Generation Y entered the work force en masse in the first decade of the 21st century. Generation Y is also known as the digital generation, having grown up with access to the World Wide Web beginning in their early elementary school years. They were also early adopters of technology such as cell phones, iPods, and netbooks. This has greatly affected their approach to finding, keeping, and switching jobs.
Members of Generation Y were typically not satisfied with how they perceived the workplace that was waiting for them. Many members of this generation choose to delay entering the workplace and instead furthered their education with masters and/or doctorate degrees. Many pursued advanced degrees in fields that piqued their interests and not just in the career field they found themselves in. And once Generation Y was ready to enter the workplace, they were pickier about the jobs they choose. Overwhelmingly, they wanted jobs that allowed collaboration with peers. Because they grew up questioning all sorts of authority, many sought out jobs that would allow them to be more in control of their destiny. Creativity and independence were important qualities in potential jobs.
Of course, once Generation Y found themselves in the workplace, they had to decide whether or not to stay there. By 2005, they were really establishing themselves in the workplace and the changes they brought are still being felt. Unsettled with the typical command-do hierarchy, many branched out into dot.com start-ups that allowed them more flexibility with creating a work-life balance. The Generation Y workers insisted that their employers, if they were not self-employed, must accommodate their desires to “have a life” and not be all-consumed with their careers.
Change is highly valued by members of Generation Y. In the workplace, they expect to be heard and for their ideas and contributions to be valued. This generation is not afraid to speak up if they feel they are being underutilized. The quest for meaningful work is part of who they are and their career is not about a money-grab, but about feeling valuable and important. This is probably a result of how they were raised, being told regularly by their parents and teachers that they were special and significant.
And if they were not happy with their level of responsibility or their ability to balance their work and personal lives, they left for greener pastures. No longer is company loyalty a value for this generation. They saw the scandals of Arthur Anderson and Enron and deliberately choose something more transient for themselves. The idea that one person could stay with the same company for their entire career seems like a solution of financial ruin at the end of that career.
Members of Generation Y work hard to stay in the workplace. But they do so on their own terms. Taking time off to further their education or pursue a hobby is not uncommon for Generation Y. They lean heavily on their own abilities and do not wait for their bosses or others to make room for them at the top, and instead are increasing their mobility to make their own space at the top.
Filed Under: Social Issues
Millennials are found to be lazy and narcissistic. They expect everything to be handed down to them as if they are entitled to it. Older generations picture us sitting on a couch with our feet up in the air, starring like a zombie into our screens on our phones, while taking selfies every five minutes, demanding our boss to give us a raise. If only the people who judge us knew how hard we really have it in today’s world. Liz Zarka’s 2013 article entitled “Generation Me: The Millennial Generation’s Obsession with Being Unique”, from The Daily Clog, states her beliefs that Millennials are more focused on ourselves verses helping our planet. She assumes we are self-absorbed, conceded, and only care about fame and do not care about changing the way people see us. However, I believe the millennials are an admirable generation because we can multitask, we see the value in higher education, and we are aspirational.
Being able to maintain more than one thing at a time has helped Generation Y accomplish our task in a timely manner. It’s a great attribute we have, considering older generations think we are incapable of successfully completing a task that was given to us. A 2011 article entitled, “A Millennial Says: Stop Trashing Us” ,by Maria LaMagna, a web producer for Bloomberg View, admits “Maybe the biggest source of hope is how ‘Over-scheduled’ we were as children. Our parents were criticized for enrolling us in Little League, Ballet Class, and Science Camp all at once, but when you think about it we over-scheduled kids might be the uber project managers of the future.” LaMagna believes that being able to multitask is not a distraction but an upper hand in the future towards our career. From experience, as a child I as well was placed in Softball and Basketball at the same time. I feel it has made my life easier as a mother, because I can complete my daily chores while reading to my daughter as I am preparing dinner. If I was not over scheduled as a child, I would probably be bald from pulling all my hair out trying to keep up with my life.
In addition to completing multiple activities at once, Millennials have put forth their education because they understand the importance of today’s salary. LaMagna, comments “Remember not too long ago when we were clawing each other’s eyes out to get into college? Memories of that level of crazed intensity make me cringe (Let’s try to forget the day I cried over a bowl of tomato soup in the cafeteria about a bad quiz grade), but also suggest that as a generation we cannot be all that lazy.” In other words, LaMagna is describing the amount of pressure our generation is under to continue our education and how possibly one bad grade on a test could affect our chances to get into an outstanding college. Getting accepted into college is hard enough, but the stress of not getting into college is worse. Ultimately our generation either has to, obtain the highest level of education to keep up with the economy, or suffer the consequences of settling for minimum wage paying jobs. Unfortunately, as LaMagna puts it, “Being Lazy” is out of the question. For example, one of my good friends finished college but is having a difficult time finding work, so he is currently serving burgers and fries at Carl’s Jr. while he continues to look for employment.
As well as understanding that receiving a masters or bachelor degree will basically lead to a better future. Millennials also strive by putting all their focus to one main objective, which is to be the best. In LaMagna’s article, Alex Morse, a young 23-year-old mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts agrees, “Despite its sometimes bad rap, the Millennnial generation is ambitious.” Morse’s point is that although other generations think poorly of us, we are committed to achieve the impossible. Other generations like the Baby Boomers insist that we are lazy and narcissistic, but we have proven over and over that once we put our minds to something we make it our goal to accomplish it. For example, being a mom of two toddlers, working full time and being a full time student is hard, but I do it to better my future and make sure my two beautiful daughters have a better child hood then I did. I want my daughters to follow my example and thrive in anything they commit to. This is my personal goal for them, and being a Millennial myself, I will make sure this is achieved.
The Millennials are a generation that is deserving and commendable. We accomplish our goals and use the resources that were given to us. If we continue to climb up the success latter and show our hard work, we can change the views on how other generations see us. We need to come together as generations and make sure we teach the upcoming generations everything we have learned and ultimately continue to grow and push forward towards a better future.