[LINK] It appears that there is yet hope for Gen Y ;-)
tomk at unwired.com.au
Fri Sep 3 09:05:38 EST 2010
The following is an American based article, but I have noted similar
"easing of demands" mollification on our shores.
Recession changed Generation Y's work ethic
Those who still have jobs are adopting new workplace attitudes and
making themselves more valuable.
It was only five years ago that Miami accounting firm director Richard
Berkowitz thought he had a problem during tax season relating to his
younger workers. "When I told them it was mandatory they come in on the
weekend, they looked at me like I was out of my mind."
Today, his younger workers are much easier to manage. The recession has
brought a shocking reality to the Generation Y professionals who stumped
baby boomers when they first entered the workforce with their desire for
work/life balance over the corner office.
Stunned by a barrage of pink slips instead of promotions, Generation Y -
people ages 18 to 30 - has swallowed a piece of humble pie. Those who
still have jobs are adopting new workplace attitudes and making
themselves more valuable.
They still want a chance at career development, but they are no longer
demanding that it happen on the fast track.
"This is the generation that dreamed they wanted to be CEO of a public
company but didn't have an idea what to do to get there," Berkowitz
said. "What's happened is that realization set in. They've discovered
you have to be on the ground and working hard to accomplish great
In some ways, this coddled, tech-savvy generation, also known as the
millennials, is best positioned to prosper post-recession: They never
really trusted corporate America. They know how to scour the Internet
for opportunities. They grew up innately adapting to change and
embracing fast-paced innovation. As a group with high self-confidence,
they are approaching their plight with optimism.
"They are seeing this as a re-evaluation period," said Tamara Bell,
editor-in-chief and president of Y Gen Out Loud, a news platform for
political and public policy conversations. "They will tell you, 'We can
do this. We can make the change necessary to get the engine going.' They
see it as an opportunity to change what they were doing and learn
something new instead of being in complete panic mode."
By all measures, the newest members of the workforce are bearing the
full effect of the worst economic slump since the Great Depression. The
recession brutalized their income, savings and career-ladder potential.
About 37% of 18- to 29-year-olds have been underemployed or out of work
during the recession, the highest share among the age group in more than
three decades, according to a Pew Research Center study released in
February. And the unemployment rate for Gen Y remains much higher than
the national rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In June
- the latest figures available for making this comparison - the
unemployment rate was 9.5% for the nation overall. For Gen Y it was
Because of these stark numbers, many younger workers realize that they
can't make demands for raises, promotions, time off, training and the
hottest technologies during a recession.
Cesar Alvarez, executive chairman of law firm Greenberg Traurig, thinks
the recession was the wake-up call for this group of workers, much like
other generations had defining events that changed their behavior.
"I think their concept of the ultimate safety net has shattered,"
Alvarez said. "I'm seeing them much more engaged. I think this was a
tipping point that helped the new generation suit up for the game."
To be sure, the legal sector underscores the new world at work. Only a
few years before the Wall Street meltdown, law firms pulled in young
legal grads with salaries as high as $160,000. Then came the recession,
and these young lawyers were told to hit the bricks as firms slammed
them with layoffs, pay cuts and withdrawals of job offers.
As of last month, there were 17,200 fewer legal jobs in the U.S. than in
July 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Before the recession, senior partners regularly complained about their
young lawyers who wanted to work less and get paid more. Now, Alvarez
says, the young lawyers don't necessarily want to work more hours, but
they are putting in the effort and bringing the technology to get the
job done in less time.
"They are changing the business model," he said.
Their workplace priorities have changed, too. In the past, they wanted
to work for companies that incorporated community involvement and
charitable giving. Now they value organizations that are financially
strong above all else, said Jaret Davis, administrative shareholder at
He used to get questions about the timing of pay raises and promotions.
Now, Davis said, the questions he gets from young recruits are, "How is
the firm doing financially? Will it be around? Will my job be around?"
Christina Totfalusi Blake, a 29-year-old attorney, feels lucky to have a
job, particularly one that provides the attributes most Gen Y workers
value: meaningful work, opportunities for learning, quality of life and
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