Gen Y meltdown? Is there going to be an evolution in the generation Y revolution?

Meltdown Nothing like making a contentious statement on a Friday is there? Well this one has been rattling around my brain for the last week, and I felt it was about time it got 'aired'!

Is there now going to be an evolution in the generation Y revolution?

For all the people that read my blog regularly (and thank you by the way), you will have got the vibe that I am a pro- gen Y'er, and with two gen Y daughters, I definitely am. But the events of the last two weeks and the resultant global fallout, could have massive ramifications for the immediate employment future of gen Y'ers.
Taking this further, the question I have been trying to debate with myself, is whether this will all affect the 'accepted standard' traits of gen Y'ers? You know, the ones that millions of blog pages have been written about (inclu...
Will these gen Y'ers now be able to dictate to employers their demands for salaries, work conditions etc? Or will they have to adapt and change their 'genetic thinking' to secure jobs for themselves?

The problem as I see it, is that very many of the large gen Y recruiters globally have announced not just recruitment freezes, but most have announced tens of thousands of job cuts. All the big banks, financial institutions,consultancies and many large global employers, who each year take in 1000's of gen Y grads will be dramatically cutting their intake if not stopping it all together. This will have the effect of populating the employment marketplace with a larger number of gen Y'ers all looking for jobs.
So will these gen Y'ers have to have to adapt their expectations or be forced to forget 'genetic breeding'?

Will they now be able to be so selective on who they join?
Will they be able to be so fussy on whether a company has a good CSR policy?
Can they expect to demand a premium in terms of salary?
Can they be fussy in terms of job location?
Will have to consider staying at a company for longer?
Will they have to accept that they will have to wait for a promotion?

In some sectors, this is all irrelevant because there is still a high demand for specific skills, such as engineering and IT development, but I believe that over the next 12 months areas such as these will prove to be the exception, rather than the rule.
Gen Y'ers have been brought up and 'told' that they can achieve anything they want and to expect well paid jobs in companies that will be desperate for them to join. They have not been 'programmed' with being able to consider either rejection or failure as an option, so what is going to happen with the set of extreme circumstances they now find themselves in?

Will it result in a gen Y meltdown, or will these traits that their parents have pre-programmed them with, have to evolve in some way?

Of course, there are some things that will never change with the gen Y'ers, and companies shouldn't forget them:
- They will still have to address how they first engage with them as potential employees.
- They must go into the space of the gen Y'ers and understand where they are coming from.
- They will still need to manage their expectations within the workplace.
- They will still need to communicate effectively and give them their voice at work

Obviously in the longterm ( well I hope so anyway), normality as we know it, may well return to the job markets. But there has to be some financial confidence for that to occur, and that doesn't look like that will be in the case for a good while yet.

So my question remains, are we going to start to see an evolution in the revolution that is generation Y?

Or is it a simple case of supply and demand self-regulating the recruitment marketplace?

Views: 53

Comment by Lesa Caskey on October 10, 2008 at 1:36pm
The beautiful thing about the future for gen Y'ers is that their sense of entitlement is precisely the fuel that will further reshape the relationships between employers and employees. A world view is a very powerful thing, as is represented daily in news reports of continued global unrest due to world views dominated by religion, consumption, greed, hope and charity. The approach to any particular problem is dictated mostly by our assumptions which are based on our point of view (even after we've consulted other points of view).

In the case of gen Y'ers, their point of view is from a comfortable chair in front of any number of devices that will deliver their requests without delay. Their egos are formed by their family and peers who continually tell them how great they are.

I for one cannot wait to see what comes out of this turmoil in the employment arena for gen Y'ers. As one who repeatedly bends the universe to my will so to speak, I have no doubt the these gen Y'ers will bend the universe to fit their world view of a sense of entitlement that has never been seen before. With millions of twenty-somethings silently and audibly chanting "it's not fair", big change is close at hand.

I wish them all the best and cannot wait to see what they come up with!


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