Millennials have been given many names. The boomerang generation, those obsessed with avocados, the ‘me me me’ generation, entitled Gen Y and more, have informed a narrative of negative stereotypes about the younger generation in Western culture. These have dominated the stories present in the media, and created a generational divide in the way we approach our work lives.

One welcome change from the typical discourse was seen on the front cover of Forbes recently. Best known for it’s 30 under 30 annual lists, the magazine has always encouraged new ways of approaching business and work- in 2017, Forbes claimed that millennials would change the work place in 2018.

Millennials are certainly disrupting the status quo in terms of 9-5 positions and clear ladders to the top. With 2 million freelancers operating in the UK currently, dominated by those in the creative industries, it’s clear that the way we work has altered from the five day working week. As opportunities for young people are harder to come by, millennials are taking back the power and defining their careers for themselves.

"Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live."

Gianni Versace

The powerful and sudden rise of social media, connectivity and ability to collaborate with creatives around the world has enabled digital natives to work the hours they want on their own terms. It’s clear that young people are willing to work hard for careers they’re passionate about, and in pursuit of a more meaningful life. Take a look at the activism rife on instagram to see young people taking control of their creative work for a cause they believe in.

Florence Given, the emerging artist popular on instagram, has dedicated her practise to creating a better future for everyone from an intersectional standpoint, recognising people of colour, people from the LGBTQ+ community and feminist issues through her art.

It seems that as we’re beginning to shed the problematic labels, the world is opening up to new ideas of working, as well as thinking.

“Millennial changemakers could really shift the cultural climate at the companies they will work for and with.”


What do you think about this new way of working? Are you freelancing? Do you work solely through Depop, Instagram or Facebook? Let us know in the comments!

Words by Annabel Waterhouse-Biggins