To the Professional Who Doesn't Expect Millennials to Work Hard

Often times when I walk into a corporate America interview I instantly feel judged when I tell the interviewer exactly how old I am. It's as if they’re expecting me to know as little as possible about the job I applied for even though I have this thin sheet of paper known as a college degree that implies I have at least some knowledge and/or skills for the position I’m being interviewed for. Get to know me first and see how I separate myself from the pack. Isn’t that what you're looking for?

After spending four years of my life at a university, I better know basic things like how to lead a social media campaign, write content or even present ideas to large groups of people. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but you could have focused on what I bring to the table. It’s as simple as asking me – what is it you think you could add to the company?

But instead of focusing on all of the things I’ve accomplished thus far up until this interview, like the four different big-named companies I have interned for prior to applying for this entry-level position, you focus on my age instead. Don’t discredit my work history by focusing on the misconception you have about millennials. Don’t stumble our relationship so early in the game. Instead, compliment me and tell me I dressed well for this interview and how impressed you are with my diction and the research I’ve done before coming in to meet with you. There are so many other things we could have talked about.

Instead of noticing all my great qualities, the only thing you said was about how you feel my generation does not work hard for the things we want, instead we expect for things to be handed to us. So I guess that cover letter, resume and business card I gave you when we first met meant I didn’t want to work hard for this.

It’s hard, if not harder, for us millennials to stand apart. Fresh out the womb we’ve been taught to always compete with our peers from standardized testing, to essay competitions and applying to the best universities. We have the pressure of landing a job before graduating and hopefully before everyone else in our graduating class does, just so that we stay ahead of the pact. So no, we don’t expect things to just be handed to us. In fact, it’s the complete opposite.

Often times that includes staying up way past 2 a.m. during the school week to perfect assignments or working 12 hour shifts on the weekends just to make rent for the next month and completing both job and scholarship applications on the days I was supposed to have off. So don’t sit there basking in your superiority complex trying to tell me that "my generation does not work hard," when really that just simply is not true. We millennials work really hard because you guys don’t trust that we can get the job done.