Gen Y out of work: What is corporate America doing about it?

September 30, 2011

Highly educated, sometimes entitled and incredibly humbled by the current labor market, Generation Y is hungry for work. But do employers understand this enormous and grossly underemployed demographic?

Nearly eighty million strong, Gen Y is loosely defined as those born between 1980 and 1994 (or 2005 depending on who you talk to). Raised in a kid-centric time, many continue to be coddled by helicopter parents not willing to wean their precious lot from the proverbial financial teat. As a result, Gen Y’s expectations of the workforce are vastly different from baby boomers and even the closely-related Generation X.

“When they get to the workplace, they have a sense of entitlement, a need for validation, difficulty in really discerning what to do because their whole lives were managed,” says Christine Hassler, a Gen Y career expert and consultant to American Express on Millennials. “They have challenges with making decisions and have expectations of work-life balance. They want their opinion to matter and [want to work] for a company that is really making a difference.”

Major employers are struggling to understand this often fickle demographic, choosing instead to focus on candidates familiar with the corporate structure. And in this fragile economy, a new employee who can hit the ground running is an asset. “I’m seeing a lot of corporations saying they know they need to engage Gen Y and hire young employers because it costs less, but they don’t want to take the risk of hiring someone without work experience,” says Hassler.

Corporate America is also waiting for this demographic to conform to the old playbook, something completely foreign to Generation Y, says Garrison Wynn, CEO of career management website Wynn Solutions and author of “The Real Truth About Success.” They were told they could have everything they wanted and could be whatever they wanted to be. “They’ve come to collect on that,” Wynn says. “That’s what they expect. So, when they get in a job interview and it looks like the path isn’t going to be good enough or fast enough, then they’re not interested.”

Volatility in global markets, weak domestic growth and persistent economic concerns in Europe are also complicating an organization’s willingness to expand, despite high corporate profits. “The pain of downsizing and the destruction of the organization is so difficult that companies are playing it safe,” says Jackie Greaner, North America practice leader, talent management and organization alignment for Towers Watson. “It’s hard in this type of market, where it goes up and down to such a degree; it leaves everyone feeling less than confident about the state of the economy.”

The labor market hasn’t been this dire for twenty-somethings for more than 60 years. Nationally, employment among those aged 16 to 29 dropped from 67.3 percent in 2000 to 55.3 percent in 2010, according to new data released from U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Across age groups, the 2007 to 2010 employment-to-population ratio plummeted faster than any other comparable period since 1948 — the year the government began tracking data. Even a college education isn’t helping: For those 25-years-old or more with a bachelor’s degree or higher, more than 13 million are out of the labor force, according to the same survey.

For recent college graduates who either couldn’t find that first job or who have been laid off,  the ramifications of prolonged joblessness may last for years to come. Even when the job market improves, there may be a large segment of the population that has been skipped over because they missed out on years of work experience that would have added to their skills and capabilities, says Greaner. Not only will this cohort have to compete with fresh college grads, they’ll have missed out on critical earning years. “If you leave an organization and three or four years later get into the market, that compounding on compensation is very hard to make up at any point,” says Greaner.

This pervasive joblessness and lack of earning power could have great implications for the broader economy — delayed household formation as college grads move back in with Mom and Dad and a difficult path to the middle class. Generation Y is known for being “the first generation that actually likes their parents,” so the tendency to move back home after college or layoffs was already quite prevalent says Peter Singer, senior fellow with the Brookings Institution. But couple this tendency with the fallout of a recession and unstable growth and, “It was like it got hit with steroids,” he says.

What companies are reaching out and getting it right?

But some companies — in particular, their human resources and recruiting departments — are listening. “The companies that are doing it well and right know that it’s really about the culture you create,” says Ryan Healy, co-founder and COO of Brazen Careerist, a career-management site for young professionals. “The companies that are really successful … are sitting down and defining what is our mission, what is our culture and how do we want people to perceive us. They are then turning that culture outward and trying to show the world, through various means, here is what it’s like in our company,” he says.

