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  • DoingGoodTogether

    Good for you, Millennials, for choosing to value relationships, seek work-life balance, and search for ways to connect with your community. The world needs more kindness, and your example is refreshing. We hope you can help model such altruistic traits with your own children.

  • Ben Peacock

    I love what you have to say but may I suggest you take the generational thing out of it. Every generation seems to call the next one lazy and self centred. And every generation has had its share of socially minded entrepreneurs. Remember the baby boomers gave us the body shop and Patagonia. Not to mention peace love and Beatles. I'm gen x and I started one of the few socially minded ad agencies in the world, Republic of Everyone. And there are a bunch of millennialist doing good things now. In my experience people are more correctly joined by a mindset than age. Your generation will have the money hungry bastards like mine has. Just hope that there are less of them and more like you every generation. Keep it up!

  • Jill Hubley

    I love this. I am 48 and want to live in this world with you. A couple things struck me. I'm Gen X and everyone told us we were lazy slackers who would lose because we wanted flexibility at work and wouldn't stay in the same job our entire lives. They'll be wrong about you too; you'll be successful on your own terms. Every generation is labelled as worse by the one or two that came before. Those darn kids always ruin everything. Expect they never have. Also, I wonder how much of the graphic showing what's important to Millennials is a product of age, not generation. I imagine that some of it is because the people asked are at a moment in their lives where they are getting married and having kids - those are the most salient things for them in general. Be great as you define it, follow your passion, create a world that you want. Mostly, enjoy it.

    • Melissa Turkington

      Fabulous insights and advice, Jill. I absolutely believe that there are changemakers in every generation, and that it's up to everyone to use our qualities for good, whether they are a result of age, experience, or nature.

  • Melissa Turkington

    Thank you to everyone for your comments, and to those who have donated to the campaign. It means a lot to me to receive your support.
    To Cengator, I can't help but giggle a little at your post, because I had the same reactions to the data about Millennials vs. Gen-Xers and Boomers when I was first introduced to it in grad school. Hence, my resistance to identify as a Millennial for so long. So to answer your question about existing research on Gen Xers, yes. There is a lot of research. In fact, the institution that I quoted most often in my article (PEW), spent years putting out one of the most exhaustive studies on multigenerational characteristics ever conducted, as well as several different analytical pieces on different data points. You can also find data at the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The data does point to a generational difference between how Millennials value family vs. career/pay, and how older generations value them. That is not to say that older generations do not value family, or only value work, OR that they are mutually exclusive, and I don't think I implied that. In fact, I would say that our parents were very focused on being good parents. That's why they are deemed "helicopter parents"; they are very protective of their Millennial babies. We have been sheltered, which is why we are so hopeful/entitled, fearless/naive, holistic/lazy. My article was simply to express that there are two sides to every coin, and that the Millennial Generation is capable of making some very positive leaps in social entrepreneurship, based on the characteristics and attitudes that we bring with us. Finally, there is a difference between feeling the need to "justify your lot in life" and self-reflection/action. If anything, I hope that what people can take away from this article is that there are Millennials who are trying to make a positive impact on our world in very innovative ways, and that their stories should be told in addition to all of the "slacker Millennial" stigma that we have gotten.

    • Courtney Pankrat

      I always associate the millennial generation with the John Mayer song: Waiting on the world to change. I hate that song because of the message: "we see everything that's going wrong with the world and those who lead it, we just feel like we don't have the means to rise above and beat it. So we keep waiting on the world to change".

      The first part is fine but really John Mayer, how is the world going to change if we all just sitting around and waiting for it to happen? It can't happen on its own.

      Okay- rant about the song over- back to your article. I like your thoughts on the millennial generation. And I like that you are taking a look at the other side of the coin. Not everyone is just waiting!

  • Jasmine Youssefzadeh

    Really love this story!! Very inspirational. Good luck with Plume :)

  • LeeAnn Chisolm

    AWESOME + INSPIRING! Thank you so much for speaking my thoughts. Good luck with your community kitchen. I made a small donation and hopefully can add more to that soon. Wish you all the best!!

  • cengator

    This article is another attempt by a millennial (-minded) to justify their lot in life: the countless years of mediocre schooling in anticipation of the employment handout received by our parents only to graduate with no differentiable skills from the rest of the millennial masses. The flaw in your premise is your implication that other generations do not align themselves similarly. Have there been study results for GenX saying a high paying career is more important than family? I doubt it. And by the way, the two are not mutually exclusive. You can be highly compensated and still be a good parent. One doesn't preclude the other as you would like to convince yourself. And just for full disclosure I am a 29 year old millennial myself. The only difference is I was raised by my grandparents with different values.

    • A.Mason

      Lots of issues with what you just said, first "mediocre schooling"? That is to good of a word for it, there is no actual learning being done, but that is a different rant altogether.
      Next, as a whole, there is no expected "employment handout", no more so than usual. There are always people expecting that. Now, as for "by the way, the two are not mutually exclusive." part, unless you are the lucky few who work few hours while making a lot of money, yeah, they kinda are, plus the survey is to chose ONE, and to me that says a lot. Finally, have your own values, not your grandparents or those of anyone else.

    • kylewindsor

      Different values of also a different time. Much simpler then the one of your parents. What it really comes down to is that we are all allowed to be and do what we want in life. Regardless of the time period we were all told the same thing. But its what you make out of life that defines who you are to your "generation". So not doing something that you want is the problem. That's it. People are not making their own decisions anymore. Period.

    • Leslie Taylor

      The survey doesn't imply anything is mutually exclusive, and I don't read that in the article. I'm much older than you are, and I think the author (and millenials in general) are actually much more aware of work/life balance than we Gen Xers were when we were younger.

      It's fine to have different values, but no need to be so combative about it. If you want to live your life differently, no one is stopping you.

  • Melissa Turkington

    Thank you, everyone, for your encouragement. Just from what I've seen on a few websites, and from some of the new research coming out, it looks like there is an upward trend in millennial social entrepreneurship, which is so exciting, and makes sense given our characteristics.

  • Tom Maybrier

    You're making a very important point here. I think a lot of people leveraging critique of Millennial's non-traditional career choices fail to understand that many of us aren't interested in the ladder climb of the corporate business world.

    I've taken a totally non-traditional path to my career that I wouldn't have been possible 30 years earlier and it's by choice. It's not because I am lazy or can't be bothered to do things the conventional way.

    I found your article very encouraging, best of luck to you!

  • Anna Lenhart

    This is an amazing story, you had so many quotable sentences! I am the founder of a movement aimed at redefining "real jobs" I would love to chat more, I would love to collaborate! Contact me through our website!

    • Melissa Turkington

      I would love to chat. I'll give your site a look-see.

  • Cait Emma

    Great post Melissa! You have some really interesting points—I really appreciate your perspective. As a fellow millennial, it's easy to get down on ourselves because other generations are entrenched in their (not always accurate) critiques of us. But, like you said, I think there are some really fantastic millennials doing innovative and inspirational work. Can't wait to see what you post in the future.

  • Chelsea Spann

    This is awesome! I so agree - if you don't "do what you love" then you're spending a majority of you time (30-60%) losing a piece of yourself to what you have to do.