Courtesy of the indispensable Al Fin, I read two articles that describe the spoilt brats that make up the so-called 'Generation Y'. It's not pretty.
From England, the Telegraph reports:
Those who were born into "Generation Y" have an over-inflated sense of entitlement [but] lack the work ethic to achieve their goals.
They also hate being criticised, it is claimed.
Researchers believe that the problem stems from being constantly told from birth they are special and as a result now believe it - and will ignore anybody who says otherwise.
But far from making them happy their approach to life leads to higher levels of depression and "chronic diasppointment" as unjustified levels of self-esteem masks the ugly reality.
Academics have concluded the values drummed into their grandparents, such as a strong work ethic and self-sacrifice, have been lost in the relentless quest for self-fulfilment.
"Generation Y" or Gen-Yers refers to those born between the 1980s and 90s who are now in their 20s or approaching their 30s.
They are also known as the "Millennium generation" or the "Boomerang generation" because they keep moving back home with their parents in young adulthood due to financial or commitment issues.
They are marked by dependence on technology, delaying of adulthood, a casual approach to life and placing a higher value on self-fulfilment than previous generations.
Members have long complained they have been unfairly characterised as lazy but the new research appears to prove that the stereotype is actually true.
Professor Paul Harvey, of the University of Hampshire, carried out a series of studies measuring psychological entitlement and narcissism on a group of Gen -Yers and found they scored 25 per cent higher than respondents ages 40 to 60 and 50 per cent higher than those over 61.
In addition, Gen-Yers were twice as likely to rank in the top 20 per cent in their level of entitlement — the "highly entitled range" — as someone between 40 and 60, and four times more likely than a pensioner.
Professor Harvey concluded Gen-Yers are characterised by a "very inflated sense of self" that leads to "unrealistic expectations" and, ultimately, "chronic disappointment".
He explained that the 20-somethings of today have ‘an automatic, knee-jerk reaction to criticism,’ and just dismiss it.
"Even if they fail miserably at a job, they still think they’re great at it," he said.
There's more at the link.
On our side of the pond, the Indiana Journal Gazette reports:
A report from the Economic Policy Institute on the class of 2010 says it faces the worst job market since the end of World War II. The institute is a non-partisan think tank in Washington, D.C., that researches economic issues.
Authors of the study say it will take "years for the labor market to recover from the damage induced by the recent recession."
In short, institute researchers believe graduates are entering the employment market at a particularly bad time, although poor job prospects are not their fault.
"It is tough out there, there's no question, but there are jobs out there," Obringer said. "That's why you have to have your résumé, cover letter and interview skills down."
Even so, last year, IPFW Career Services saw job fair participation drop 34 percent with 1,180 students suiting up for interviews. The trend seems to be continuing, Obringer said. She said graduates are "discouraged."
"They don't believe the jobs are out there," Obringer said.
. . .
Researcher Paul Harvey says that kind of mindset is becoming rare among young people, who also feel "a sense of entitlement" going into interviews.
"There are those out there that feel it wasn't this hard for my brother or sister, so why is it for me?" said Harvey, assistant professor of management at the University of New Hampshire.
"It is a bit depressing, certainly frustrating for them, and they're not used to" rejection.
Students today, Harvey said, might have been coddled by well-meaning parents and others "and now are facing economic reality."
Again, there's more at the link.
I'm afraid I have very little sympathy for the whingers of Generation Y. I learned from my parents' example. They came out of World War II without even the equivalent of a single Grade 12 certificate between them. In about fifteen years, working part-time, studying part-time, and raising a family, they each got a Ph.D. in their respective fields; Mom in Social Psychiatry, Dad in Economics. Dad went on to become a senior manager in an oil company in South Africa. Mom didn't enter the workplace full-time, but worked with clergy and institutions to develop marriage counseling materials, and provided individual and couple counseling on request. Neither of them expected others to provide for them - they did it themselves, through bloody hard work.
When my time came to 'leave the nest', Dad and Mom were nearing retirement. I didn't think it would be fair to ask them to subsidize my university studies; so I enrolled in part-time distance education. Over the years, I've picked up four University qualifications, including a Masters degree, all of them done part-time while working at a full-time job. I can't say I'm any poorer for the experience, and I don't feel particularly deprived either!
I also spent several years as a manager and director in the commercial world. I learned the hard way that if you want a hard worker, hire someone self-motivated and disciplined. I always gave preference to military veterans and to those who had completed or were completing a part-time degree, because all of them had learned (some were still learning) to find a balance in their lives, so that they could pursue different things at different times, without losing sight of their goals. I seldom had problems with such people. On the other hand, newly-graduated students with no work experience, who'd had Mommy or Daddy to pick up the tab for everything they needed, didn't perform nearly as well.
If these articles are a fair reflection of Generation Y, I think the Western economy is in serious trouble. You can bet your last dollar that their counterparts in the Far East aren't laboring under the same delusions!