visibility used to give me really horrible anxiety. Like I would show up to work with my chest hurting and I’d question why, and realize it was from holding my breath from being so scared. I mean, maybe my anxiety is more acute than other people’s, but the time I spent calming down could have very easily been spent actually doing work from home. I don’t feel like I’m completely irrational to have anxiety about this by the way–it’s scary to make a right turn and not know where you’re going to end up! Isn’t it?

    I have friends who live in Alabama, and they had a really bad snowstorm about a year ago that the city wasn’t equipped to deal with. I had friends who had to abandon their car and walk home. They’re not representative of the whole country obviously, they just don’t know how to respond to it. But maybe areas where people don’t know how to drive in snow should be particularly willing to accommodate employees.

    1. Steve G*

      I get you, I once started to skid in a minor snow storm in NY and kept skidding, and slid across a busy 2-lane road and over a high curb, which slowed me down, and finally stopped when I hit a hydrant. Thank God I slid across that road when most cars were stopped a little down the street in either direction at red lights. If not, there definitely would have been a nasty accident….all so I could go do “dramatic analysis” that management either didn’t look at, or took weeks to get to anyway – nothing needed to get done that day

    2. Natalie*

      Not necessarily irrational, no. I grew up and learned to drive in MN and I still get really freaked out by freezing rain and white outs.

      A certain amount of caution and health respect for cars is important. Driving is dangerous – one of the most dangerous things most of us will ever do. It bugs me that people seem to forget that.

      1. Alistair*

        Yes! Caution and healthy respect for cars should just be the tip of the iceberg! You’re pushing one ton or more of metal glass and plastic at high speeds! Cars can be death machines, and it bothers me that so many forget that until it’s too late.

        I do a lot of driving for work, and I try to be a good driver. I never worry about my skills or my car anymore, I worry about everyone else! On a related note, Marylanders: stop tailgating me! Especially if I’m in a pickup, you’re in a tiny car, and I can’t even see your headlights in my mirrors!

        1. JoJo*

          What the hell is it about Maryland and tailgating? It’s the norm for cars to drive bumper to bumper on the beltway, and if you try to leave enough space, someone invariably cuts in front of you.

          1. TheSockMonkey*

            I think that’s the DC area in general, as I don’t think its really better in Northern Virginia. (Speaking as someone who learned to drive elsewhere, leaves space, and gets cut off. And, usually simultaneously honked at by a self-important dude in a sports car who is tailgating me.)

            1. Koko*

              Worst/most common offenses of DMC drivers:
              DC drivers ignore red lights and stop signs; Maryland drivers “block the box”; Virginia drivers pass on the right, change lanes too much, and generally drive too aggressively.

        2. hermit crab*

          You mean the Marylanders aren’t just tailgating me? I seem to always find myself cruising calmly along in the right lane, and then someone is suddenly 6 inches behind me — when the passing lane is completely clear. Um, just pass me. I’m not going to speed up in this situation. I’m going to slow down because now I’m worried about needing to stop suddenly and getting rear-ended. And it’s almost always someone with Maryland plates, but mayyyyyyybe that’s because I drive through Maryland a lot. :)

    3. Suzanne*

      I live in a rural area in the Midwest, at least 10 miles from anything. I have had to drive at minimum 15 miles to work, mostly many more miles. Driving in snow is always an issue and it’s been a mixed bag from employers as to how they handled it. Some have been very understanding and believe safety is more important than getting to work. Others, not so much. At one very dysfunctional educational institution job, after an employee was killed in a car accident attempting to drive to work in a snowstorm, a mandate had come down that the school would be closed if the weather was bad enough to warrant widespread school closures. The supervisor in my department, however, mandated that we should remain open. So, I’d white knuckle it the hour or so it took me to get there…sigh. I only lasted through one winter.

      I understand an employer having a job that needs done, but it won’t get done if your employee ends up in a ditch or worse trying to get to work in the midst of horrific weather!

      1. Not So NewReader*

        Am shaking my head. What is so hard for employers to understand here? It’s very simple: Dead employees are not very productive. I don’t get why there is so much lack of comprehension.

      2. Valar M.*

        I can totally understand this, when its in a field where you’re essential (firefighter, police, roads, etc.). I think you are well equipped going in, knowing that you’ll still have to show up for work no matter the weather.

