Many young adults think members of their own generation have an inferior work ethic and lack purpose – but they also tend to believe Millennials have come of age in especially hard times.
Millennials may be a generation defined by technology and social media, but they're also a generation whose lives have been majorly impacted by the financial crisis and its aftermath. Millenials are, broadly speaking, people who were born in the early 1980s onwards. Already one of the iconic shows of this generation is Lena Dunham's 'Girls', the third season of which premiered last weekend on HBO and which focuses on the trials of three young women in New York City fumbling through early adulthood. Although it has received critical acclaim, some have criticized the show for its depiction of young people as lazy and without ambition.
But according to the latest research from YouGov, it appears that Americans would find truth in such a image of today's youth. The majority (69%) of people think that adults younger than 30 do have a different work ethic to older Americans – and more than three-quarters (77%) of people who think there's a difference say older genertions have a better work ethic, including a majority of young people (55%) in this category. This means that around three in ten (31%) of all 18-29 year olds believe adults older than 30 are better workers than members of their own generation.
While most Americans agree Millennials don't have the same work ethic as their predecessors, most people also believe that there are other challenges that the generation faces. An overwhelming majority of Americans (78%) admit that 18-29 year olds are entering the workforce at a tougher time than their parents did, while 60% of Americans say that people in this age group seem to lack a sense of purpose in their lives.
A majority of Americans over the age of 45 think that the next generation will have a lower standard of living than people today, but only a third of those aged 18-29 (33%) agree. A quarter of young adults (25%) even believe that the standard of living will be higher in the future. This relative hopefulness and optimism also may be a trait of Millennials.
Full poll results can be found here.
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