By Allison Groves
Lazy. Entitled. Technology-obsessed. Lack work ethic.
These are all characteristics commonly associated with millennials, a generation of people born in the 1980s and 1990s.
While some of the traits mentioned above may be true of millennials, some say there are benefits to having a sense of entitlement and obsession with technology.
Millennials are usually described as having more outgoing personalities and self-confidence than people from past generations. These types of personalities are helpful in the workforce and can set a person up for success.
According to a 2015 Pew Research Center analysis, millennials now make up the majority of the U.S. workforce, surpassing generation X, which includes birth dates in the 1960s through the early 1980s.
Pew also reports adults between the ages of 18 and 34—which is made up of college students and young professionals—now make up one in three American workers.
Because of the many sterotypes about millennials, some employers are hesitant to hire employees from the generation.
But according to Sarah Sladek, author of Knowing Y: Engage the Next Generation Now, many millennials prefer to start their own business.
In fact, Sladek says 50 percent of millennials want to or have already started their own business.
And many see the millennial connection to technology as a fault, but in reality, the workforce is driven by technology.
Millennials tend to know their technology and are innovative, and traits such as these are necessary in a rapidly changing world.
Franklin College business students are trying to change the view of entrepreneurial millennials.
During the 2015 spring semester, senior business students ranked in the top eight percent on the major field test. Student Ryan Hammer even placed in the top one percent.
“There is a misconception that our generation is incapable of creating a successful business because of technology. Technology has not made us lazy,” said sophomore business major Kali Joiner. “Instead, it has given us an advantage. We have been able to follow other successful entrepreneurs in the media and learn from their mistakes. We have had other advantages that past generations have not had.”
Another common misconception is that millennials overexpose themselves and broadcast their personal lives too much online. However, this very aspect of technology may be exactly what has made some millennials so successful, innovative and easy to network with.
As Joiner mentioned before, new entrepreneurs have been able to learn and pickup tips from past entrepreneurs’ mistakes being broadcasted.
However, some think timing has more to do with the success of millennials in business than technology and media.
“People are focused more on innovation and trying to pursue entrepreneurship these days,” said sophomore Mitch Duncan. “It’s also more acceptable to pursue entrepreneurship than it was in the past.”
So maybe millennials are technology-obsessed and prone to oversharing. But maybe millennials were born with the formula for business success—confidence, innovation and outlook.