How Generation Y Works

Generation Y at Work

Due to the endless positive feedback that was showered upon Gen-Y kids throughout their lives, the young adults of this generation tend to be extremely confident -- some would say overconfident. They tend to enter the workforce with very high expectations both for themselves and for their employers, and they often have plans to effect change at their company from day one. They also often have much higher salary expectations than entry-level positions actually pay, although this has been tempered somewhat by the Great Recession.

Additionally, because many members of this generation have headed home after graduating college (giving them the nickname of the Peter Pan Generation for not really "growing up" and heading out on their own until their early 30s), they have the luxury of bouncing from job to job until they find one that suits them. This lack of fear about holding on to one job tends to make them outspoken and unafraid of the boss.

While job security might not be near the top of the list for young Gen Y'ers, financial security certainly is. Often having watched their parents loose bundles in the stock market or as a result of the housing market crash, Gen Y'ers tend to be savvy about finances and value a robust 401k plan from their employer.

Yet this generation tends to keep money -- and work -- in its place. Gen Y'ers are likely to see work as something that helps them live the rest of their lives rather than seeing work as life -- in other words, they work to live rather than living to work. On the whole, they'd rather work at an interesting job for less money that allows them plenty of time out of the office (or working at home) rather than putting in 12-hour days for a six-figure salary.

In short, Gen Y'ers want stimulating work that gives them lots of opportunity for change and growth -- both personally and professionally. They crave instant feedback at work, much in the same way text messages to their friends are often answered within seconds, or their posts on Facebook are quickly "liked." They don't want to be cogs in a corporate machine, nor do they want simply to be told what to do by an overbearing boss. They want to shape and be shaped by their daily work experience -- and if that experience could include working with their friends in a casual and fun environment, so much the better.

Want to know more? Keep reading for lots more information about Generation Y.

Related Articles


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