As a member of Generation Y, I know I have different values and working style than older generations. Obviously, those born in the 60s and 70s are seen to be more dedicated to their work and those my age are seen to be lazy and spoilt. It isn’t really fair, but when technology has been so pervasive in the time we have been alive, it can be easy to see why older people perceive us as unmotivated.
When it comes to working, Gen X take directions and get work done, as Gen Y are all about asking questions and getting immediate feedback, which is another difference thanks to technology. To younger people, money is the ultimate reward for work completed as it helps us maintain the lifestyles we have set for ourselves. Those born in the 70s have always enjoyed a culture which celebrated freedom, so working to take time off to enjoy with family is their reward.
I think the perceived selfishness of Generation Y employees is because of the increased workload expected today. Extended work weeks mean that young employees take more personal days off. We are always looking for new opportunities where as older workers spend decades of dedication to the same company.
Knowing your work style and the stereotypes associated with our generation can be helpful in securing employment. We know we aren’t lazy, but sometimes it is easy to see when you talk to your grandparents and they start every sentence with, “Back in my day …”. If you would like more information on the type of person you are and your work style, I suggest taking a look at personal assessments available on the Career Services website.