Gen Y believes they ARE working hard and proving themselves…

Managing multiple generationsBoomers believe way to get ahead is to outwork everyone else. They’re the first into the office and the last to leave. As a matter of fact, they are there way before we get there…(that’s how they know we’re 5 minutes late).

Heck, a lot of us think they actually live at the office…guess that explains the smell!

As most experts will tell you, one key piece of motivating Gen Y is to make sure they understand how what they’re doing ties in with the overall organizational goals.

I think the problem is that most organizations either don’t think they don’t need to share the organizational goals with young workers, or they think they have.

Both are usually wrong.

So how are Gen Yers supposed to navigate the organizational landscape? How are we supposed to know what it takes to succeed? The Boomers think we’re too young and the Xers think we’re too dumb to ‘get it’. Unfortunately, the way we act often solidifies the stereotype in their minds.

I know what you’re thinking…”That’s BS!!!” “This is the way I am! My parents told me I could do anything I set my mind to and these yoyos are in the way! Seniority is dumb! Promotions should be based on performance!”

It think all 4 of the generations in the workplace today can agree on one basic thing: Performance should determine your success.

The problem: all 4 define perf./success differently.

Traditionalists: Success = fitting in (almost all are military vets)

Boomers: Success = Job security (achieved by working harder than anyone else)

Gen X: Success = Having the most skills so that you’re marketable to many employers

Gen Y: Success = Making the most impact to the organization – RIGHT NOW!

Who knows how this will shake out over the next few years? I certainly don’t. I do know that these definitions vary wildly and cause a ton of headache in the workplace.

Do you agree? Do you fit into the stereotypical definitions for your generation?

Now let’s talk about how we need to act so that all 4 play nice…someone has to be the leader…why can’t it be us?

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GenX: Millennials won’t work for it…

Gen Y navigating their careers(Cont’d from earlier post)

Okay, I’m back. Latte in hand.

You saw it didn’t you? I knew you would.

Problems always occur when we try to superimpose our beliefs onto others.  In this case, I suspected Susan was an Xer from the language. She is explaining to people what she has observed in Gen Y. I don’t disagree with her, except that you have to recognize that everything you view is based on your own perspective.

The statement went like this: “There is an expectation within Gen Y that they should get opportunities rather than prove themselves and work hard.”

That’s the disconnect! Gen Y believes they ARE working hard and proving themselves…

As an Xer, most likely Susan holds a view of achievement being supreme. Promotion is the goal because as you move through your career, that’s how you know you’re winning. Gen X typically feels that they’ve put in their time and will be moving into the most important roles very soon.

As a matter of fact, they’re usually very skeptical because they were already supposed to move into those roles but the Boomers haven’t vacated them. They are especially skeptical of Gen Y because Y enters the workforce and expects to bust all the doors down and take the promotions that X has waited so long to get.

To an Xer (and Boomer for that matter), you can’t have expertise without experience. I think you see that evidenced in the grumbling in the workplace as well as the labeling of Millennials as lazy, ME generation, Entitled, etc. Sound familiar?

In certain roles, more experience means more expertise, but I’d argue that those walls are being quickly torn down.

Information is power, right?

Experience vs ExpertiseShould I use leeches to get the ‘bad blood’ out as a new doctor just because a bunch of experienced doctors thought it was a good idea? Of course not! I can read and know it’s a bad idea.

Sure, Y needs your expertise, but we don’t want your experience unless we see how that experience gives knowledge we can’t attain otherwise. If you want us to see things your way, you have to connect the dots. Right now, Seems like there were tons of experienced people who told a certain guy he couldn’t run a 4 minute mile…after all, no one had done it…he didn’t have the experience…

To Gen Y, promotions and advancement should be based on performance…right now, not over the last 13 years…and if I’m killing it more than you, I should get it (Don’t worry, I’ll be bored in 6 months and you can have it then!).

My goal here is not to bash her or Gen X. As a matter of fact, I applaud her for trying to understand what makes Gen Y tick and the more people are willing to put their perspectives out there, the easier it’s going to be to get things done. That’s where we’re headed with these posts.

There are 4 distinct generations in the workplace today.

That’s never happened before. No wonder there’s such grief over Gen Y. Xers thought they would only have to deal with Boomers and then eventually hand over the reigns to Gen Y in their golden years. Uh oh! Missed it on that one.

My goal: Help Gen Y navigate their careers and step on a few less landmines.

Let’s talk about where to go from here, shall we? Xer hang on, I promise I’ll try to redeem myself…

Gen Y: Unwilling to prove themselves and work hard

Gen Y motivationGen Y wants everything right now and isn’t willing to work for it.

That’s the statement I read when reading an article that was interviewing a woman who was responsible for recruiting for an Accounting firm. I don’t know who she is (I purposefully didn’t Google her) but I do know she’s an Xer. How?

  1. The article said she’d been recruiting for 18 yrs.
  2. Most importantly, this is a quote I pulled from her interview:

Gen Y wants more and believe they deserve it,” she says. “There is an expectation within Gen Y that they should get opportunities rather than prove themselves and work hard. It’s great to have structured expectations and ambitions, but they have to be qualified and deserved.

Eureka! (that means STFU in Boomer talk) That’s the problem! That’s the disconnect! That’s the reason there is such conflict in the workplace when it comes to generations!

Do you see it? It’s right there!

Let me stop here and say that she’s being cited because of her expertise on recruiting Millennials. There are some really good points but I want you to focus on the great point I don’t think she realizes that she’s making.

Go read the article Gen Y: Who? Where? Y? and then we’ll talk. No, really, read it…I’ll wait. Matter of fact, I’m going to get a caffeine fix so take your time…We’ll talk on the next post.