20 Boomer Advice Pieces Millennials and Gen Z Can Safely Ignore

Ah, the wisdom of our elders.

It’s a topic that’s been debated for centuries. They say with age comes experience, and with experience comes knowledge.

But let’s face it; some old people have a knack for giving advice that’s absolutely useless in today’s world. It’s almost like they are stuck in a time warp, clinging to outdated ideas and methods!

Someone asked, “What’s a piece of advice that old people like to give that is absolutely useless in 2023?” Many users commented on this thread, and we have selected the top ones for you.

1. Tattoos

young adult girl with baseball hat and tattoo
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First of all, tattoos have become way more mainstream than Grandma, and Grandpa can wrap their heads around. It’s not just a bunch of rebels and outcasts getting inked up anymore. People from all walks of life, from doctors to lawyers to tech geniuses, proudly get tattoos. 

A discerning Reddit user commented, “If you get tattoos, you’ll never find a job.”

Another replied, “A high-level executive at my company has neck tattoos and facial tattoos. Work somewhere they don’t care about d*mb stuff like that.”

2. Shaving Facial Hair

Handsome caucasian man close up with funny mustache comb beard and smile.
Image Credit: Bona_natty/Shutterstock.

One said, “Made it to the third interview one time before someone bothered to tell me I had to shave my beard; it was a restaurant; I was like “we could have all saved ourselves some time if someone had mentioned that sooner.” You don’t get to decide what my literal face looks like.”

Someone else added, “My father told me “Don’t ever have a beard. It puts a barrier between you and the manager and makes you unapproachable” So anyway, here I am 20yrs later with a full Viking beard and somehow still employed. Darn mystery, innit?”

Seriously, why are older people so fixated on this? It’s like they think having a beard or mustache automatically means you’re doomed to a life of unemployment.

3. Dressing Up for the Job You Want

Adult man in formalwear and eyeglasses on yellow background
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A Reddit user wrote, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. B***h, I work in a factory. I can’t be wearing a suit and tie with all this machinery trying to kill me. Also, osha said I couldn’t.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “I know people with very big impressive well-paying jobs. They don’t wear suits. When I see someone on the train in a suit, I think, probably a bank teller or front desk in a hotel. Dressing to impress is a thing of the past.”

You might lose money if you don’t dress up according to your job! So don’t wear fancy suits as a carpenter because that no longer works!

4. Getting the Job

Man in Office Looking for Help
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It’s the era of online applications and virtual interviews. It’s not just about the firm handshake or locking eyes with the manager anymore. It’s about your contacts and who can vouch for your skills. Networking events, LinkedIn connections, and referrals are now the name of the game!

A Reddit user wrote, “Go right into the store and ask for the manager. Give a firm handshake, look them in the eye, and get the job.”

Another person shared similar thoughts and mentioned, “We used to get boomers doing this all the time. They’d request to see me and do the whole handshake and a smile thing. I’d explain I can’t take their resume and that all applications have to be done online, I have nothing to do with hiring whatsoever, etc.

Some would understand, and others would think I was playing “hard to get” or using weird negotiation tactics. One guy wanted to be the building caretaker so bad he offered to work for free for the first week to demonstrate how great he was. He couldn’t understand the world doesn’t work that way anymore.”

5. Summer Job

Stressed Waiter Coming Out Of The Kitchen
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One user said, “Work a summer job waiting tables in the Hamptons, and you’ll have enough money to pay for a year of college, room and board, and books, and still have extra spending money for the weekends.”

Another added, “This was advice I got, and now I’m broke and stuck waiting tables in the Hamptons 12 years later, catering to rich people who treat the staff like garbage, all while tipping like garbage.”

Tuition fees have reached astronomical heights, and let’s not even get started on textbooks, housing, and all the other hidden expenses. Working a summer job waiting tables would cover a fraction of the costs, and that’s it!

6. Getting Married

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Back in the day, getting married in your early twenties might have been the norm. But times have changed as young people today are focused on their education or careers. 

