Age can imbue people with wisdom gained through experience, but it's no secret the world has changed a lot since Baby Boomers came of age. As a result, often their well-meaning advice isn't quite based in the reality millennials have faced. Technology has changed a lot, as has the economy and social mores.
After Twitter user @freeyourmindkid prompted people to share "the most out of touch advice that a Boomer has ever given," with the hashtag @BoomerAdvice. If you're under the age of 37, I'll bet a lot of these will sound familiar and make you sigh a resounding, "OK boomer."
1. Just call them!
We've all heard well-intended advice for job hunting from older folks who haven't haven't had to look for work in decades. There may be some employers who welcome calls and in-person inquiries, but they're definitely the minority.
2. You'll see things differently when you have kids.
Having kids probably changes a lot for people, but you're still you and your values aren't just going to shift overnight because you're a parent. While not all boomers do this, it is a super boomer phenomenon to think that because a thing happened to you personally, it must be a universal truth.
3. Go to an "elite" college.
A lot of people who went to expensive, elite schools have found that the only difference between them and their cohorts who went to state schools (or in some case, no college at all), is how much debt they have.
4. You'll get more conservative as you get older.
A quote (falsely) attributed to Winston Churchill says, "If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brain." (It was actually said by Paul Addison of Edinburgh University.)
However, I've observed a lot of my friends growing more liberal, not less, as they get older.
5. Student loans are "good debt."
It's no secret that the cost of an education nowadays is much higher than when boomers went to school. Many of us graduated with tens of thousands — sometimes over $100K — in debt, only to find the only jobs for us paid $15 an hour or less when we graduated, barely enough to scrape by, let alone pay those loans back.
6. Video games will rot your brain.
Steve is co-CEO of Team Liquid, a pro video gaming organization, so while boomers told him all those video games would never help him amount to anything, he's literally built a career on them.
7. A degree will let you do whatever you want to do.
There was a time when it may have been true that a Bachelor's degree would open virtually all doors for you, but unfortunately having a degree doesn't quite impress the way it might have in the 1960s.
8. Computers are a waste of time!
Telecommuting and remote work have become widely accepted and many successful companies have staff who work remotely some or all of the time. And the great part about telecommuting is there's no dress code, so you can pretty much look however you want.
9. Just go in a store and start sweeping...
I'm pretty sure in most cases, if you went into a store and started sweeping, they would assume you were having a mental health crisis. What if that store already has two dedicated floor sweepers on the payroll? Is the owner going to fire one of them and hire you just because you swept in and stole their job? Seems unfair.
10. Wear a suit and tie to work every day.
Sometimes I lament the vast changes in business dress over the last three decades because it can feel nice and empowering to "dress for success" in a suit. But most of the time, I'm grateful that my professionalism isn't tangled up in how comfortable my clothes and shoes aren't.
11. You'll regret not finishing your degree...
A lot of younger people are finding that having a degree isn't the key to success, it's a willingness to plot your own course. A lot of people under 35 stopped going to school and just started doing the thing they wanted to do — and eventually turned it into a career.
12. Hard work is always rewarded.
Look, working hard can be its own reward — especially if you're working for yourself or you have equity in the company where you work. But I think we can all agree that people who work hard don't necessarily get commensurate pay for their efforts.
13. Invest in a home!
Oof, I can't imagine how much it would have sucked to buy a home before the financial crisis, only to watch the value of your "investment" plummet, but it happened to hundreds of thousands after the housing bubble burst.
14. "You'll never find a husband with that attitude."
Not only is this untrue, but it also relies on the assumption that one even wants to find a husband. Thank goodness more women of our generation know that getting married is far from the ultimate goal in life, and even if it is a goal, there's no point in being anyone but yourself in the pursuit of it.
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