After watching their parents log long hours for corporate America with zero semblance of work-life balance, humanizing a faceless corporation and training opportunities are important to the Gen Y demographic. Opportunities to interact with the brand they represent is imperative. “They grew up with technology at their fingertips since they were very small children.  Technology has formed their generation and they’re used being able to engage and interact with companies,” says Hassler.

Hassler and Healy cited Zappos as a leader in the field, both for promotion of an alternative corporate culture and transparency — another imperative for the Gen Y employee. The online discount footwear retailer has an entire website, Zappos Insights, dedicated to “how the Zappos family does business.”  Potential employees can sign up for a full-day corporate tour or request a free Culture Book — a behemoth of a “dictionary” that details an “open and honest view” of what the Zappos culture means to current employees.

“They don’t have a dress code and are famous for bringing new employees in for two-weeks of training. At the end, they will say ‘Anyone not sure they want to be here can come up and we’ll give you a $2,000 check to go home.’ ” They want to make sure that everyone has bought in,” says Healy.

What other sectors are getting it right? Healy says tech startups are very attractive to the Gen Y employee for the simple fact that they aren’t trying too hard. “When companies ask what they can do to attract Generation Y, I always say look to start ups because they’re the ones who don’t have to put a plan or strategy in place to appeal to Gen Y, they just do because of who they are,” he says.

Working with a large peer group brings out the best in Gen Y, which is where large consulting firms and the major accounting firms like KPMG and Ernst & Young are excelling, says Healy.

“No generation has ever been more effective on a team,” says Wynn. “You get a team of people in their 20s together and the information flows, the egos are low, they make decisions effectively, they don’t take things personally and if they have problems, they get over them. They believe that every single problem comes with its own existing solution and that is an amazing thing and it will take us into the future.”

These boomerang kids get a lot of flack, and rightly so in some respects. But as they’re forced to grow and change, so too should the companies hiring them. “I try to tell people who are my age [50]that wishing someone is like you is a terrible strategy. That’s called hope and it’s wonderful but hope is not a strategy,” says Wynn. “If they were like you, than they couldn’t be better than you and for evolution to move forward, we need to have people who are better than we are. A 25-year-old is going to have a better idea. Not next week, but soon.”


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I live in Western Australia; until recently running a financial services firm. For me Gen Y are a mixed group, lots of talent, lots of intellect but often lacking in motivation.

Unlike the USA unemployment in Western Australia is very low so Gen Y’s have the pick of employers. My current business is involved in creating opportunities for small business to employee accounting and clerical staff overseas so they have genuine alternatives to employing local Gen Y’s, too many of whom think their employer’s should be continually grateful that they work for them.

We are all a product of our generation so Gen Y’s are no different. In the USA many are out of work and learning for the first time that life can get complicated and money does not grow on trees. I am confident most of these youngsters will bounce back; get on with work and build successful careers. It is a pity, however, that it takes a recession for more than a few of the so called “Gen Y” generation to wake up to the benefits of having a solid work ethic.

Posted by Expertsoftware | Report as abusive

I am part of this “demographic”, and have to say that most of my “peers” are pretty useless.
I was not brought up like a spoilt brat, but made to work for any reward, which taught a sense of values. I am now in a position where i am hiring professionals, and most of the candidates and interns that come through are simply not up to the level we expect.

A reality check is needed. You have to work if you want an income, because the only people we are finding who are good enough are immigrants on H1 type visas, or minorities who grew up in difficult circumstances and have solid values. These people work and deserve the compensation they get. Middle class america is dying, but it’s self inflicted

Posted by GA_Chris | Report as abusive

These young people have been tainted by social networks and cell phone technology. Ever see one of this group in public without a phone to the ear or sitting on a bench without playing with a pad, a pod, or smartphone? Never. They seem to want to portray that they have so many friends they must be on the phone 24/7 just to keep up with texts, etc. In reality these people have no social skills, no real friends, just virtual friends. They hide out in their homes and pretend they are cool and have a life. They are a very sad group and I become sad each time I see one of them making friends with their phones, pads.