Someone commented, “When I turned 19, my grandma made a subtle jab at me by saying she got married when she turned 19. While I know people get married young, I can’t imagine getting married that young.”

Another responded, “It’s just straight up a stupid move that nobody should be doing. Your brain isn’t even fully formed, you barely know yourself, you don’t have any kind of career or financial security, you probably haven’t realized the weird stuff your parents imprinted on you that you need to shed, etc. Frankly, getting married before your thirties anymore is questionable.”

7. Settling Down

couple standing in front of new house
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One said, “When I was 23, somebody told me I was “significantly behind the curve” because, by 23, you’re supposed to own a house and a car. I still can’t wrap my brain around it. Putting aside how wildly out-of-touch that is, even if you had the cash… who looks back on their 23yo self and thinks, “Yep, that person is totally ready for the responsibility and harsh reality of homeownership?” Not me, that’s for sure.”

Someone else added, “I remember when I was 19, in 2006, my older coworkers gave me grief for not being moved out of my parents’ house already. I was supposed to be owning a house already. I was a cashier working less than 40 hours a week at Walmart and making payments on my car. I couldn’t have afforded to add rent and utilities to that if I’d wanted to.”

Settling down and tying the knot might not be at the top of your priority list, and that’s perfectly okay.

8. Having Kids

Mother and daughter hugging
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Someone commented, “Don’t say you can’t afford a kid. You always can make do. Our first kid slept in our dresser drawer.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “My in-laws usually say something like “You can’t think that way; you just have the kid and figure it out”. That is the worst advice I could possibly think of. That’s like me saying, “Oh, I want a boat but can’t afford it”. Surely you wouldn’t tell me to get one anyway and just figure it out.”

One replied, “God, I hate that so much. I am constantly asked, “When are you having kids?” And I usually reply, “I want to be a little more financially secure first.” Literally every. Single. Person. Goes, “No such thing, might as well as have them now” F*** off with that stuff. I want to be sure I can afford the things I need for my kid, not be sitting over the bills and paychecks sobbing bc I can’t even stay afloat.”

Parenting is already a roller coaster ride of sleepless nights, dirty diapers, and tantrums that make your eardrums beg for mercy. Add the stress of financial instability, and you’ve got a recipe for burnout!

9. Debt

Man angry at bills he needs to pay.
Image Credit: Elnur/Shutterstock.

A Reddit user wrote, “All debt is bad – you literally need debt to build up a credit score, and you need a credit score to be able to get any kind of housing.”

Another added, “I have good credit that hasn’t gone up or down in like 6 months. Apparently, I’m too responsible because I only use my credit card for gas and groceries and always pay it back. You would think never having to get a credit card would give you perfect credit but no. They make it into some messed up game, and I have maxed out for not making stupid purchases.”

Buying a house, getting an education, or starting a business often requires taking on some level of debt. Most people don’t have a pile of cash lying around to cover these big-ticket expenses. So, taking on debt can be a strategic move to achieve your long-term goals.

10. The Perfect Attendance

Young beautiful frustrated angry woman.
Image Credit: B-D-S Piotr Marcinski/Shutterstock.

We’re not living in an era where showing up like a robot and never missing a day guarantees success. In fact, the concept of work-life balance has become a hot topic!

One user said, “Don’t take days off if you don’t have to – look, perfect attendance is a lie they hammer into grade schools to make you feel guilty for taking your paid time off that is part of your total compensation. If you don’t feel bad collecting your paycheck, do not feel bad taking the paid time off you are entitled to.”

Another responded, “The Flu Pandemic of 1917 taught us that taking sick days is the responsible choice. Our elders should have listened to their elders and SHUT THE F*** UP about “perfect attendance.” Workers: If you think you have COVID-19 or you suspect one of your coworkers has COVID-19, then STAY THE F*** HOME. Bosses: If you suspect one of your workers has COVID-19, then encourage them to STAY THE F*** HOME. If someone calls in sick, don’t ask too many questions. They are being responsible.”

