An open letter for anyone trying to understand millennials

Millennials (1)
Image source: Financial Mail

When I say we, I speak for the many individuals who are between the ages of 13- 30 at this moment. I know that many can relate when I say we are the most misunderstood generation of all time (and yes you will say, “That’s how we felt when we were your age”) but then, that mystifies me because why then can you not relate to the way we think and process the world? Millennials are that golden unicorn you never thought existed 🙂


Knowing that we are the way that we are, why does it shock you or offend you when we say promote us based on the very same potential you identified when you hired us? This business of “paying your dues” is a foreign concept and some sort of prejudicial test because to you, how can we be so great when it took you 10 years right?

We are the generation that work for growth, for a cause- a purpose bigger than our own little world, and  the second you compromise on our beliefs and values, we’re out because what’s the use?

We are the generation that if given the power and opportunity, can solve your problems in half the time with half the resources. But if you don’t allow us, we don’t wait around for 10 years to “earn it”, we go right ahead and create that hub to solve the problems you thought we were incapable of solving because we aren’t about titles, tenure or complexity. We’re about impact and revolutions. We’re about “leaving footprints in the sands of time” and being “the change we want to see in the world”. We’re about having integrity; and that means speaking the same story in the boardroom and in the corridors.

Elizabeth Holmes: Founder of Theranos

We are employees one day and self -made billionaires the next because we don’t believe in “waiting our turn”. We know what we are capable of and if we aren’t capable we will work ourselves to the bone to make up for it.

picjumbo.com_HNCK9272.jpgWe are the generation that lives in the moment, unencumbered by time or age because our minds are our greatest assets, take some time to listen to us and you will realise this as we share our ingenious ideas.

Wits University #FEESMUSTFALL student protest

We are the generation that can start a riot with a hashtag and a mobile phone on a multi-billion dollar platform designed by someone young enough to be your child.

What older people can learn from my generation is the ability to develop grit and become big picture thinkers. To know that an idea is valid even if they don’t know how to make it happen.

Image source:

What older generations can learn from my generation is that success is no longer found at the end of a Medical, Legal or Accounting qualification. Success could very well be measured by the impact you make in your world… by your ability to solve a problem that has taken multi-billion rand corporations to implement in decades, in just a year….by ensuring that by the time you die men and women are paid equally and afforded equal opportunities… by simply living out the whisper of our hearts.


As I have said before, life is too short to compromise your journey by working your lungs out for someone who when you die, will send your family flowers and have a post advertised for your job the next day. Life is too short to pay our dues  and be someone that would make our parents’ friends proud.

Although we might not know the “how” of our lives, we most certainly know our “what”. We are the circles in a square world. The radical minds and “inexperienced” thought leaders and from what I’ve observed, for once, we are the generation that is willing to die for our truth.

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