        What you’re describing though, when it varies so much between employers in non-essential positions (who tend to define themselves what they deem ‘essential’), is frustrating. If I live in an area where snow is not well handled, whether or not they force me to come into work would be something I’d want to know before I was started working there. I’ve found a few places that claim “safety first” but then belittled when you didn’t want to drive to work in 6-12 inches of snow.

    4. Rebecca*

      If we have a particularly bad snow day here in the Northeast, I drive for our car pool that day, even if it’s not my week to drive. Fortunately (or not) I don’t have that anxiety, but the other ladies do, so it’s better for everyone. They can relax, we still get to work, and thankfully we haven’t had any issues.

      That being said, I wish we had the option to work from home, especially when the weather is bad. If we feel it’s too dangerous to drive to work, and I’m talking about 20 miles on a multi lane highway plus rural roads to get on and off, we have to use a vacation day.

    5. fposte*

      I think the local weather norms tend to set the standard expectation. If you’re moving from Phoenix to Chicago, you’re going to want to learn how to deal with some snow; if you’re moving from Chicago to Seattle, you’re going to want to learn how to deal with hills even when they’re wet. Etc. An employee new to the area may be able to get some adjustment slack cut, but the expectation would be that eventually they would develop their skills for local driving or find a workable alternative to it. A nontypical local weather thing, like an Atlanta blizzard, exceeds expectations for road management as well as drivers, so it has a higher mess potential, and I think employees should get cut more slack for something like that.

      And of course, as Alistair notes, driving’s always dangerous. This is one of those situations where our anxiety doesn’t correlate reliably to risk; we often underestimate risks of driving sometimes and overestimate it others.

      1. Valar M.*

        The Chicago to Seattle move would leave you highly prepared for the number of crazy drivers though. So at least there would be that.

        1. fposte*

          There’s that. But as a prairie person, I am perplexed by places where the ground goes up or down. I kind of want to wait around until somebody comes along to fix the aberration.

      2. super anon*

        I live in Vancouver but moved from a city that has winter 8 months of the year – so I’m very used to driving in the snow. I’ll use a PTO day on the rare occasion it snows in Vancouver because while I know how to drive in the snow and have 4WD and winter tires – no one else does (I’ve seen people trying to drive lamborghinis and other sports cars during snowstorms), and the driving I’ve seen here is terrifying. I’d rather not go in than risk having my car destroyed.

    6. Kelly*

      Having lived in the Midwest all of my life, I’m used to driving in snow and ice. That being said, I’ll take a foot of snow over icy road conditions any day. Snow is much easier to deal with both as a driver and a pedestrian. You just have to dress appropriately and make some adjustments in your driving style. Ice is dangerous and treacherous and I think causes more accidents than snow.

      1. VintageLydia USA*

        The day AFTER a snow storm always gives me more anxiety than the day of for that reason. Here in Virginia it will melt, if only a little, the afternoon of, but dip below freezing again overnight. It’s a recipe for a bad time.

      2. Susan*

        I’m the op and I agree completely with this. It’s the ice that’s a beast. And I didn’t say this in my post but I was commuting INTO Denver, not from Denver, and I find the cities are usually better than the surrounding towns.

        And to Lydia’s point, the day after can be bad because sometimes you get cut off or something and a huge amount of dirty slush just flies on your windshield, or a truck passes you and that stuff goes flying. I’ve found that scary too, especially if you’re on the freeway and for a second you can’t see. Sometimes that dirty stuff is hard to clean your windshield of.

    7. Valar M.*

      Denver is not comparable to other cities with snow though. They are the worst – their disbelief in salting the roads, and the slow way they clear the main roads, and then leaving so many of the main thoroughfares snowy? And their refusal despite all of this to cancel anything – UGH! All the locals used to tell me it was because it will “just melt tomorrow when the temperature changes”. What does that have to do with today? When the streets are not navigable? I started keeping a tally of the number of accidents I saw on snowy days, and I have a hard time believing they don’t lead the country in those figures. I’ve lived in much snowier places, but they also seem to have a handle on clearing things. Denver is ridiculous. (Sorry for the rant!)

