This probably isn’t what I really want my first post to be about, but I was researching Gen Y for a story I want to do and simply can’t believe that someone has the audacity to believe that we, as a generation of technology-suckled ‘Jacks of all trades yet masters of none’, are entitled to anything at all.
But before I start ranting and you get it into your head that I’m some sort of keyboard-happy, Gen Y Judas, let me back up and explain the context of this article.
Thorman, of Modite blog fame, set out to explain how three common Gen Y weaknesses could be considered strengths: Entitlement, impatience and refusal to commit. I have to hand it to her – she knows how to set up a good hook. But here’s where she lost me: she labels her first point ‘Selfishly Entitled’ and moves on as if it’s something we as a generation should be proud of.
Generation Y believes that we deserve everything the world has to offer. And we do. Paying dues when we enter the workforce is a joke. Not only have we already paid dues in high school by working harder to advance our standing in college, but we then work even harder in college to get ahead once we dive into the real world.
Really, now? Somehow, you’ve worked so hard for the betterment of a company, organization or community that you feel you should be excused from continuing your contribution? And you feel that you should be allowed right into the top levels of the business world with nothing but experience that can be proven with high school transcripts and test scores?
As much as I agree with the idea ‘hard work merits reward’, you are the only one companies need to consider. Her post (ironically) contained a link to a JT O’Donnel post that cited:
“It is essential businesses consider the “mature worker” because “by 2014, nearly one-third of the total U.S. work force (32 percent) will be age 50 or older, up from 27 percent in 2005… attracting and retaining the mature, experienced worker will become increasingly critical for employers who seek to retain a competitive edge in today’s marketplace,” according to information from the AARP.
What part of “mature, experienced worker” pertains to Gen Y? Furthermore, Modite fails to mention that Gen Y is the largest collective generation yet, as per the dramatic (around 12%) rise in US population during the birth years of Gen Y.
In another article she cited, the writer spoke with an employer that had the same problem with entitlement:
Unfortunately, most of the recent college graduates he interviews simply aren’t qualified to fill his staff positions. And this has nothing to do with age – if you haven’t been certified to be a social worker, then he simply can’t use you to council mothers and families dealing with the emotional aspect of adopting or giving up a child.
Davidson goes on to say that the key is access, but he’s writing with a non-millenial audience in mind. Access is how you keep them, he concludes, because they’re used to ease, praise and accessability to anything and everything. He says nothing about the fact that the boss shouldn’t be wasting time with questions easily answered by an older worker or the manual already in the worker’s possession.
The other traits she lists (Impatience and commitment-phobia) might be valid, but I’ll save my complaints for another day. Can I just say that I feel excessively old at this point? Here I am, ragging about the latest generational gaps voiced by a girl older than myself. Perhaps it’s the years I’ve spent overseas, but we’re lucky – at the very least, we owe the world something, not the other way around.