All About America

Thriving 'Mega'-llennials Leave Struggling Millennials Behind

By Dora Mekouar
March 13, 2020 01:18 PM

There’s a millennial divide in the generation of young people that is often stereotyped as entitled, unemployed and more likely to still be living with their parents.  

The Great Recession and student loan debt created strong challenges for the generation of young people who today are roughly in their mid-20s to late 30s. Many had a hard time finding jobs in their field. Some accepted lower-paying jobs than they were qualified for. Today, those early setbacks continue to impact millions of millennials.

However, while many in the generation stagnated professionally, the so-called “mega-llennials” managed to flourish and succeed.

“That's the portion of the generation that kept working and creating traction and pulling themselves forward in spite of these really crummy economic times,” says Jason Dorsey, president and lead millennial researcher at the Center for Generational Kinetics.

“Now they have this very outsized advantage compared to the rest of the generation, because they were still out there, producing...doing what they could do to make it happen.”

Thirty-year-old Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, 35, are among the millennial generation's high-achieving "mega"-llennials.

There’s a sharp contrast between the mega-llennials and the so-called “me-llennials,” the part of the generation that has struggled to find professional traction and is still working on finding their place in life.

“What we think is fascinating is that the group of people that are most offended at work by millennials acting entitled are actually other millennials who do not feel entitled,” Dorsey says. “They think the rest of the generation is giving them a bad reputation.”

So why did mega-llennials flourish while other people in their age group floundered?

“What we found is they were more resilient oftentimes in their career. That could have been by luck or by intention,” Dorsey says. “They also managed to keep working and building their networks and did whatever they could to keep pushing themselves forward.”

While there’s no clear definition in terms of one group versus the other, Dorsey says  millennials tend to sort themselves into one group or the other. And although they are of the same generation and share many experiences, mega-llennials and me-llennials don’t tend to see themselves in each other.

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