Heaven Forbid, They Want It All
There's a rather negative article in the Wall Street Journal from last week that describes the entitlement of the Millennial Generation (Generation Y) at work. Raised by Boomer parents who coddled them and fed their egos, these young people are a menace in the workplace - or so it seems.
- great jobs now, without paying their dues
- access to upper management so that they can share their ideas and directly participate in improving the company
- frequent (but gentle) feedback on their performance
- precise descriptions of their job responsibilities
- high pay (because they deserve it)
- flexible work and lots of time with their family (even in high level positions)
- lots of vacation time
As one young blogger is quoted, "[Managers] are finding that they have to adjust work around our lives instead of us adjusting our lives around work."
Now, it may be true that wanting it all without first proving your worth (especially if you then don't live up to your stated worth) may be an annoying trait in any employee. But the rest of this stuff is pretty darn fantastic. It sets the stage for equally shared parenting - challenging jobs at good pay with flexible hours that allow time for family. And fits with the mindset of ESP breadwinning - rewarding work that truly makes a difference.
Who says we all don't deserve that? Millennials may shock the culture by assuming they'll get all they want, but they may also prove that what they want is indeed possible in situations we thought could never provide such niceties. This generation has power - they're bright, hard-working and in demand as Boomers retire. If employers listen to them with open minds, we might all benefit.
Regardless of what generation any of us is assigned, it is always a good idea to work hard and contribute at a high level. This new generation may be teaching us that you don't have to sacrifice your life to be good at what you do. Fitting your job to your life sounds like a recipe for happiness to me. Happiness for the employee - and for the employer who is lucky enough to hire the cream of the crop.