An entire generation lost alright but not because of unemployment but because corporate America and even our government chose to use them for profits rather than encouraging them to be part of society. And their parents welcomed the diversion because it means they don’t have to spend time with them. They too are busy with their virtual lives. Shameful and destructive.

Posted by lezah2 | Report as abusive

Wow, if I were a millenial reading these comments and I didn’t know any better, I’d really hate myself. Really, we’re blaming the failures of us all on the perceived shortcomings of an entire generation? It couldn’t possibly be that the people in a position to hire might have a little bit to do with this as well, could it? In my experience, laziness, entitlement, and incompetence are not generational traits, but instead endemic to humanity as a whole. For the most part, people want to work, even young people. If they’re ill-equipped, that’s our fault, not theirs. Remember, they are exceedingly well-educated, which means they are certainly capable if we were willing to train them (I know, a foreign concept these days). Furthermore, that education required a great deal of investment to obtain, so those higher expectations aren’t exactly financing high-rise penthouse apartments on the upper West Side. Despite what we’ve been told, student loan debt is among the more toxic in the world, especially in a recession, and you can’t bankrupt your way out of it either. Is their generation perfect? Of course not…but jeez people, neither is yours. Please stop generalizing and stereotyping…plenty of them understand the value of hard work and the value of money. Let’s not forget it was and is Generation Y fighting all our wars for us at the moment, that should be evidence enough that they aren’t all whiny lay-abouts demanding a re-fill for their baby bottles. When people attempt to explain unemployment first by blaming the unemployed, clearly they haven’t been there themselves.

Posted by soxnine | Report as abusive

I resent the assumptions made in this article of my generation.

I also resent the political and economic systems that the previous generations left for us.

Posted by stephentszuter | Report as abusive

Articles like this make me laugh. I am gen–whatever some academic with too much time on his or her hand made-up. To stereotype a whole generation is an exercise in stupidity, it is like saying this is how all ______ (insert minority group are at work).

There is a reason why start-ups are able to crush long existing companies run by people over 40. Some real quotes from people in upper management at large companies, all of which received taxpayer bailouts, who are making what 5-10 new hires would make–

“excuse me – I don’t know to teleconference, I will fly over there.”

“can you show me how to use this faxermerbob”

“this math stuff is too much give it to me in laaay-maaan’s speak”

Smart CEO’s will realize why hardworking young people get frustrated answering to these gen “how does that work?”.

Posted by M.C.McBride | Report as abusive

The GEN Y’s are perhaps the most arrogant, lazy, and disrespectful generation I have known. They reek of self-entitlement and have the maturity level stuck in adolescence. Many of this generation are still supported at least in part by their parents and are numb to the realities of the world outside their social networking schema. It is not the GEN Y’s that are suffering during this economic downturn, it is their parents that maintain a false sense of obligation which enables them.

Posted by jayjay185 | Report as abusive

Gen Y here! I can only speak for myself, so here’s my story. I was pretty pampered as a child and still am, I go to University, live in a parent-sponsored pad, have good furniture, and until recently drove a car for my five-minute commute to Uni.

Apparently the common belief is, that these circumstances lead to a less-than-ideal work-ethic. For my part, I have worked regularly, without long intermissions, on a part-time basis at various companies, doing anything from selling bread, translating documents, programming, construction work, to simulating mechanical problems. Most of this being paid far below market, by the way.

I have many friends who have a comparable pre-graduation work-experience, although usually in less demanding positions, but nonetheless. Besides this, a university graduate is by definition someone who has learnt the theoretical workings of the subject studied; work experience, therefore, can only be acquired by getting the chance to prove oneself and continually learn in practice. If this opportunity is not given in the first place, how can someone claim work experience if they are denied their first employment? It is the responsibility of companies to train graduates for the practical work environment, rather than to expect this training to be part of an university education. This has many reasons, including that universities cannot provide for practical training in the multitude of fields derived from the subject of study, since work experience often results from field and company specifics. Another reason, and also a benefit to the employer, is that the employee can be molded to fit a certain set of company values. Last but not least, it is also the responsibility of the company towards society, from whom it derives its earnings.

