Being a ‘millennial’, I have been in the workforce for over seven years, and have worked with the varying generations we have in the workplace, including that of my generation: Generation Y . With all generations ahead of me (Xers and Boomers), I have been labeled both ways: Generation Y ‘millennial’ and Generation WHY!?
Generation Y’s seemed to be tagged with characteristics such as greedy, narcissistic, attention-starved, and in-person shy, but I think these are truly mis-conceptions. I would say for every one of those delightful descriptors, there is a flip side to consider.
So when you are working with and thinking ‘Generation WHY!’, rethink it in this way:
Greedy is not Greedy; It’s “Achievement” Oriented – Generation Y’s are very driven to succeed, but they understand the value of starting from the bottom and working their way to the top. They seek out meaningful work and a progressive learning curve, which may come across as wanting more than they deserve.
Narcissistic is not Narcissistic; it’s Family centric – Previous generations worked very hard for what they have, no doubt there. Our generation often had both parents working more than full time. Generation Y’s seek an optimal work life balance – many would turn down high-paying jobs for more flexibility in their work options.
Attention-Starved is not Attention Starved; It’s “Seeking Feedback and Guidance” – Generations Y may come across as always wanting the spotlight on them, but in truth, they are seeking continual feedback – both good and bad – as well as guidance from those, our older generations, we see as mentors. We benefit greatly from our supervisors, bosses and colleagues who keep us in the loop.
In-Person Shy is not in-person shy; It’s Tech Savvy – As a generation that has grown up with technology, we prefer to communicate electronically via in person. We see it not as a shy away from in-person communication, but a more quickly productive and in-time way of communication.
So no more Generation WHY!? take us at Generation Y : a very eager, open and thankful generation.
Lynette Sawyer found Impact People Practices on the web almost a year ago and messaged me saying she loved what I was doing, was really interested in HR and graphic design as well as branding and marketing. She just wanted to work a few hours with me in any way she could help. Being someone who tends to give people the room to stretch, I challenged her to help me with a few things. Lynette took my vision for a blog and built the structure of this one. She has done some research for me and worked on graphic and design work for clients of mine. It’s been a delight to work with her and I look forward to seeing her career grow in the coming years! Lynette works full time for the Provincial Government and has her own graphics design company LS Collective. Christine McLeod, Founder Impact People Practices