The Gen Y workplace myth
Steve Tobak questions the whole notion of common generational characteristics. Have we seen the last of these conference presentations. Sadly, I think not. From CBS News.
Sound familiar? I'm sure you recognize all the common Generation Y workplace themes we hear over and over again, these days: Recession, no jobs, student loan debt, inflexible workplace, no work-life balance, new technology, even personal branding.
The only difference is all that happened over 30 years ago. Not only is every word true, but most of my friends felt exactly the same way at the time. No kidding.
And then a funny thing happened. I grew up. I didn't lose what made me different. I didn't go to sleep one day and wake up a zombie pod person. I just experienced things and learned from them.
One of the things I learned along the way is that, in business as in culture, things change. Some things change because they should. Some things change even though they shouldn't. And the more things change, the more they stay the same. Somehow, that's always true. It is what it is.
You know what else I learned? Change isn't generational. Change isn't revolutionary; it's evolutionary. When I was a young worker, I wanted to change management. That didn't happen. That's not how it works. First, I had to prove myself. Then I became management. That's when I got to change things. From the inside. That's how it works. One person at a time.