First off, go and read this article: The ‘Trophy Kids’ Go to Work on the WSJ website. Then once completed, come back to this post. This post is my reflections on it. Thanks to @MonFineis for sharing it.
(Warning: this is going to be a rant, so it may get long, but I hope you will read it all and comment!)
My first off response is that they are truly hating on any recent college graduates trying to find a job and start their careers. There are some points within the article that I agree with and then there are some that are just way out there and you can tell the comments come from someone who is A) old enough to be my parents, B) had their job for a while, and C) is set in the mindset of never changing.
If there is one overriding perception of the millennial generation, it’s that these young people have great — and sometimes outlandish — expectations. Employers realize the millennials are their future work force, but they are concerned about this generation’s desire to shape their jobs to fit their lives rather than adapt their lives to the workplace.
Can we say work/life balance?? I mean come on. The days of young professionals going to work for a company and planning on staying there for the rest of their lives is over. The average person now probably changes jobs every 5 years, just like buying a new car. Young professionals do not want to work 60-80 work weeks constantly and have nothing to show for it. Working my ass off to make money for someone else and only getting my normal salary is not going to cut it. If you want me to work hard for you, you have to work hard for me – provide excellent benefits, incentives to work hard/meet deadlines, offer flexible working hours, compensate for overtime, offer competitive vacation time, have a relaxed workplace – the list could go on and on and on!
More than 85% of hiring managers and human-resource executives said they feel that millennials have a stronger sense of entitlement than older workers, according to a survey by CareerBuilder.com.
I don’t think it is neccessarily that millennials feel entitled to everything and anything, but it is that they know what they want, have goals, and want to achieve them. That’s part of the American Dream isn’t it? If you as an employeer are not going to support that, then why should a millennial want to work for you?
The generation’s greatest expectations: higher pay (74% of respondents); flexible work schedules (61%); a promotion within a year (56%); and more vacation or personal time (50%).
I agree with these stats except for I find it hard to believe that 56% of the survey population expected a promotion within a year. Millennials know that hard work is involved with getting ahead. I would hope that the majority of us know that this just isn’t going to happen overnight. Let’s be real though – the cost of living is skyrocketing in all the major cities where the majority of jobs are. In order for us to live and be able to afford A) a vehicle, B) food, and C) housing (renting or buying) then the pay needs to reflect that and be competitive with other companies. In my local area in Maryland, there is no way that a fresh college graduate is going to purchase a house right away, it just isn’t going to happen. The average single family home price is probably at least $400K with more and more $800K plus “estates” being built day after day. Developers are struggling to sell these houses but still keep building them instead of building condos, townhouses, apartment complexes, and smaller more affordable houses. The average townhouse in my area is probably $350k (a little more reasonable but still not great). If the costs of living continue to rise, salaries need to keep rising too.
The article says that you should be blaming parents, teachers, and coaches for millennial’s wanting to be able to be casual at work, enjoy their time in the office, and have a flexible work schedule. What a crock of shit. It says that we are the pride and joy of our parents and this is a problem…so you mean to tell me you wouldn’t want the best for your children and for them to be successful in whatever they did? School? Sports? Music? Plays? Competitions? Work?
Now I don’t think you can take ALL the blame off of someones parents because they do play a part in the mindset, but not 100% as the article suggests. In reference to teachers not usinig red ink on grading papers, the ink color doesnt matter – red, blue, purple, black – a failing grade is a failing grade no matter what color ink it is in. But back to parents, with my generation, they have been giving too much to their kids. The perfect example of this is when a teenager turns 16 and can drive. Parents are giving their kids a BMW, a Lexus, a Hummer, etc rather than a Honda or Toyota. How can a kid expect anything less than the best when the parents push the best onto them in the form of gifts, this leads to that expectation later in life. This is one part of the article that I agree with. Some of the problems stem from the parents not teaching their children what it means to work hard, be motivated, have respect, and work for what you get.
Millennials also expect a flexible work routine that allows them time for their family and personal interests. “For this generation, work is not a place you go; work is a thing you do,” says Kaye Foster-Cheek, vice president for human resources at Johnson & Johnson.
I don’t think it is so much a flexible work routine that millennials are looking for but more the ability to be flexible if needed. Giving someone full freedom to come and go as works best for them and giving someone the chance to coming early so they can leave early or take an hour off here or there are different things. Doesn’t everyone want to be able to spend time with their family and on their own interests? To you Ms. Foster-Cheek, I can imagine you like spending time with your family just as much as I do and take advantage of every chance you get, so do not try to say that it is just something the younger generation does while people your age work away in the office late into the night.
These outspoken young people tend to be highly opinionated and fearlessly challenge recruiters and bosses. Status and hierarchy don’t impress them much. They want to be treated like colleagues rather than subordinates
Is there all of the sudden an issue with speaking your mind, sharing your concerns, and trying to help advance the business? If we just sit by and ignore anything that is wrong or could be done better, then failure for the department, business segment, or company can not be far away. baby boomers sure are not going to ‘go up against the man’ because they are ready to retire and can not take that risk. But if a millennial speaks up and happens to save your business thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars, I am sure you will appreciate the hell out of them for doing so!
One of the final lines that I like the best out of this article is:
In the final analysis, the generational tension is a bit ironic. After all, the grumbling baby-boomer managers are the same indulgent parents who produced the millennial generation.
If you don’t like what you are seeing within your company, then take a look at your home life and parenting. You are probably doing the exact same thing in your personal life that you hate at your work life.
What do you guys think? Am I way off base here? I’d love to see some comments on the topic and get some great discussion going!
I’m also interesting in reading any other articles similar to this on or on this topic, so if you have seen anything, leave a link to it!