I have done a lot of reading about the characteristics of the last few generations and can sum of what I’ve gathered as such:
- The Baby Boomer Generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) is composed of optimistic individuals that are keen to be involved. This is the group that brought us civil rights. They are the workaholics and see their careers as exciting adventures.
- Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1980) is skeptical and fiscally conservative. They are the first to have and use cell phones, but preferred to only be called at work. This group composed of entrepreneurs who were the first to believe in work-life balance.
- The Millennials or Generation Y-ers (those born between 1981 and 2000) are confident realists. They believe in instant communication and are the most educated generation thus far. This group of participatory is good at multi-tasking
I read yet another article today bashing the members of Generation Y for having a sense of entitlement instilled upon by their parents who taught them that they could achieve anything they wanted. I guess this is common practice to criticize the generations that follow one’s own, but I beg to understand why. Should we not be yearning to teach the future generations what we have learned from our experiences? Shouldn’t we give them the best possible chance so that their future might just be a bit brighter than it could have been?
What I don’t understand here is the blame that is place on Gen Y. The children of this generation learned their behavior from somewhere. I’m so sick of people condemning the generation and not those who raised them. But maybe the reason no one is blaming them is because they are the ones doing the blaming in the first place.
Yes, I am a member of Generation Y. I expect great things out of my life however, unlike the perception of my generation, I work my tail off to get them. I am not so selfish and spoiled as to think that I just deserve everything that I want.
I worked my butt off in both college and grad school to prove that I am worthy of being hired. After becoming employed, I run circles around my Baby Boomer counterparts who don’t think it’s “fair” that I make as much money as they do because I didn’t work as long as they did for it.
I call bull shit.
I have proven time and time again that I can (and am willing!) to learn new skills and take on new responsibilities. I complete tasks with accuracy and in a timely manner. If that makes me “entitled” as so many articles define my generation, then so be it. I work hard and expect to have a good life because of it. Is that entitlement or the American dream?
I excel because I am goal-driven. I want to buy a house, I want that next promotion, I want to take lavish vacations. But I will work to get it and I don’t stop once I’ve reached it. I have never done particularly well without a prize to win. If one is not there, I seek it. When work did not satisfy my hunger for learning, I returned to school. When school was over, I wrote over 200 pages of a novel. The prize is all about reaching the goal and then going beyond it. Drive does not stop.
With Baby Boomers taking longer to retire and more and more people getting out of college, it is not enough to merely have a degree. Jobs today are like ration stamps during the Great Depression: scarce and limited. The Millennials have to be extremely confident to land and secure even the most entry-level position. I myself took on the most menial of tasks in order to prove that I could and would do what was needed to climb the ladders. It sucked and I hated every mundane minute of it, but I can proudly say that the Boomers were right, the hard work paid off and I am glad to be where I am today. Though I’m still looking forward.
The economy is cut-throat and the competition is fierce; for the first time, our generation is not going to be better off than that of our parents’ generation. Generation Y must do everything it can to just get its foot in the door.
Our futures are at stake.