Are Millenials Screwed in the Workplace?

by Emma Cueto

Bad news, fellow Millennials. New research from EY, a professional services organization, shows that even though more Millennials are stepping into management roles, the consensus in the office is that members of Gen X are better suited for the jobs. In fact “80% of respondents selected Gen X as the generation best equipped to manage in current economic conditions.” Yeah, that doesn’t look good.

Millennials or those from Generation Y (shouldn’t those be separate things? No? Okay, but it seems silly that the Spice Girls and Lady Gaga now belong to the same era) are seen as “enthusiastic” but fewer than half of respondents describe them as “team players” or as “hard working.” Ouch.

This is also following on the heels of another study, the “Gen Y Expectation Study” which says that managers view Millennials as having “poor work ethic,” “unrealistic salary expectations,” and being “easily distracted.”

If all of this is sounding grim, perhaps there's solace in the fact that in general, older generations really seem to be at a loss explaining Millennials. They feel like they need people like this guy to explain our darkest secrets to them. There are books and articles about how to manage Millennials, tips for dealing with Millennials, pop psychology masquerading as expertise trying to solve the mystery of Millennials.

At the end of the day? It all sounds suspiciously like an older generation trying to figure out these young whippersnappers — which is a story as old as time, really. Every generation goes through this.

Sure, I’m biased, but the people my age I know are some of the hardest workers I’ve ever met. They have to be if they want to get a job in this economy. They are willing to work their fingers to the bone at unpaid internships just for a glimmer of hope that they might get ahead.

Ultimately, any time people are asked to discuss a generation, they most likely think of the stereotypes they already have in their head. As a generation, we might be screwed, but as individuals trying to impress our bosses, I think we’re going to do just fine. In fact, the stereotype might actually be helpful; it never hurts to defy expectations.

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