Equally Shared Parenting - Half the Work ... All the Fun

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Here's where we keep you updated on news about parenting as it relates to division of responsibilities, career versus home decisions, work/life balance, and legislative and grass-roots movements toward equality or better choices for families. We'll also throw in our opinions of life as equal parents in a nonequal world, regardless of what's in the news.

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Equality Blog

Friday, October 31, 2008

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.

They want:
- 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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"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."

This is the crux of the problem. They want to "have it all" without earning it. They don't understand (and this is a generalization of course, not all millenials feel this way) that they have to prove themselves before they can get high pay, flexible hours, more vacation time, etc.

It goes back to the "everyone gets a trophy" mentality. When they grew up, fairness was the parenting paradigm du jour. Everyone who played soccer got a trophy, not just the winning team. There were 14 valedictorians at some high schools (really, I'm not making this up) because it wasn't fair to only have one. So they have a sense of entitlement that turns off older generations.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Wow - 14 valedictorians! That's pretty crazy, and I hear what you say. I do maintain a strong enthusiasm for Gen Y, however, and believe they may teach us a thing or two about what we might claim for ourselves too. I wonder if they value praise and trophies far less than older people, since these were a dime a dozen during their youth. That could be a good thing!

8:42 PM  

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