generation y struggles

I visited my parents this weekend.

My family is pretty crazy, so I usually limit my visits to holidays and birthdays. However, my sister just had a baby, and everyone was getting together, so I had to come up.

During dinner last night, my father went into a rant about how our generation is lazy and doesn’t want to work for anything. This offended me, because I support myself and I’m certainly far from lazy. Yet, this is a huge generalization that a lot of people make about Generation Y, without batting an eyelash.

Here are a few others that come to mind:

  • Generation Y expects constant praise and a gold star for ”effort”: We don’t expect to be babied and constantly praised. Positive reinforcement works for employees of all generations. Aside from money, it’s a great motivator. Life is hard. We all need assurance and a pat on the back from time to time. That’s it!
  • Generation Y mooches off their parents: Yes, it’s very common for Generation Y to move back in with mom and dad after graduating. The good ol’ days, when a college grad would get a middle-class income, buy a house, AND have a family, are long gone. The point of moving back is to save money while Generation Y desperately clings to its youth looks for a job and pays off student debt. Sounds practical if you ask me. The lazy, mooching college grad isn’t the rule, and should stop being used to label the rest of us.
  • Generation Y expects to make at least $80,000 / year right out of college: This is funny. I expected to make at least $60,000 out of college. Then I got a really sobering reality check. That was it. Guess who else got a sobering reality check when they entered the job market? Everyone else. Mind you, we were misguided by our parents! We were told that if we studied hard, got good grades, and graduated with honours, employers would be hounding us down, practically begging us to work for them. Or was that just my parents?

Baby Boomers are quick to point their fingers at us and scold us for not having our shit together. To this I say, Tell me good sir, how am I to fill a position that doesn’t exist? Moreover, why won’t you fucking retire already?

The thing is, every generation has a bone to pick with the one right after it. When we reach 40, we’ll look at the new generation and judge their choices, abilities, and taste in music.

How have negative Generation Y stereotypes affected you?

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6 thoughts on “generation y struggles

  1. HAHAHAHAHA, my dad ALWAYS told me if I get into this or that school and study my ass off for this or that, everyone will try to hire me. Ahh, if only.

    • Yep. It worked for them but it doesn’t work for us. I hope you switched gears when you realized that! I started networking IMMEDIATELY.

      • Honestly these days, success seems to go to those who, yes work hard and all that, but more towards those who know the right people. I know a friend who didn’t even finish college, but ended up with a contract with ESPN as a photographer. ESPN!!!! Like, are you kidding me! I went to college for 5 years to get a BS in Physiology and did all the pre-med courses, and I’ve yet to land a winning job like that.

      • ESPN? That’s crazy. Their parents definitely hooked them up. Sigh. I used to hate networking because I thought it was superficial and awkward. I forced myself to meet people in the industry I was interested in, and I learned a lot from those encounters. Most people aren’t jerks and they’ll gladly give advice to a new grad just starting out. It’s flattering to them, to be recognized as a valuable professional in the field. Also, it gives them a break from the boring day to day routine at work (if you meet them for lunch, for example). Also, everybody wants to work with someone they like. The most important thing is to shine and win them over with your wonderful personality, and they’ll want to introduce you to people who can help you out. Persevere!

  2. Perception is reality. If most of us were hard working, reliable, and industrious we would have a reputation for being so. You’re absolutely right that our parents’ generation completely distorted our expectations, but now they are unequivocally our cultural expectations. People cannot go to small private colleges, obtain liberal arts degrees, take out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, and expect a job that will provide a return on investment. People can go to community colleges, state colleges, or trade schools and earn degrees in medical science, engineering, information technology, and skilled trades. They can obtain jobs afterward that will provide an income sufficient for paying their comparatively minimal debt. Studying hard and being aggressive, still apply. It’s the other pre-conceived notions that must go immediately.

    • I agree. The times are a-changin. From what I’ve heard/read, it was easier to get a [good] job in the 70’s, degree or no degree. We need to stay informed and adjust to the demands of the market. Maybe even create demand (for all of you entrepreneurs out there). Solid comment, thanks for posting!

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