Gen Y Strikes Back

Ever wondered what’s going on in the mind of that somewhat needy, somewhat demanding Gen Yer? Consider this:

A friend of mine graduated early from college. He took a job in the field that he had planned on entering years before. He got bored at this first place and left to go work somewhere better, somewhere more in line with what he wanted to do, but taking a pay cut to do it. He worked his way up and now, a year and a half later, he has more seniority and slightly more responsibility. He’s back up to where he was on the salary side and, with the bonus structure, he’s probably coming out ahead.

Recently, he got to the point where he is so bored with doing the same thing day in and day out that he needs to make a change. Obviously there’s not a whole lot out there. But he did find something that he was being considered for. I asked him about the salary after his interview and he said that it would be yet another pay cut. When I made a face, he told me that he didn’t care, that it was all about the work and that he was willing to let the money slide.

This is what Gen Y is all about. It’s not about the money. Let me repeat that for emphasis. It’s not about the money. It’s about the responsibility. It’s about the skill set you develop in a job. It’s about career development. It’s about being able to make connections and network. It’s about feeling challenged in a position. It’s about knowing that what you do is actually making a difference. It’s about having a sense of purpose at work. It’s about feeling accomplished at the end of the day.

Think about that when you’re dealing with the Gen Yer at the next desk or at the cubicle outside your office.

Rock on Gen Y.

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4 responses to “Gen Y Strikes Back

  1. Maybe I’m not the typical Gen Y, but while the work (and how it holds my interest) is my top priority, money is pretty sweet. Even if something awesome came up in nonprofit right now, I probably wouldn’t even consider it. Of course, I do really like my job.

  2. I think we’re looking for fulfillment in all aspects of our lives, which translates uniquely to our careers. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be happy, monetarily or not, with the lives we choose to lead!

  3. I’m on the cusp of Gen X/Y and I’ve decided that needing to find ‘fulfillment’ in my job is nothing but BS.

    My grandparents didn’t have fulfillment in their jobs. My grandmother was a secretary (despite having several advanced degrees) and my grandfather was a janitor. Their jobs were just their jobs. Their lives were their church, their social club, the house they built with their own hands, the horses they raised, the farming they did on the acreage they owned. Their job did not define them. The same is said for my parents. They do things that they have an aptitude for, but they leave work at work. Their jobs are the farm they own, their animals, their kids, their church, and their friends.

    This recession has taught me a lot. My resume is not my career and my job is not my life.

  4. Pingback: The Generational Cocktail Party « The HR Intern

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