In my opinion, what motivates our generation is not necessarily money, we have taken this for granted, since it has been supplied by our parents in ample amounts since birth, but rather appreciation, a company we can be proud to work for, and, as noted in the first comment, an employer that needs my skills, as opposed to an employee who needs the company. This requires a rethink on the behalf of old-style corporate structures:

Since the industrialization, companies believe that employees depend on them, they increasingly do not account for the value employees bring to the company. The result of corporate greed is the perception (and misperception), that optimization and efficiency can come from keeping wages down, with raises not even accounting for inflation, and demanding an increasing amount of flexibility, rather than realizing the most important asset is a motivated work-force and a good corporate climate. Hence, nothing has been done to attract our generation, a very sad fact, since we can bring many fresh and creative ideas to the institution, are the first (and only for now) generation that REALLY understands computing and the internet, as opposed to the many shortfalls of the older generations in this field.

Often, our lacking motivation can also be a result of feeling bored by tasks at hand. Sure, not every task is fun, but often times our brains demand challenges instead of mere production – this is what university trained us for, bringing innovations to the world, instead of just realizing the ideas of those with power within a company. What I am trying to convey is that our generation needs to actually contribute intellect to products in the form of research and development, rather than just having to enter numbers into computer programs and processing the results with our knowledge.

With these demands and expectations towards companies, our generation will probably lose to those uni-grads from developing countries, who will work for almost nothing, live in a pad with ten others, and send most of their money home to families. While situations are improving, many of these graduates have a very good understanding of their practical fields, but often lack the theoretical knowledge to think out of the box.

There are many great examples of companies who really attract and also require a workforce including our generation, the most prominent example is Apple. And there we have it… what attracts us is quality leadership not price leadership. Additionally, for companies with a price leadership strategy we are also useless, as their needs are geared towards those demanding lower pay, and less work-life balance. Usually attractive employers are also in innovative fields, for example IT or green energy.

What are your ideas on the topic? Do you believe I am totally misled?

Posted by rgates | Report as abusive

Baby boomers leave the workforce – handing $100k+ public debt to everyone man, woman, child behind them – then imply the Gen Y aren’t going about things the right way? Hmmm – me thinks somethings is wrong with this…

Posted by gordo365 | Report as abusive

It’s a bit silly to try to characterize an entire generation. If Gen Y includes those born 1980-1994, then there are virtually no relevant similarities I can think of that apply to everyone on that group.

As for the job market, I just graduate with a B.S. in mathematics, my major GPA was 3.1, and acc. GPA was 2.7. My sophomore year there was a crisis in my family and I ended up missing several weeks of classes. I wanted to be an actuary, so I quickly passed the first two certification exams. Two years ago unemployment in the actuarial field was virtually 0% and today, well, I’ve applied to nearly 40 actuarial job announcements, and haven’t been offered a single one. Am I screwed because of my GPA? Is the only option to go further into debt by working part-time jobs for another 2 years to get a M.S.?

Posted by LLain | Report as abusive

Why are people operating under the delusion that Gen-Y’ers actually want to live with their parents? Is there a single group in society that takes more abuse than adults still living with their parents? (Oh yeah, overweight people, and poor people…OK, third place isn’t too shabby). The only thing worse in terms of social status than mopping floors and cleaning toilettes is living in your mother’s basement. Why is it the default position of the galactically superior that unemployment and underemployment necessarily equals laziness and entitlement? Every Gen-Y’er I know is currently either desperately looking for work or is doing a demeaning job for a salary that doesn’t allow them to support themselves and a company that exploits them. They’re the best educated generation we’ve ever seen, yet somehow they’re wholly unemployable. Doesn’t this suggest there’s something wrong with the system? We’ve told them to get an education, they did it at great personal expense, and now we’re denying them an opportunity to use that education, then blaming them when they have to move back in with their parents while they do those jobs that the rest of us old folks would never do. Just ridiculous, and wildly unfair. Incidentally, it wasn’t they who destroyed the global economy…if we have complaints about our circumstances and our successor generations, perhaps we better wake up and look in the mirror.

