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Generation Y Brings New Demands to the Workplace

Are the Demanding Descriptions of Gen Y Accurate?

New surveys and conversations among human resources execs make it seem like employees under the age of 29 (also known as Millenials and Gen Y) are a bratty bunch. A new CareerBuilder survey shows that we supposedly expect our employers to provide more benefits and other perks than our older colleagues — namely, better pay, a flexible work schedule and company-provided BlackBerrys and cell phones. Additionally, 87 percent of hiring managers say we exhibit a sense of entitlement that older generations don’t.


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nicachica nicachica 9 years
and yes, i was one of those students who took on loans (30k) to go to college and worked my way through school so it made me very appreciative of the value of hard work and working your way up from the bottom.
nicachica nicachica 9 years
gbrsgirl, if you're in d.c. and your company is hiring, please PM me! hehe, anyway, i'm a Gen-Y gal and yes, i do agree that there is a sense of entitlement in my generation but i think that applies more to the people who had everything paid for and didn't have to work during high school/college. frankly, i think it has more to do with class than generation. i went to a school with a high concentration of the country club set and they had a very entitled air to them even though they never worked. they were able to take internships without having to be paid and thus got a leg up on students who had to be paid (and thus couldn't take those highly coveted internships). am i way off base here? i think that there's something to be said about class distinction in this discussion.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
gbrsgirl we were all told that LOL.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Jrosenberg02, I feel you on what you said about those who actually put in the work vs those who haven't done the work. I have worked with individuals and know ones that want a job paying a certain amount but have no experience, qualifications, or education but they feel they deserve the job It's weird. My hats goes off to you and other ladies that went into debt to put themselves through college and did it alone. I know what you mean with the ridiculous debt - I wonder will there ever be a law that will dismiss this ---LOL, I guess I can dream.
mandy_frost mandy_frost 9 years
Here, here ashcwebb. If they are going to ask for more from us, of COURSE we will ask for more from them. And a higher salary than the last generation... duh. Of COURSE. Prices are higher. We aren't psycho brats. We just want to be compensated for our efforts.
jrosenberg02 jrosenberg02 9 years
I think there's a BIG difference between gen. y-ers who feel entitled because they've put in a significant investment on their education, and gen. y-ers who feel the same sense of entitlement because they see other people getting these perks, even though they haven't done jack shit. If you put in the time and the money I don't think it's wrong to expect certain things from your job (especially a retirement account and salary level), but to want it from nothing is ridiculous. I know people who didn't go to college, or went to community college, and still think they should have high salaries and all the perks. Believe me, if I hadn't gone into $140,000 of personal debt (my money, not mommy and daddy's) and busted my ass to get into a good school and do well once I got there, I wouldn't feel comfortable asking for ANYTHING beyond a paycheck at the end of the week. You should get what you put in, and if you don't want to put the time and money into school up front you should have to work your way up, just like the older generations who didn't necessarily need a degree. That said, I work in a very transparent industry where starting salaries and benefits are public and competitive, so most places have pretty similar deals to offer. Which was nice, because I didn't pick the job that gave me the most perks, I picked the one I loved the most.
VennieB VennieB 9 years
I'm under 29, so I guess I'm technically part of Gen Y. While I don't think it applies to everyone, a LOT of Gen Y-ers do feel entitled. I'm a graduate assistant (like a teaching assistant, but a graduate student) and the undergrads at my school are RIDICULOUS. The things they feel entitled to! I've had students not show up for an exam without any sort of valid excuse, just assuming that they'll be allowed to do a makeup. And THEN not show up for a makeup, because they decided they wanted to go out to dinner with friends. Then they have the nerve to get upset with me when I say "tough, you can't write another makeup". A professor of mine describes it as the 'Instant gratification' generation. People are so used to getting what they want, when they want (text messages, email, etc.) that they don't want to wait for anything. I'm not sure if it's the same in the US, but in Canada, they don't fail people in school anymore. They will pass ANYONE because they feel it would be more detrimental to their psychological well-being to fail them. I think that's absolute crap. If you don't fail them, they don't realize that they're doing anything wrong, and they'll keep doing it wrong! Anyways, sorry about the rant...but YES, a lot of us Gen Y-ers do feel FAR too entitled. You have to work for things people!
