Thanks to all who commented on my earlier post about supervising Generation Y – it generated some insightful conversation about the generation gap, so I thought it worthwhile to continue…
I have to admit that before now, I hadn’t thought much about how my own generation is perceived in the workplace. While I wasn’t so much surprised to learn that you believe we’re innovative and tech-savvy (that’s pretty much how we perceive ourselves, an attitude that might explain why we’re also seen as narcissistic…), I was a little taken aback to read words like “lazy” and “disrespectful” in reference to us.
Even more surprising was the stark contrast in opinion as to whether we have potential to be the next great generation of workers or the worst thing to happen to corporate America, as evidence by the results – all 124 million of them! - of my search for “generation y”.
Here’s what I learned about my kind, according to the blogosphere:
- We need constant praise
- We are disrespectful
- We feel entitled
- We have no sense of loyalty, but…
- We know what we want and how to get it
- We’re extremely capable when it comes to
- We value social responsibility, community service and green initiatives
Also, we sometimes go by “Echo Boomers” – which was a new one to me – “Millenials” and “Generation Why” (…that last one hurts).
While I definitely don’t agree with every opinion out there, I’ll say that I can begin to understand how my generation’s desire to be recognized for hard work might tend to come across as a need for constant praise (we don’t need it…it’s just nice is all); or how a few (maybe even several…) less-than-yearlong jobs on our resumes means we have no sense of loyalty….
As for the entitlement thing…well, can you blame us? We watch (from our entry-level desk jobs) as peers like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg build a multi-million-dollar business right out of college, and frankly, it makes us feel like suckers.
I won’t argue that we’re definitely different from our older counterparts in terms of our work ethic. But that’s not to say that our differences are a bad thing (maybe it’s just one of those tomato/to-MAH-toe situations).
What really baffles me, however, is why my generation’s “entire entire perception of how companies treat workers is entirely different than any generation before them,” as one reader puts it.
My first guess would be to say that because we’ve grown up in a world where there’s no piece of information we can’t Google, we’re simply convinced that, while we might not know everything, we know exactly how to quickly and easily find the information we need.
But while it’s easy to say that growing up around all of this advanced technology has made us at once impatient – after all, we’re used to getting what we want when we want it – and resourceful – knowing how to get what we want – is it really that simple of an explanation?
What do you think, readers? Being the (allegedly) needy millennial that I am, I’m now looking to you to help me figure out how to explain this disparity…Related
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