A page of photos of students from a year book, blurred out with a blue filter. Speech bubbles include quotes from the article like 'Yeah, I think that's stealing.'
Collage: Natalie Moreno / Photo: via Getty Images

Career Advice for Millennials, From Teens 

"You gotta suck it up. It’s part of having a job."

Lazy. Outspoken. Uncommitted. Useless snowflakes. When millennials entered the workforce they were relentlessly critiqued by older generations. They were, and sort of still are, seen as a laughing stock for daring to want a stable work-life balance, respectful working environments and just general boundaries in the name of prioritising mental health and actually, um, enjoying life.


They want to work more flexible hours, but also feel underpaid. They don’t think it should be rare to like your job. They became known as the disloyal “job hopping generation” for having the balls to switch jobs when they fancied, instead of sticking round to save face.

As for Gen Zs, sure they’re even more focused on working for companies tackling climate change, but 70 percent of Gen Zers actually prioritise salary, according to The Forage. Less than half of Gen Zs saying their job is central to their identity, says a Deloitte report, compared to the majority of millennials.

And what of the younger Gen Zs who aren’t yet in the workforce? The teens who don’t know how lucky they are for finishing the day at 3.30PM, AKA literally mid-afternoon. We thought their total lack of experience might give the perfect outsider’s perspective for millennial career problems – or it’d be a laugh at least.


My boss keeps going on about how “the office is a family” and wants us to stop working from home because “the team needs to be together for synergy”. What should I do?

“Tell them to sod off. I mean you obviously can't do that because they're the boss, but you're the worker, focus on yourself.” – Boris, 17

“It's pointless to try and force yourself to like something, but not liking WFH isn’t a good enough reason to justify not coming in. It's just one of those things – you gotta suck it up. It’s part of having a job.” - Chris, 19

“See if you can convince the boss. If you don't agree with the idea let them know, but if they don't budge then give it a go.” - Adwoa, 17

I started a new job about six months ago but I still don’t really have any proper work friends. How am I supposed to make any when we’re only in the office twice a week?

“Make a group chat, or find their social media and follow them.” - Tom, 17

“See if they wanna go to lunch and just chat about work.” - Abbie, 17

“How about emailing around? Or, when you have a spare minute, wander around the office and see if you can find other people that also have a spare minute. Just strike up a conversation.” - Harry, 18

I regularly book fake meetings into my work team calendar, and instead go to spin classes or see friends. I once went to the cinema. Should I feel bad about this? 


“I think you should see your friends outside of work time. It's good to spend time with your friends but not when you're at work.” - Abbie

“No. Your main priority should be having some sort of work-life balance. You’re probably being underpaid, so I doubt you need to worry about the company.” - Boris

“If you're treated like shit you can probably justify it. If you're treated well, just do it every now and then as a special little treat.” - Chris

“If you can get away with it then it's clearly not that big of a detriment to the company's success.” - Harry

I never went on a gap year at 18, have I lost my chance to travel now I’m 32?

“Maybe you could do a long trip in the middle of changing jobs? You could organise starting your new role six months after you leave your current one.” - Chris

“You could look for a job abroad.” - Abbie

“If you've got kids it's a lot harder. You'd have to wait it out – maybe until you’re 60.” - Adwoa

Is taking home drinking glasses from work considered stealing? What about the almond milk? Or the expensive antibacterial wipes they keep under the sink?

“Yeah, I think that's stealing.” - Abbie

“If you're stealing for the sake of stealing then it’s wrong, but if you can’t afford those things then, sure, go for it.” - Boris

“Surely it's just borrowing? If you work for a multimillion dollar corporation then I don't think they're going to be crying over a couple missing antibac wipes.” - Harry


My parents say you need to stay in a job role for at least a year, so you don’t look flakey on your CV. But my work nemesis jumps from job to job every four months and seems to be getting better titles and better money. What’s the right tactic?

“I think it depends on your job.” - Tom

“I think you can jump more if you show good reasons, like ‘that role was no longer a fit for me’ or ‘I outgrew it’.” - Boris

“If you work somewhere for a year it looks much more credible and you've also got stability.” - Chris

I had a side hustle in my early 20s because I enjoyed it, but now I’m drained, I do the bare minimum, and it’s all performative to show people I’m still relevant. Is it time to just sack it off?

“Maybe take a different angle and do something you actually like.” - Tom

“Work harder at the side hustle, but don't do it to prove to others that you’re hardworking, do what you truly enjoy doing.” - Adwoa

“If you're no longer enjoying it and it feels like a chore, you don't have to completely quit, but take some time out for that passion to rekindle itself because it will. And if it doesn't, there's no harm done.” - Harry

Is using ChatGPT at work cheating or entrepreneurial?

“It's similar to plagiarism. You should say, ‘This work was done by ChatGPT' like citing a source. As long as you’re transparent it's fine, because it does increase workflow.” - Boris


“Nah, I dont think it's cheating. It's just a tool like a calculator, really.” - Chris

“If you're using it to rephrase an email or to make what you're saying sound more formal, that's entrepreneurial. But if you're using it to fully generate email responses, or to come up with ideas or scripts for presentations, that's a bit too far.” - Harry

I feel like I was convinced by school to do their view of a stable and well-paid job. I often daydream about doing something creative instead, but is all work a sham anyway? Should I just stick with the well paid job?

“Do the creative thing. Lots of people don’t change their lives until later on, after settling for years, but you should make the change as soon as you realise your passion.” - Adwoa

“A well paid job is always good because it allows you to retire earlier, travel, be comfortable, and never have to worry about food or shelter. You could take up something creative as a passion project, and if it works out, then you can pursue it more.” - Harry

“I think that any job can be well paid. Tom and I are doing makeup, so that's a really creative one but you can make so much money from it. If you're good at something you should be able to make money from it.” - Abbie