I’ve been writing, blogging and speaking on Gen Y issues since 2006 when ERE gave me a blog called Gen Y’d (See my 1st post). As one of the “old” Gen Y’ers – I have watched the evolution of “us” in the workplace from the eager recent college grads entering the workforce as our nation was reeling from it first major terrorist attack, the mini-boom of “the talent war” and the current state of record breaking unemployment. I have seen the reality of the “why” we are distrusting of corporate America, less loyal than the boomers to a corporate setting and the reason so many of us strive to be entrepreneurs.
To a degree – the debate shouldn’t even really exist – we are a lot like our counterparts were when they were in their 20’s – we want the same types of thing of out life, have the same goals and dream the same dreams they did.
The difference lies in Expectations.
Our generation has been raised in a “me” culture, a world full of immediate gratification, instant access and always being told we can do (and be) anything. We’ve had computers in our homes since elementary school, cell phones & internet access since early in our high school years and only know about punch cards because of what Gen X’ers tell us.
Our reality and immediate need for gratification has shaped the way we do business, interact with our friends and live our lives. It has built amazing social networks, changed the history of news and impacted the way companies market, interact and work. Gen Y’s expectations are changing our culture (or are a subset of the culture we live in one can argue).
We want it all, and we want it now. And we see nothing wrong with that.
The vision that we all had of “having it all” when we grew up was built out of the defining moments we watched on television, read about on the internet and heard about via friends we may never meet. We want to have what our parents have (or more) by the time we hit 30 – not 50.
Prior generations would wait their turn. Be patient. Accepted that life doesn’t move as fast as we want. In the workplace they accepted (and understood) the idea of promotion and compensation based on tenure not performance. That you have to “earn” the right to have an opinion.
Our generation wants to learn – everything – now. We want to prove ourselves and be promoted and compensated based on our success and value – not how long we sat in our cube in a week. We want to show you a different way to look at things.
We want you to understand that our expectations don’t take any value out of what you have done in the workforce. We don’t want you to look down or discourage us. We want to learn from you and evolve (Rapidly). We don’t think we are better, faster, stronger, smarter than the generations before us. We don’t think we are “entitled” to it. We just aren’t afraid of expectations.
We want YOU to have expectations of US to do something AMAZING!
Cross posted from my blog - imsocorporate.com
On Thursday – I’ll be in London speaking alongside Lucian Tarnowski the founder of Brave New Talentand a noted Gen Y’er (1 of UK’s top 5 up & coming entrepreneurs, StridingOut’s Future 100, Courvoisier Future 500) at the TRULondon event - Sponsored in part by RecruitingBlog.com and my company HRMDirect.com We are going to be talking about how companies can harness what differences there are to make amazing teams and success stories in the workplace.