    8. Elizabeth West*

      Even when you’re used to it, it’s still scary. I don’t like driving in severe winter weather either. But since we get enough of it that I get some practice every winter, I’m less likely to stay home if it’s only a few inches of snow vs. an ice storm, or a foot of snow.

  4. JAL*

    #1 – I live in New York State (I am sure you have seen us on the news recently) and we have a compensation fund for people who miss days of work due to storms. I don’t know the qualifications, but there are some pretty nasty storms and our highways and roads get shut down frequently because of the snow.

    With that being said, I do have the option of telecommunting in emergencies, but I know from first hand experience, I am not nearly as productive when I am at home. I much rather be in the office doing my work.

    1. Not So NewReader*

      The black ice that forms from exhaust pipes at stop signs terrifies me as much as highways do here.

  5. Rebecca*

    I read the Forbes article, and since I’ve tried these tips, to no avail, I’m going to ask for more vacation/PTO time and/or the ability to telecommute 3 or 4 days per month. There are very few days of the year where people come to our office and I need to interact with them face to face. 99.999% of my contact is via email, instant message, or phone, all of which can be accomplished from my home very easily. When I have issues with Asia, my work schedule really holds things up, so instead of a back and forth email taking a few minutes, it stretches out over days due to the time difference. And when I get to work, I’m already 6 hours behind my European contacts. By working at home from very early in the morning to mid afternoon some days, and from mid afternoon to Midnight other days would save so much time and effort.

    I’m sure this is a fool’s errand. The last time I brought up telecommuting, explaining it wouldn’t cost the company anything to allow me to do it since I was technically able to set it up myself (and I showed her that I did), and the issues with world wide contacts, being available at different times, but still working 40 hours, she stated that since she couldn’t trust everyone to work from home, no one could work from home.

    Truthfully, I’ve already mentally checked out, and I’m actively looking for other jobs. I bought Alison’s “How to Get a Job” book, I have been reading the booklet about interviews, my cover letter template is done on my home computer, LinkedIn is updated, my resume is updated, and as soon as the right opportunity comes along, I’m going for it.

    I really don’t know what my company is thinking. In the last 4 years, in addition to cuts in PTO and paid holidays, insurance costs go up, work loads increase, but no performance reviews and no additional compensation. As an employee, I feel unappreciated. It’s very hard to stay motivated when there’s no reward for hard work, other than a continually shrinking paycheck year after year. I’d like to stay put, but it’s not financially feasible any longer.

    1. Jennifer*

      Here’s how our conversation about raises went at work this week:

      “So, what about extra compensation for all of the extra work they keep throwing at us? Will the higher ups do anything about that?”

      My industry will not ever, ever, ever do raises for any reason. The higher-ups won’t allow it unless you get a job at a different level, and so far they won’t raise us to another level either because “it’s too hard” and “the union won’t let you out.” So all of this sort of breath-wasting about negotiating for raises just seems like a joke to me.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        For what it’s worth, that’s not really a conversation about raises — or at least, not one likely to get you a raise! Very few managers, even good ones, would respond to “So, what about extra compensation for all of the extra work they keep throwing at us? Will the higher ups do anything about that?” as if it were a real raise request. For one thing, it sounds more like a group request (you’re talking in plural — “us”) and raise requests don’t usually happen like that.

        To really test whether you can get a raise, you’d want to have a more formal conversation with your boss, where you explicitly asked for more compensation for yourself and lay out the case for it. (It’s entirely possible they still wouldn’t give you one, of course — I just wouldn’t draw any conclusions from the conversation above.)

        1. Rebecca*

          I followed your advice late last year, not just saying “give me more money because cost of living blah blah blah” but “here are the items where I’ve implemented process improvement, saved X man hours in our department, streamlined this procedure”, etc., all related to the other person’s workload I had to absorb. It made zero difference. I was reminded that others are paid less than me, so I should be happy with my wage rate. Like I said, it’s very hard to stay motivated when there is no incentive to go above and beyond and do a great job.

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            Right, it doesn’t work every time (that would be magic if if did!). Uusually when I talk about asking for a raise, I also talk about what to do if the answer is no — (1) ask what it would take to get a raise and (2) decide if it’s a deal-breaker for you and you want to look elsewhere, or whether you’re willing to stay at this rate of pay. In your case, it sounds like you’re at point #2.