Posted by soxnine | Report as abusive

I’m a career advisor in higher education and work with Gen Y students every day. They are smart and hard working but need direction, just as every generation before them needed guidance. In my opinion this generation is less self sufficient, but that’s part of why they go to college: to learn the things they don’t know. Colleges have a responsibility to help them.

Businesses simply don’t have the time or money to provide basic employment training. Students need to get experience before they graduate and enter the workforce because subject matter knowledge isn’t enough. Employers are much more likely to hire students who know how to function in the workplace.

Fortunately, good schools and employers provide a pathway to workplace experience through their experiential education programs which are designed to help students get internships before graduation. Gen Y students need to take advantage of these resources and parents and educators both need to help students learn more about these programs.

Posted by johnnyjr | Report as abusive

The boomers are the most selfish generation ever and they have the nerve to chastise us for demanding the same. Unbelievable.

Posted by anarcurt | Report as abusive

I’m always amazed at members of the so-called “Baby Boomer” generation lamenting how lazy/entitled/immature other, younger, generations are.

For one thing, pretty much anyone who is a member of “Gen Y” or (possibly) “Gen X” was, by definition, brought up by “Baby Boomer” parents. If anyone who had a kid in the 80s or 90s is complaining, please kindly remove your hands from the keyboard, form them into balls, and vigorously apply them to your face; YOUR KIDS SUCK BECAUSE YOU ARE A BAD PARENT.

Even more absurd to me are all the accusations of “Gen Y” being a bunch of spoiled, self-important prima donnas. Let’s stop and think about this for a second. Who comes up with all these generational labels? Who uses them? I’m pretty sure I’ve NEVER referred to myself as “Gen Y” or any of those ridiculous names. No one I know has, either. Likewise, I don’t exactly think “Generation X” was a self-chosen term; in fact, didn’t many people resent it? The only group I can think of who willingly self-associates with a particular “generation” is the Baby Boomers themselves! These are the people who are so puffed up with their own magnificent importance that they constantly spew this torrent of articles like “BOOMERS RETIRING! WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!” “UH OH! HOW WILL THE BOOMERS HANDLE RETIREMENT??!” “WHAT DOES THE RECESSION MEAN FOR THE AGING BOOMERS?” “CAN SOCIAL SECURITY SURVIVE THE AGING BABY BOOMERS??”

Here’s a little tip: no one in the “Generation Y” you so love to loathe actually cares about these embarrassing labels. We don’t care that you’re a “Baby Boomer.” Stop talking about it. CERTAINLY stop assuming that everyone born after you is as obsessively homogeneous as you apparently perceive your own generation to be (hint: it’s not). Maybe the “Boomers” started out that way. I mean, I guess you were off to a promising start in the late 60s. What happened? All that will to change the world devolved into the War on Drugs, the Tea Party, PETA, and aging hippie burnouts. See? I can make demeaning generalizations too!

Except, in this case, I have a bit more standing to blame you – the Baby Boomer generation has been having its chance to run the country (world?) for a couple decades now. Great job guys! If I recall, the 2001-2010 decade was pretty universally regarded as a rousing success! Man, all those “Best decade of the century!” headlines were really inspiring. It’s so great that such a huge generation was able to work together to continue the rebuilding of postwar America into a new millenium. You’ve made America into the most technologically advanced nation on earth, with the fastest maglev trains and supersonic jets taking us anywhere in a few hours; high-speed wired and wireless networking faster than anywhere in the world; a healthcare system second to none, where no man, woman, or child has suffered from a treatable illness in years; an agricultural system that has harnessed technology to ensure no American goes hungry.

Oh wait, no, you haven’t left us any of that. But it’s totally because we are so entitled and absorbed in our little virtual social networks.

You know what? Just shut up.

While you’re wallowing in self-pity, I’m going to take my lazy, entitled, narcissistic Gen Y butt and go back to doing pharmacological experiments on potential antibiotic drugs I designed as part of my research in a graduate program of biomedical sciences. You go on back to your All-American corporate accounting or whatever.