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
Yeah, I've worked nonstop for a paycheck (except for a few months in my senior year in high school) since I was 16. With an abundance of internships and volunteer work thrown in there as well. Can I ask what industry are you all hiring for? If you do end up hiring said obnoxious and demanding Gen Y/Millenials, why do you do it? I'm just trying to understand.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Tiff58, I totally agree with you, working at this time was the best experience in my life and gave me a great foundation.
tiff58 tiff58 9 years
I also wanted to add that we were talking about Gen Y in my MBA class today. My prof. said that many of the top companies recruiting undergrads today are sending offer letters to both the student and the parents--SERIOUSLY! To me, this is something that should not be acceptable.
tiff58 tiff58 9 years
Sweet as Sugar, I totally agree with you. If you are not entry-level, you should not be paid an entry-level salary. Same goes for those with degrees from very intense programs, and those who have high GPA's. The top companies recruiting out of college often have GPA requirements, and they pay for those candidates. Bella, I also worked all throughout my college career (and most of HS for that matter). My last two years I worked full-time. This is by far the most important experience of my life, and led me to the job that I have now. They were impressed with my work ethic.
gbrsgirl gbrsgirl 9 years
As someon both in this generation and hiring from this generation I find Gen Y people to be very demanding and impatient. I have had so many employees work for me for a month or two and then demand (not ask) for a raise, a promotion, a credit card, an office, and on and on. All of them tell me that they feel like they deserve it. What they don't seem to understand is while they may have worked hard in school and at their internship, they've only worked for me for a month! What have they done to prove to me they are worth that type of investment? I work for a company that gives excellent raises, pays entirely for the employees health coverage and is very understanding if there are schedule issues or changes that need to be made. Yet even with this I have some emplployees (mostly of Gen Y) that feel they are not getting what they feel entitled. In defense of this generation, we were told that if we went to school and got a degree we all could have the nice car, corner office and big salary and that's not the case either. In how people are hiring right now it's coming down to experience then education.
Sweet-as-Sugar Sweet-as-Sugar 9 years
*way = weigh. Long day at work! :p This generation Y topic fascinates the heck out of me! I think it's so interesting to hear all the different views.
Sweet-as-Sugar Sweet-as-Sugar 9 years
Hey LadyGypsy, My investment, mom's investment, whatever. For pickiness sake let me edit to add my mother's investment. I totally agree with you, good grades don't guarantee you a wicked entry-level salary. BUT I think that it's a chain of events - good grades lead you to good opportunities like volunteering and interning where your eligibility may way heavily on your GPA. Those activities should buff up your resume and give you experience before you settle into your actual career. That experience plus reviews from references should surely result in fair compensation in an entry-level position - if you're not totally green in your field that should be recognized and paid for accordingly. Am I wrong?
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Cuba, I am on the cusp-28. I have been working since I was 15 1/2. It wasn't always pretty jobs but it was steady work and flexible when I was in HS and college. I think working and going to school and gaining experience is different from saying I deserve this and that. I have had people come into an office and don't even know how to work a copier. I am sure none of you ladies have that problem.