            But for Jennifer, I wanted to point out that the conversation she described isn’t really asking for a raise.

            1. Jennifer*

              I suppose that’s true. My coworker (she asked, not me, in a group meeting) basically wanted to see if it’s even worth the time and effort trying to. And that is definitely a no. And since we’re all on the same level, individual raises based on merit isn’t going to happen here. The one “raise” I got was because I wasn’t technically being paid the same as they were when I transferred. My boss has very little power in this office anyway, and the higher-ups will do what they want, so there it is.
              I’m just lucky to be employed at all.

  6. esra*

    Being on the older end of the Millenial generation *cough*, you have to laugh when they go on about a 4-year section of the group. Many of us are in our late twenties and early thirties and have been working for a while now.

    1. esra*

      Oh, I missed the mandatory Boomer praise in the research section.

      “We left you this great pile of garbage! Why aren’t you more happy with your garbage! In our day…”

      1. fposte*

        Hey, when I was a boomer kid, I had to look in *newspapers* to be berated by the previous generation! You millennials don’t realize how lucky you are to just click on a screen to get insulted.

        1. GenericGen*

          “Why, you whippersnappers! I had to walk uphill both ways in a blizzard to get to school. You have it too soft.”

      2. SystemsLady*

        “How dare you youngsters have the audacity to use the technology we wanted when we were young and worked hard on to make our lives easier! If we were young and constantly surrounded by this technology, we never would’ve used it!” – every boomer writing a terrible anti-millenial screed, ever.

          1. Not So NewReader*

            Want it all now, without working for it. I guess that would have to include everyone who has bought a lottery ticket, too. Have to get back to this pile of scratchies I have here…

          2. AIP*

            If these writers spent two minutes on learning a bit of history, they’d know that there are almost identical articles in early 20th, 19th and 18th century news papers, comprising older generations slating younger people. And before that there are any number of journals and private letters doing the exact same thing.
            Plus ça change, plus ça même chose!

          3. esra*

            What I love is when you look at old entry level pay grades, adjust them with inflation, and it ends up being like 45k.

  7. BRR*

    Can you tell my employer about telecommuting? My manager is actually a strong advocate but people above her frown on it. Especially since calling a snow day isn’t a perfect science, telecommuting makes so much sense.

    I hate the label millennial and really any label. There are people of every age who have positive and negative traits. Not everything needs to fit into a box.

    You forgot to tell Forbes that ladies should use eve products for confidence.

  8. Kathryn*

    We just had our annual edict from on high about the departmental snow and flu season policy. The first major snow storm of the year, which hasn’t happened yet, everyone is required to work from home. Traffic will be a mess, and we stress test the VPN.

    For flu and other contagion, also stay home. We keep masks and hand sanitizer, but have a strong preference for keeping germs away from the office.

    I know not all jobs can operate with heavy remote work, but my department is only 2/3 local to begin with, the teams we work with are global, and we work for the internet. Some people are less productive at home and some things just have to happen face to face, but much of the time, for most of the department, having the option gives us valuable flexibility and productivity.

  9. Golden Yeti*

    You’ve also been quoted on Lifehacker a few times lately (sorry, don’t have the links)…

  10. Pennalynn Lott*

    Soooo disappointed that neither you nor Susan mentioned douching as one of the necessary steps to asking for a raise.

  11. Former Professional Computer Geek*

    When I interviewed for my last f/t job there was multiple feet of snow on the ground. My future boss convinced me this was “worse than usual.”

    The next year winter came and it was just as bad. Worse, I discovered that the local reaction was, “It’s snow. We get snow. Nobody cares.” Well, I’m disabled. I walk with a four-footed cane and I fall easily. At work, minimal effort was done to shovel and salt outside of the building. The people who shoveled/plowed the parking lot kept using the blue-lined areas next to the handicap spots, or the spots themselves, for piling up the snow. I fell in the parking lot three times before I couldn’t take it anymore. I begged to work from home and was told no. Eventually it got so bad that there were days I got to work, saw everything covered in snow and ice, and turned around and drove right back home rather than fall again. (Actually, I’d been told to ask for security to help walk me into the building, but they never answered their phones, and after a half hour I’d give up and leave.) I tried talking to HR who told me to suck it up. I was required to take PTO days but I’d do my work anyway. From home. Our group relied heavily on networked communication and rarely spoke in person anyway.

