Generation Y

This is kind of out of the realm of politics, but people talk a lot about how special Generation Y is and this generation thinks they are getting a little too much undeserved praise.

They say we’re going to change the workplace, but are they really doing anything so far besides benefiting from the situation there in?

Generation Y has a huge population and this will shift power in the workplace to make companies more adept to giving them what they want in order to retain them. Furthermore, they have the Boomer parents who, for the most part, have paid their way through life, through college, and even beyond as they search for the perfect career opportunities that allow them to collect a fat paycheck while still being able to work flexible hours. They have spent their whole lives getting everything demanded from their parents: a cell phone, a TV, a new car on their 16th birthday; and now they walk into the workplace and expect the same treatment. Sure, older generations give this generation what they want; but begrudgingly, because, like everything else in their lives thus far, they did nothing to earn it.

It’s really no wonder that other generations resent this generation the way they do. Gen Y say we’re creating this massive shift in the workplace, but really, most of it has been created for them. Of course, there’re happy to take advantage of it, just as they were happy to show off and brag about a brand new car to their friends, conveniently forgetting that they didn’t actually earn the money that paid for it.

Here’s how I think Generation Y are contributing to the workplace: longer hours. As much as they say they are not willing to their time, do any of them work less than 45+ hour weeks? No, because their so desperate to stay ahead of the other rich, bright, hard-working, degree-holding overachievers in their generation.

Gen Y insists they are too smart to do the crap work. Gen Y demand tasks and projects that are meaningful. But who, then, is qualified to do the busy work? An undergraduate degree is practically a prerequisite for getting a decent-paying job these days, and anyone with a college education is too busy and important to waste their time on administrative duties, says Gen Y.

Some Generation Y bloggers reminded me of the movie GATTACA, where science creates a superhuman race through genetic births, leaving anyone conceived the normal way left cleaning toilets. Is that really what Generation Y wants to be remembered for - the generation that divided the workplace into the over privileged vs. the underprivileged? The generation that killed off the middle-class worker?



Let’s talk then about money: how many of them are actually saving, or even investing? Most of the Gen Y’ers I know are living paycheck to paycheck, and their higher salaries are going toward their rent and student loans. Oh, and the 54″ inch HDTV they had to own. And shopping trips for clothes and furniture they didn’t need.

“If 30 is the new 20, retirements really are dead.” Says one Gen Y Blogger. “Because we’re going to be so far behind in saving for a traditional retirement, and so focused on instant gratification, that we won’t be able to afford it. A conscious choice we are making, or the consequence of our me now upbringing? To me, a three month vacation now sounds like a sad consolation to having to work the rest of my life.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not picking on any members of Generation Y. I want to believe you actually are special and can bring about the change you idealistically cling to. But right now I have more questions than answers, and I have to wonder if all the generational talk is making you forget what’s important - that every generation has contributed to where you are at now. That you all need to figure out where you belong in this new workplace you have been inching towards for the past 30 years.


In Closing:

Generation Y needs to consider the change they think they are actually creating, because, in the end, you’re the ones who will have to live with your choices. I wonder if they are getting too much ridicule and blame for well being themselves. I believe they are getting blamed for being privileged but that my friends are the faults of the Generations before them.