11. Doing More for a Pay Raise

woman stress at work, I Don't Want To Work Anymore.
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A discerning Reddit user commented, “Go above and beyond to get a raise – f*** that. Act your wage because otherwise, they are going to take advantage of your hard work and never reward you for it.”

Another replied, “I watched a video the other day that said your pay isn’t determined by your skills or work ethic but by your exploitability. The more exploitable you are, the less you’re likely to be paid.”

Going above and beyond might have worked in the past, but it’s not always enough in today’s competitive landscape. Meritocracy is a nice concept, but the sad truth is that it’s often overshadowed by office politics and favoritism, which is often beyond our control.

12. Working Hard

Mean Boss in Office
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A Reddit user wrote, “If you work hard, show up on time and give your heart and soul to a company, you’ll get promoted and be financially successful. In 2023, if you work hard, you will never get ahead and die in the harness.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “It’s not even the huge companies. I used to work at a mom-and-pop style department store. My manager had worked there for at least 23 years; she literally runs every aspect of the business because the owners are very old. She was recently told that the owners plan on just giving the business to their daughter(who hasn’t been inside the store for about 20 years) instead of even giving the option of selling the manager the place. Unfortunately, the daughter will sell the place. So much for hard work being rewarded.”

Working hard is important, no doubt about it. But today, it takes more than just burning the midnight oil to climb that corporate ladder.

13. Unions

Photo portrait of mature handsome man arguing irritated face annoyed raise palm wear trendy green garment isolated on blue color background.
Image Credit: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock.

One said, “You don’t need a union. Only losers need unions.”

Another added, “Got the pitch for the union at my new workplace this week, mentioned it to my mom. She immediately responded, “I don’t like unions; most of them are scams.””

Unions play a crucial role in protecting workers’ rights, advocating for fair wages, and ensuring safe working conditions. So, saying you don’t need a union is just plain reckless!

14. Formal Attire

man wearing red tshirt looking upset
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Someone commented, “Wear a suit to any job interview when a nice shirt and pants are just fine. Thank god my wife saved me from looking like a dork.”

Someone else added, “Every day up until my first day, my new boss was calling me: “Now, whatever you do, please do not wear a suit to the office. We are not that formal around here. Please, do not wear a suit to the office. For the love of God, do not wear a suit around here. I WILL TELL YOU WHEN YOU NEED TO WEAR A SUIT.””

One user wrote, “I once literally got made fun of for wearing a tie to a job interview… by the boss.”

Nowadays, companies are all about work-life balance. They care more about your skills, experience, and ability to get the job done than whether you’re dressed to the nines or not.

15. Being Loyal

Face enraged infuriated woman screaming emotion
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Someone commented, “If you’re loyal to that company, they’ll take care of you.”

Another responded, “My mother faced this falsehood last year when the company she worked at for 40 years dumped her in favor of a new manager that was causing problems with literally everyone. Her manager, a man she had known since she was a teenager and worked with for decades, sided with the person numerous staff had made complaints about. Thankfully she’s in a better workplace now, AND she fully understands how much of a pain it is to get a job these days.”

Another person shared similar thoughts and mentioned, “I have a friend who makes the same amount of money as the new hires after working at his company for 10 years. I keep telling him to get a different job since his company obviously doesn’t value 10 years of experience or loyalty.”

Companies nowadays focus more on the bottom line and their interests than rewarding employees for their loyalty!

16. Insurance

Happy senior old family couple clients make financial insurance estate business deal handshake agent lawyer, satisfied mature customers shake hand meeting bank manager agree on investment contract.
Image Credit: fizkes/Shutterstock.

Insurance might have been a good safety net back in the day, but now it’s become a tangled web of complicated policies, fine print, and outrageous premiums. 

