I admit it, I’m a millennial, and a London-centric one at that. I’m one of the ‘elite’ yet vastly broad group of people that every brand and its mother is currently trying to target, writes Chloe Walden.
And, if you believe certain publications that shall not be named, I’m also glued to my phone, only eat avocado on toast with a side of rainbow cloud eggs, exclusively drink locally sourced, craft beer, and can often be found in a hipster coffee shop with my beverage of choice being served out of test tubes.
But, what they often forget to mention is that we’re also quite a determined bunch. I’m lucky, I found a career I loved when I was 18 and it was one that I could jump straight into with a fantastic apprenticeship scheme, supportive family and a welcoming industry. So, when someone asks me if I’m happy and enjoy my job I can quite confidently say yes. That is, until I take a step back and have to ask them which one.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a PR professional through and through – there is nothing more satisfying than winning a client, drafting that first press release and seeing the coverage land. But, like many people my age, especially women, I don’t just have an average 9-5 job, I have three 24/7, round the clock, round the world jobs – I’m a PR, a freelance writer and, most recently, a blogger.
For me, this comes more naturally than for some – all three tie together quite nicely and mainly revolve around my passion for food, drink, and scoping out the next best hot spot. But for others it’s not so simple.
So why do we do it? You could argue that as attention spans have diminished, we need something to constantly occupy our minds. You could attribute this desire to constantly fill our waking hours with the fact that for years we’ve been told we’ll never own anything physical – for example a house – (we’re all too busy spending our money on avocados, remember) so we have this desperate need to fill our lives with experiences and become ‘life rich’. Or, it could just be that in this world of social media we simply have FOMO (that’s ‘fear of missing out’ for anyone not in the know) from a constant bombardment and reminder of how much fun everyone else is having.
Whatever the reason is, please don’t make the mistake of thinking that millennials have it all handed to them on a plate. For every bottomless brunch, there’s probably several hours of reviewing and photo editing for that insta-perfect snap. Sure, we’re different from the last generation – we shop differently (I can’t remember the last time I did a big ‘weekly’ shop), we communicate differently and we have new, ‘strange’ habits, but doesn’t every generation have to carve out its own niche?
And although it may sometimes seem that companies are focused on attracting us whilst ignoring everyone else, I can guarantee it isn’t the case. It’s only natural for some of the attention to head our way in order to secure our business. No company can last for 170 years, for example, by refusing to evolve with the times, especially when the competition is as strong as it is now.
So, the next time you see a headline accusing millennials of being lazy, take a step back and think again. Are we lazy, or are we just trying to get to the top in this hectic, 24/7 world we’ve created for ourselves. If you need me, I’ll be drinking my superfood smoothie…
Follow me on Instagram @chloewalden