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Gen Y Weaknesses

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I was reading an article from CareerBuilder regarding Generation Y workers.  I found this article so interesting (and true!) that I felt I absolutely needed to share the information/stats and my feedback.

According to the article, communication gaps exist heavily in the workplace due to generational differences.  I realized that I enjoy sending emails as a means of communication because it instantly provides a paper trail.  If someone claims I requested an incorrect due date, I have the ability to pull up my email communication to prove the due date was correct.

I believe communication classes should be required for the school of business.  Granted, at UNR we were required to take a communications class, but I think there needs to be specifically a communication course within the business school to TEACH Gen Y how to communicate with Gen X.  These are the reasons why, according to CareerBuilder, that Gen Yers are in desperate need of learning a thing or two:

  • 49% of employers said that the communication gap between Gen Y and Gen X occurs due to Gen Y’s heavy use to technology as a form of communication
  • 55% of employers over the age of 35 feel Gen Y workers have a more difficult time taking direction or responding to authority than other generations of workers.
  • 74 percent of employers say Gen Y workers expect to be paid more
  • 61 percent say Gen Y workers expect to have flexible work schedules
  • 56 percent say Gen Y workers expect to be promoted within a year (thank you mom, dad, school, society for instilling this in our brains)
  • 50 percent say Gen Y workers expect to have more vacation or personal time (GenY = Me Generation)
  • 37 percent say Gen Y workers expect to have access to state-of-the-art technology

This survey was conducted from June 1 to June 13, 2007 among 2,546 hiring managers and Human Resource professionals across all industries.

4 responses »

  1. For me personally, I don’t think I have a difficult time time taking direction/responding to authority, but I DO have a hard time with feeling criticized. Everything else on the list is pretty true — a caveat about being paid though: I don’t expect to be paid MORE than anyone else, I do expect, though, that I’ll be making the equivalent of what someone in my industry with my same background is making. So if a Gex X-er with an event planning degree and multiple internships/apprenticeships comes in and makes more than me due to their age; yeah, I would be upset! Otherwise though, I think I should be making the same as someone with the same experience/background!

    • As far as experience – I completely agree. It’s not fair when someone with less experience gets paid the same or more. I do, however, notice that my peers expect to hit the ground running with a salary of 6 figures because they have a degree. This is absurd. It is the experience that adds to the wallet, not entitlement. So I think those that expect 6 figures after college make those of us who work hard in internships and post-grad jobs look greedy and “entitled.”

  2. I think it is quite frustrating to be a Gen Y’er who uses all technologies to his advantage, when there are Gen X’ers who refuse to learn new technologies. On a daily basis, I see myself doing more work than my counterparts because I have embraced and adopted to new ways of getting the job done. Yet, I am paid the same or less than those counterparts because of my age or experience. I think that is where the frustration lies — a lot of us are doing more in less time, but people from a different generation are being rewarded for their lack of flexibility.

    What if we post-grads didn’t attempt to adjust? We’d be fired.

    • I definitely agree that Gen Xers need to adapt to the new technology that makes communication more efficient. Who doesn’t love having an email trail where you can point back at any given moment and say, “I forget how to do , but that’s okay because I saved the email!” But apparently email communication is less personal and makes us victims to the cubicle with no life. I think there are pros and cons, and that we need to learn to embrace new technologies while utilizing positive communication habits.


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