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Gen Y – After the Fire

February 25, 2012

A Gen Y member, in one of my recent leadership programs, said the words older generations have been waiting to hear:  “I’m just glad to have a job!”   What?  Humility?  Appreciation?  Really?

When I conducted training for this company in 2007 they were having a hard time keeping Gen Y’ers.  Now they have several.  Perhaps the Great Recession has changed things – including the Gen Y “attitude.”

Gen Y, which ranges from mid 30s downward, to where they blend with Gen Z, had it great when they entered the workplace.  Everybody wanted these new kids on the block who were more tech savvy then their older Gen X siblings, embraced diversity and experienced being global citizens –thanks to skype and cross cultural gaming.

Helicopter Parenting along with the “Have It Your Way” mindset of a workplace competing for younger workers created an environment which produced – as everyone including Gen Y members agree — a group that is excessively overestimating of their abilities, proudly narcissistic and having a sense of entitlement.  Now things have changed.   In the post- recession world, employers have “hand” and Gen Y’ers have sky high unemployment.  Gen Y parents have their kids back home and Gen Y’ers have time to Occupy Wall Street.

Don’t get me wrong.  We older generation members love, like, enjoy, want – and NEED – younger upcoming American workers.  They are tomorrow’s leaders, and are certainly becoming today’s leaders in growing numbers.   We just like them better without the sense of entitlement, the smugness of narcissism and when they don’t bring their parents on job interviews to negotiate on their behalf.   We like that they want to make a difference in the world – especially when they aim to do that while serving through our business or organization.

Hopefully The Great Recession serves as the right wake up call for a group that is  the most promising, and potentially the most productive and impactful generation in the history of the world — so far.

From → Generations

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