Narcissism is a personality trait characterized by a sense of entitlement and superiority to others.
Research has found that today’s young people are significantly more narcissistic than previous generations. Most of this evidence comes from the generation born in the ‘80s and ‘90s, often referred to as Millennials.
Researchers think this may be a result of the “self-esteem movement” in schools.
Students were openly praised for being themselves, given trophies just for participating in competitions, and told that they can achieve anything if they work hard and stay in school. Anything.
What happened next?
In recent years, many young people couldn’t find work after graduation.
At times, 50% or more found themselves unemployed. College graduates were forced to take jobs that didn’t even require a degree. A large number moved back in with their parents.
Much like the “self-esteem movement” in schools seems to have increased narcissism, facing this harsh economic environment after graduation seems to be reversing the trend.
Millennials are becoming less narcissistic.
Millennials at work
Employers are worried about hiring and retaining Millennials.
How can we bridge the “generation gap” between older and younger workers?
Why do younger workers often seem less proactive?
Why are there so many “job-hoppers” that are unlikely to stick around?
Your job can change your personality
The trend we are observing—decreasing narcissism in Millennials—makes it clear that personality can and does change.
Young people may seem different from previous generations, but they react to their environments in very similar ways.
Organizations can initiate the changes they hope to see in younger workers.
Employees who are given more responsibilities and greater control become more proactive over time, in every aspect of their lives.
If these things can change, Millennials will most likely follow suit.