    One of my coworkers was allowed to work from home any time there was a snow sprinkle. The reason given is that he lived 20 miles away from work so his commute would suck. I, however, lived within 5 miles, so my “commute wasn’t as bad.” I kept trying to point out the real issues.

    Of course, the boss wanted me gone, and he got his wish. My repeated use of PTO instead of being willing to fall and hurt myself yet again was enough reason to have me fired. Privately, the boss told me that the real reason was that, basically, I was too disabled. Because he said it behind closed doors, an employment lawyer told me I had no case. I even took pictures of the handicapped spots piled with snow and was told it was nothing.

    And they wonder why so few disabled people are employed.

    1. Beyonce Pad Thai*

      That is afwul! Did you call the ADA info line at the time? I’m surprised the lawyer said there was nothing to be done.

    2. Elfie*

      Ugh, I’m so sorry that you’ve had to face this. It really sets my teeth on edge when I hear stories like this, because my husband has faced similar problems at his workplace. I sometimes think they feel like he should be grateful he’s still employed, because he can’t do the job of an able-bodied employee. (Never mind the fact that he’s actually a lot more productive than several of the able-bodied, just very lazy, employees!) I hope you’re in a better situation now. Your ex-boss sucked, and is it really horrible of me to hope they have difficultly sleeping at night over the way they treated you?

      1. Former Professional Computer Geek*

        People who do this stuff don’t have any problems sleeping at night.

        Right after I lost that job I interviewed for another. I had every experience with specific technologies that was needed. I got an oral offer for the job. We’d discussed my disability and found a quick and simple way to make a needed accommodation. It was a bit of a pay cut but nothing horrible. I was told I’d get the written offer within a week and then… nothing. Two weeks later I got email. “Thanks, but no thanks.” The hiring manager instead hired a man 10 years younger who had half the experience I did (he was a friend of a friend and I’d seen his resume) but, of course, was not disabled.

        The odd thing is that this younger man was a job hopper. I think the longest he ever stayed at a job was two years. Three times he and I were finalists for the same job and every time he wound up getting it. There was a rumour – just a rumour – that he was doing this by pointing out that he didn’t need any ‘accommodations’ to do his job. I’d like to believe that nobody could be that much of a jerk. I do know that every time he hopped out of a job I’d lost to him I’d run into him at a social event and he’d tell me all about how I’d “dodged a bullet” by losing out on the job.

        In summary, people are jerks.

        1. Elfie*

          I am so sorry! You’re right, some people are jerks, and the jerkier they are the better I’ll bet they sleep.

        2. ThursdaysGeek*

          Well, if they can hire a younger (and cheaper) person, they’ll usually do that anyway, the disability would not be the only reason. Older geeks are expensive and businesses can be short-sighted and not remember that they often get what they pay for. But yeah, there is subtle and not-so-subtle discrimination going on all the time. I’m sorry.

          1. Former Professional Computer Geek*

            He was younger but not cheaper. Every time he job hopped he always negotiated his way upwards in salary, insisting that that job would be the one he was going to stick with.

      1. Former Professional Computer Geek*

        I think it should be f*cking illegal, but it’s not. I had no way to really prove any hardship (even with pictures and the forms I had to fill out every time I fell). What the lawyer pointed out is that all they had to do is say, “Not performing up to standards” and poof! I’m out of there. At-will laws suck.