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 9 years
If they think that we're demanding and feel entitled wait until the next generation to come up. They're worse!
cubadog cubadog 9 years
Bella you bring up a great point I am considered Gen X but I have had a job since I was old enough to work and worked the entire time I was in college. Looking back I would say it was the best thing I ever did.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
I came back to read what others wrote and I have a question: When you all were in school did you work? I actually had a full time job while I attended school and I worked at junior college and I worked in an office pt on the weekends. It was no treat but it was experience and taught me work ethic. It was not easy but I made it through college and grad school, I even picked up a internship and volunteer work during grad school when I negotiated with my job --telling them it was a class but really an internship I did twice a week. I was just wondering what everyone situation was when they were in school.
juju4 juju4 9 years
I have a friend that works at a staffing firm, and she says this is a huge issue for them. They have recent college graduates with no office experience that want to start at an Executive Assistant position making $80K, and it doesn't happen like that. There is a reason why they call it "entry level"....when you enter the work force, you might be working a reception desk or as a file clerk. Use that to get in with a great company, show off in person how amazing you are, and maybe you will be promoted in time to the job of your dreams.
onabanana onabanana 9 years
I graduated with multiple degrees, had complete 4 internships (totaling about 2.5 years of work experience) and volunteered for various charities, I had written a thesis, I was feeling pretty awesome! I was ready to work hard and recognized! I was idiot! Then came the months of job hunting, then the coffee shop job...then entry level job that barely paid rent and bills...I did not feel awesome. Such was the first 1.5 year after the graduation high...I like my friends spent years in school being told that we were special, and going off to university and leaving the "townies" behind just reinforced that feeling. Reality: I was not special. There are thousands of kids that graduate every year, with fantastics degrees on pretty paper, armed with internships and recommendations. There are even more people out there (degrees or not) who are willing and able to work very hard for very little money. They are the competition. luckily I learned this pretty darn fast and the only way to get a head and make people remember you as a hard working young person is to be a hard working likable young person. NO-one cares if you can write a thesis and no-one cares how much mom and dad spent on you. There are thousands more out there who can do the job / my job better, faster, and cheaper. I keep this in mind every day.
amers230 amers230 9 years
i think some of that's true but at the same time i think there are other reasons for those things being true than us being brats. first of all, we're among the first generations of people to graduate from college with serious debt. i owe 30 grand in student loans and compared to a lot of my friends, i got off easy. this wasn't really the case when our parents were going to college. i think a lot of our wanting better starting salaries and better benefits than previous generations is due to that. regarding flexibility, with the way technology has progressed i think it's natural we're requesting more flexibility than previous generations. you can email and take phone calls pretty much everywhere nowadays, so i don't see what's wrong with people in appropriate fields asking to work from home or such. so while we may be making more requests, there are reasons for it.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
Free your right there are great potential employees out there and I do know and have hired some of them. I do not think it is ever anyone's intention on sugar to lump everyone together.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
This isn't directed to anybody, but I just worry about the consequences of reports/studies like this. When I first entered the workforce, it was right after September 11th and I struggled. I eventually had to settle for a job that I didn't go to school for and for pay that had me living in Section 8 housing. I never demanded anything... so I got just that, nothing. Even though I truthfully hate my job and even though the work atmosphere is far from ideal, I've been at this job ever since and even promoted a few times since. Regardless of the few bad apples you've all may have met, I hope that people will not attribute that to being characteristic of every person within this generation. Like many of others in my age group, I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth and I've worked hard at everything I did for as long as I've been alive. It is not fair to me to be immediately written off for a reputation I didn't earn.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
Golf Claps onabanana and ladygypsy. I am so over the entitlement that kids right out of college have. News flash you earn the big salaries and perks like a blackberry and a cell phone through hardwork. It is a given that people deserve a decent wage and healthcare but to think right out of college with little to no work experience that you can demand an executive salary what a laugh! I have worked hard and people know me in my industry because of that. I have not been at the same company for 20 years and whose to say that is such a bad thing. Mark Parker the CEO & President of Nike has been there since 1976.
ladygypsy ladygypsy 9 years
SweetasSugar: You itemized the huge amount of money that your mother spent on your education, and then demand a return on *your* investment? Getting good grades and doing extracurriculars does not automatically guarantee you a good entry-level salary. One is supposed to get good grades in school.
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