How do you perceive Gen Y?

In the past year, I’ve seen a few articles here and there about generation Y, even a book intended for employers to help them understand gen Y. I came across this article this morning from Science Careers, and it piqued my interest. I had just been telling Husband last night how I think my generation will help to tip a significant shift in the workplace, such that America’s workforce and its workplace would complement each other again. By discrepancy between workforce and workplace, I speak of the lack of support and flexibility often found in professional careers today, which leaves no room for the work of raising the next generation, taking care of the sick or elderly, and makes it challenging for all workers to achieve balance in their lives. Meanwhile, fewer families have a family member who works at home full-time to manage the household and take care of the children, the sick, and/or the elderly. I got the idea of framing this as a workforce-workplace imbalance from the Alfred P. Sloan foundation’s Workplace, Work Force and Working Families program, which a friend of Husband’s and mine just got hired to work for!

The article’s tagline is: Experts consider “millennials” one of the greatest generations ever to hit the workplace. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Arrogant. Individualistic. Unable to commit. Short attention span. These are some of the labels assigned by employers and pundits to the generation just joining the workforce. Dubbed “Generation Y” or “millennials” in English-speaking countries, these tech-savvy folks, most of whom never knew a world without the Internet, were born between about 1980 and 2000.

A frequent complaint of Gen-Y employers is that they expect too much too soon and are immune to imposed authority. “They want to work in an organization where they are valued as employees and also valued as people,” Henry says. “If they don’t feel a sense of belonging and mutual respect between them and their manager, they will not stay.”

I really don’t think it’s too much to ask to be respected and valued by your employer. Do you?

How do you perceive Generation Y?


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