  12. Sans*

    Now I work at a company where everyone has laptops and it’s expected you’ll stay home if the weather is bad. But in the past I’ve worked for places where the CEO literally lived across the street and decreed everyone needed to come in during an ice storm – although he didn’t because the sidewalks were slippery – and a place where the CEO would say that if he could drive in, so could everyone else. Except he had a top of the line Range Rover, which perhaps eased his commute a bit. After some hair raising 2 hour commutes where I shook for an hour after finally getting there – I don’t do that crap anymore. I’ll stay home and work. You got a problem with it, come drive your Range Rover over and tell me about it. lol

  13. Bunny*

    I had to laugh at this bullet point in the article:

    • In the book Working Across Generations: Defining the Future of Nonprofit Leadership (John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2009), the authors predict that Millennials will switch jobs frequently, holding many more jobs than older generations, in part because of their high expectations. [ ] – See more at:

    Yes. Because it’s totally our “entitlement” that sees us switching jobs more frequently. Nothing at all to do with the oldest of us having been in their mid-twenties when the global economy crashed, resulting in the vast majority of us entering the workplace, or being in the early years of establishing our careers, during a time when the “job for life” was little more than a myth, when redundancies became a common and expected part of life, when increasing numbers of employers switched to zero-hours and rolling temp contracts, offering zero job security and making it necessary for all of us to be continuously on the lookout for new job opportunities.

    Now sure, the article says the trend is “in part” due to entitlement, not solely because of it, but it’s telling that this is the specific sound-bite picked out – yet again – to discuss my generation. I still find it equal parts funny and frustrating that my generation gets labeled entitled for wanting a working life that allows us to have a basic level of security in order to do things like… marry, have kids, keep our own homes, have adequate insurance, save for retirement… all things we apparently also don’t do because we are “entitled” and “live in the moment”, not because those things all require regular and reliable income for long periods of time.

    Not that all of us are stuck living with their parents, unemployed or working zero-hour jobs, of course – I have a few friends and peers who have managed to establish stable careers. But notably they all either had wealthy parents-with-connections or went AGAINST the accepted wisdom of their elders in their teens, jumping straight into entry-level work out of school instead of pursuing further and higher education.

    1. aebhel*

      Millenials switch jobs more frequently because entry level jobs are usually the first ones cut, and because temping and cobbling together hours from multiple part-time jobs is just normal and accepted. I don’t know a single millenial who wouldn’t take a secure full-time job with benefits–but those jobs are getting harder and harder to find.

      Nobody works three temp jobs at a time because it’s fulfilling.

    2. LizNYC*

      Yeah, it had *nothing* to do with the economy totally collapsing. Just like today, there’s no way I could ever follow in my grandfather’s footsteps and work for the same private company happily for 40 years, retire, and have a hefty pension.

      I also chuckled at the bullet that said Millennials expect to use technology in the workplace. Um, maybe that’s because technology is used outside the workplace in everyday transactions, so when you’re still using a mimeograph in the backroom at work, you wonder why.

  14. Koko*

    Can we talk about this quote at the bottom of the millennials article?

    “Generation Z poses a threat to Millennials because [the former] has learned from [the latter’s] faults and had tech access earlier in life, with more access to people and resources. This is why they are more entrepreneurial than Millennials, too.”

    I’m sorry, what? Generation Z is more entrepreneurial than Millennials? Is he asserting that the under-10 crowd is more entrepreneurial than the 10-30 year old set?

    1. fposte*

      I’m seeing definitions of Generation Z that would make them 20 now. I still think it’s absurdly premature to assess their entrepreneurial achievements, but it’s likely that the comparison is to Gen Y at the same age, not Gen Y now.

  15. AW*

    “Millennials have been coached and mentored their whole lives…

    If you had to pick only one line to prove that this whole thing is bunk, it’s this. Apparently 0% of Millennials grew up poor, in rural areas, in projects, orphaned, with distant or abusive parents/guardians, in poor school systems, with apathetic teachers & admins, with overwhelmed teachers & admins, without access to after school programs & activities, or spent a significant amount of their childhood outside of this country where cultural norms and trends are different. Nope, all Millennials have gotten coaching and mentorship their entire lives and every single one of them loved every second of it. We know because we asked a bunch of young college students and nobody represents the full extent of the American experience better than college undergraduates with the time (or requirement) to participate in research studies.

  16. Jack of Too Many Trades*

    Telecommuting, or whatever we want to call it nowadays (“working remotely” is what I like), should be a very easy thing to set up with today’s technology. I completely agree with you in the Forbes article that the issue with a lot of bosses is simply the lack of a good management structure. I think there’s also just widespread general inertia to the idea: “People have always worked in central offices, and I’m too busy to think outside the box, so we’ll just do the same thing.”