This user shared, “I went to the hospital and somehow managed to stay overnight without anybody asking for my insurance information. Eventually received a hospital bill in the mail for $1200; I was billed the “uninsured” rate. I asked my parents for advice. “If I submit this to my insurance, it will likely go down, right? Worst case scenario, I end up paying the entire $1200 out of pocket?” I said. They told me yes. So that’s what I did…

Couple of weeks later, I received another bill from the hospital. They had submitted the claim to my insurance. The insurance company negotiated them down to my $6000 out-of-pocket maximum and stuck me with the rest. I called the hospital and explained the situation, and asked if I could “unsubmit” the insurance claim and just pay the uninsured rate. The representative laughed at me and said something like, “I’m afraid the cat’s out of the bag now!””

One wrote, “It’s all a scam. I had to get a concerta refill and if I got it without insurance, it’d be 0. With insurance, $500. That was for a single month. I took the $300 one and canceled my insurance. I was laid off, and when my severance ran out, my logic was that getting individual insurance while I was finishing school and not working refills would be cheaper as I’d just be paying the monthly premium.

I don’t even remember what that was because it was easily canceled and I was so upset I got rid of it after getting back home with my final refill because I’d rather be unmedicated than financially screwed and stable. The premium was definitely under $500 and more than $300 though, so let’s say $400 lol. When I had that job, though, the meds were zero copays.”

17. College Degrees

Young university graduate woman isolated on pink background smiling
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A Reddit user wrote, “Get a college degree so you can get a high-paying job, do whatever it takes, take out a loan if you have to.”

Another added, “Man, do they ever peddle this at colleges and universities! I remember graduating from undergrad with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and thinking employers were going to line up to hire me. Lol. head desk”

Another replied, “I dropped out of high school and made 6 figures driving hazmat materials. My friend has a master’s in architecture, and I make the same as him. We both sit on our a**es all day, but I don’t have $80k in student loan debt.”

Having a college degree doesn’t automatically guarantee a high-paying job anymore. The job market has become fiercely competitive, so a degree alone won’t cut it.

18. Video Games

Young man playing video games
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The gaming industry has exploded into a billion-dollar industry, with opportunities in game design, development, esports, streaming, content creation, and more. Competitive gaming has become a global phenomenon, with professional players earning big bucks and worldwide recognition. 

One user said, “”You’ll never get a Job playing Videogames.””

A Reddit user wrote, “My parents told me this, and I spent 20 years in the game industry working for Sega, Capcom, and Namco.”

Another person shared similar thoughts and mentioned, “Indeed. I think this especially has to do with video games. The first time I got a console, my grandmother expressed concern that my future was in jeopardy simply because I owned an Xbox.”

19. Cars

man very frustrated in car.
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A discerning Reddit user commented, “A big, solid car will keep you safe! You know, like a big old studebaker made of steel with no crumple zones to absorb the impact.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “Oh, lord – the “big old cars were safer!” belief. Drives me nuts! I know people parroting that line who weren’t even old enough to remember those waddling land barges. They were just repeating their father’s anger when he had to trade in his ’72 Lincoln Land Crawler because it rusted out for something smaller with double-digit fuel economy.

Not only is that statement about the “greater safety” of old cars factually incorrect, but it’s also rather insulting to all the people who have gone to great lengths to make cars safer over the years. As dark as it is to say, those improvements were written in blood. Finally, belief in “old cars are safer” tends to be an indicator of fear of change and science in general, at least in my experience.”

Car manufacturers have made huge strides in improving safety features, from crumple zones to airbags and advanced driver-assistance systems. It’s not just about the size of the car anymore—it’s about the technology and engineering that go into making vehicles safer.

20. Using Butter!

Top view of butter and knife on white plate on blue background
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Someone commented, “If you burn your finger cooking, stick it in the butter.”

Another responded, “They just like to repeat hokey stuff with no scientific basis.”

Another added, “Old wives’ tale. Maybe they thought it was like an ointment. Use cool or cold water. Not ice water.”

While it’s true that cooling a burn is important to alleviate pain and prevent further damage, sticking your finger in butter won’t do the trick. In fact, it can even trap heat and worsen the burn!

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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.