Saturday, March 28, 2009


Its probably the most noticeable and shocking aspect of the generation Y that people notice first wether they realize it or not; that's why they are uncomfortable or perturbed when you interact with Gen Y. The entitlement aspect of who they are and the idea that they automatically deserve "something". Who knows how it came to be, beyond the fact that its simply there and hard to detect. Its a tricky balance to recognize it and then to have to manage it. Hopefully if you can understand it though it will help you recognize it and then you may be able to learn how to manage it.

Entitlement goes something like an employee of mine that would say "you better promote me since I've been here for almost 2 years and I know how to do everything, or you should or I'm going to leave" or some variation of that. Or entitlement could be in comments like "I'll just get a better job where they will respect me and better utilize my strengths" even though they might have no experiences beyond the skills that they have learned here. And oblivious of the fact that the skills they have learned were from the same place they are upset about. Its that they don't appreciate the idea that they need to prove themselves, its the mentality that they can already do it or already deserve it.

I've seen this entitlement work both positively and detrimentally for generation Y and for myself. I lead fearlessly and work with a fervor that would scare the most diligent. I don't doubt that I can achieve and always feel confident that I can do things that may be higher than my position or pay grade regardless of my experience or even if I don't have any knowledge of it at all. Its the just-throw-me-in-and-I'll-figure-it-out attitude. This superficial confidence allows for me to achieve and reach higher levels than those with fear or an aversion to risk and security, but on the flip side my development and growth tends to be riddled with trials and obstacles that I could have avoided if I had taken a slower more progressive route to learn and develop the skills that were needed to excel. And the most notable thing for me is that when I do take a moment to reflect on my past and growth I always admit that I know more than I thought I had did when I said I knew it all. Which is something we all say but the difference between Y and X is that Y will rarely reflect, and will rarely be grateful for the growth unless it's shoved into their faces.

And its with that mentality that we usher in our newest generation into the workforce. Its no longer a game of working hard, putting in your time, and learning skills and earning raises progressively. Its give me first and I'll give you my will and work back. Learning to manage it is diverse in tactics and methods as it is complicated to understand, but its a mentality that we all need to understand to truly lead and motivate generation Y.

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