    I have a different opinion entirely. I think you could actually INCREASE productivity in many jobs by rarely having people ever come into work. Communication via email or various other written methods is communication that’s not lost to the air like verbal conversations in an office or over the phone. People don’t waste hours a day driving to work, pretty much the least productive thing you can do in a day. It also flat out FORCES you as a manager to have clear goals for your team and effective ways of quantifying work accomplished. Hours clocked in a building does not equal work accomplished.

    It seems like such a radical idea because it’s so ingrained, but I think the DEcentralized workplace has some major advantages over the centralized workplace. There are probably huge segments of the population that could do their job productively from anywhere with a decent internet connection. The technology is here in every way. The mindset isn’t, yet.

    1. Jennifer*

      Depends on the job. I can tell you from our recent experiment with “working from home in an emergency” that only one person could even get into our computer systems remotely. The job really isn’t designed to be done from home, especially since public service is involved a good portion of the time.

      1. Jack of Too Many Trades*

        It’s a theory of mine that I’ve described above. I expect every single situation to be a snowflake. In my situation, I quasi-manage a bunch of engineers and draftsmen in a small company. I say quasi-manage, because my boss/dad also likes to get into the management role, and he’s more of a verbal instruction guy. We have major communication and information control issues. I feel quite confident that if I had the time and the proper person to implement it, I could set people up to work from home, collaborate and update over the net via various methods, and it would lead to much more structure than the immediacy and information chaos that meetings around a conference table bring. For my workplace, I feel pretty confident, I could provide the resources necessary to work from home and manage everything easier, too. I wear too many hats, though, to set up the remote system that I need at this time.

    2. VintageLydia USA*

      Are you my husband? Because he focuses his entire career on getting more people to work remotely. It doesn’t work with every job, obviously, but I have more friends who go to work just to sign into a (what is essentially remote since the servers are often off-site) computer network than don’t.

      1. Jack of Too Many Trades*

        I’m fairly sure I’m not your husband. Nope, no rings on my fingers. Yeah, still have a girlfriend, and I don’t think I’m the type that could handle a girlfriend and a wife. Yeah, definitely not your husband, but from what you’ve described, I’d feel like I’d to meet him. I have all sorts of ideas and conceptual plans, but I’m a rudimentary I.T. guy at best, because my job as vice president and co-lead engineer is just a bit time-consuming. With what we do here, it could actually benefit our company greatly to have a smaller corps of directly-employed engineers and a network of the specialists that do contract work for us remotely. This sort of remote system I envision would allow us to contract people directly from just about anywhere in the world. I’d love to find somebody I could trust to help plan and implement the 1s and 0s to make that happen.

  17. Jennifer*

    Oh, on getting raises:

    “A recent study by Payscale surveyed over 30,000 workers about their experiences asking for a raise. They found that 43 percent had asked for one, but only 44 percent of those who asked got the amount they wanted, with 25 percent not getting a raise at all. Among the 57 percent who didn’t ask for a raise, the top reasons were that they got a raise without asking (38 percent) or that they would be uncomfortable asking (28 percent). Only eight percent reported that they were satisfied with their salary. Those surveyed who didn’t ask for a raise tended to be at the lower end of the income spectrum, working in the service or public sectors.”

  18. Julia*

    That SHRM article is a bunch of bologna. It claimed that Gen Z is more entrepreneurial than milennials. How do they know this? These kids are 10 years old right now!!

  19. Anonsie*

    Boy am I ever enjoying the bulleted list of “research” “citations” near the end of that SHRM article, oh my god. “Guys some people said there are some differences so like, screw all the stuff we said earlier in the article!”

    “Studies by the University of Michigan and UCLA that we’re not going to cite at all so you have no idea which ones we mean but TRUST US they exist and they are totally valid enough to draw sweeping conclusions from have found that a higher percentage of Millennials, compared to Baby Boomers and members of Generation X, consider wealth a very important attribute”

    “In the book Working Across Generations: Defining the Future of Nonprofit Leadership, the authors predict that Millennials will switch jobs frequently in part because of their high expectations. Someone said it will happen in a book, right, that’s a citation! This isn’t based on any research we can show you, but we’re going to list it as if it was because it lends credence to our stance that this generation is like super diffs.

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