PETALING JAYA: Millennials are as concerned about the future as their parents were when they were just starting out in life.
A good career that ensures financial security means as much, if not more, to them as it did to the older generation.
In fact, according to sociologist Dr Charanjit Kaur, the perception that millennials do not worry about the future is “the biggest misconception we have in society today”.
In her opinion, millennials are workaholics. She attributed this to the technological advancements that have led to a more competitive environment.
There is also the memory of a more difficult time that pushes them. “They work so hard because many of them have seen how their parents struggled through tough times, and they want to avoid that,” Charanjit, who is an assistant professor at Tunku Abdul Rahman University, told theSun.
Many in the older generation are of the view that millennials are indifferent to what lies ahead.
This has been further reinforced by the fact that many of them remain jobless after graduation. Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad had said recently that of the 300,000 fresh graduates this year, up to 75,000 are likely to remain jobless.
She attributed this to the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Charanjit said millennial women are especially devoted to their careers and most have delayed starting a family so they can focus on their work.
Ahmad Reza, a 23-year-old executive, agrees. He pointed out that he has to get a job first before he can focus on building a career.
“However, there are not many decent jobs available,” he said.
Law graduate Hew Hoong Liang, 23, said while the pandemic has forced many millennials to put their careers on hold, their priorities have not changed. “We have been forced to adapt to the current situation,” he said.
Postgraduate student Sebastian Su, 24, thinks that while careers are important, there are other priorities.
He has taken a gap year from his studies to “gain experience”.
“Life does not have to be either productive or fun. It can be both.”
However, he said, many millennials have also turned to the internet to start small businesses to earn a living.