Yes, many Millennials are still crashing on their parent’s couches. And there’s data to support the claim that they generally want more perks but less face time, and that they hope to rise quickly but don’t stick around for very long. Millennials have also been pretty vocal about their desire to have more flexible jobs and more leave time.
But does all of this mean that all Millennials are actually worse workers?
Laura Olin, a digital campaigner who ran social-media strategy for President Obama’s 2012 campaign, says that’s not been her experience. “You always hear about Millennials supposedly being entitled and needing coddling, but the ones I’ve encountered have been incredibly hard-working and recognize that they need to pay their dues.”
Other managers I spoke with largely echo Olin’s sentiments, especially when it comes to younger Millennial workers, those who are between the ages of 21 and 25. These managers mostly described the set as bright, competent, and hardworking—anything but lazy and entitled. Several noted that they were more impressed with their young twenty-something hires than their workers who were born in an earlier generation.
There’s reason to believe these tales of Millennial on-the-job prowess are more than anomalies. According to a 2014 survey of about 1,000 Millennials and 200 hiring managers conducted by the freelance platform Elance-oDesk and a Generation Y consulting firm, nearly 30 percent of Millennials reported that they were already in management positions. More recently, one-third of Goldman Sachs’s coveted managing-director promotions went to employees born after 1980, a major coup for young financiers.