Posted by spameroo | Report as abusive

So, the conclusion is that the old school businesses will just fade away, and today’s startups will probably become the huge corporations of tomorrow – simply because the Generation Y is a work force AND a consumer of tomorrow, and apparently cannot fit the current corporate structure.

As you see, this explains why HP or Microsoft, for example, has so much growing problems recently. It also explains why Google, Facebook, etc are keep growing so fast.

Posted by Ananke | Report as abusive

This article misses a few points. It oversimplifies (vastly, if you ask me) the idea that Gen-Y people are entitled, or feel entitled. I do not disagree, across the board, but the point is misses is that if these people feel entitled, they feel entitled due in large part to the environment in which they were raised.

As the article says, they were raised to think they could have everything and be anything. Yes, they’re going to have some hard growing to do, but also, it is not as if this happened in a vacuum. I’m 33, so I guess that puts me at the tail end of Gen-X, or Gen-Y, I don’t know. I do know, though, that I too more or less felt entitled (English major who didn’t really understand why the labor market didn’t want to pay him 40K right out of college). I have since gone back, gotten a degree that provided me a set of skills the labor market valued, and I’m happily on my way, but that happened after I, via some hard rain a’fallin, realized that a healthy portion of that pie in the sky crap I was told as a youngster was just that, crap.

My point is that is it my fault for not seeing through the crap, or is it their fault for preaching it to me? I’m going to settle on a bit of both. I think this article misses that to some degree, and it misses the more important aspect: They will be assimilated, and to continue this sense of entitlement is only going to make things worse. I do not understand why more bloggers whose voices are heard aren’t saying this. Get over yourselves, just like every other 20 something has to.

Posted by Adam_S | Report as abusive

I’m glad we live in a world where it’s blasphemy to want a job that doesn’t make you want shoot yourself. Gasp! It’s been fun watching every successive year since I’ve entered the workforce become progressively worse than the one that came before it. I don’t know about anyone else, but I couldn’t be happier to shoulder the blame and the cost of mistakes I never had a chance to make. Am I a narcissistic ingrate because I got a college education so I could support myself like everyone said I should, paid for it myself, and now I need a job that pays more than minimum wage so I can afford it? I guess so…sorry mom and dad, your irresponsible and lazy son keeps turning down perfectly respectable jobs because he’d rather live in your basement until he’s middle aged. It clearly has nothing to do with an economy that imploded before he even graduated, or a social system that demanded he have a college degree but doesn’t reward him for it and makes it impossible to afford. Glad we spent two of the last three decades laboring under malfunctioning socio-economic ideologies and constructing a corporate infrastructure that evidently has no use for the skills and knowledge with which you decided to equip us. Here’s a gem: we’re more educated than you! We’re more capable of functioning in an increasingly technical and computerized world, we vote for humans rather than troglodytic luddites out to drag the 21st century back to the 11th, and we actually have a vested interest in preventing the environment from deteriorating into a viscous mass of toxic waste. In a competition of quantifiable skills, applicable education, social responsibility, and potential for success, what exactly do you bring to the table anymore? Bang up job chaps, you’ve engineered a world where not only are your children shouldering a greater burden and provided less opportunity than you were, but you’ve also managed to create an environment where it’s perfectly acceptable to blame them for it. Bravo, guys…bravo!

(And incidentally, internships are great and all, but they aren’t exactly easy to get, and more than that, they’re often not an option for someone who can’t afford to work for free because that time must be reserved for real jobs that pay the rent and put food on the table. They can help, but they’re a long way from a silver bullet. Anyone who thinks it is needs to start thinking a little bigger than that…this is chess, not checkers.)

Posted by soxnine | Report as abusive

Here’s a hint for employers; if you hire people that are actually intelligent, they don’t need a whole lot of training because they pick up on things rather quickly.

If you’ve had to sink a lot of time or money into training, it’s because you’ve hired stupid people and you should probably address your HR department.

Posted by Achille | Report as abusive

For a Generation-Y person I sure don’t fit the mold very well. I do quite well in ‘classical’ corporate structure.

And to second JohnnyJr down below: for the love of God get your internship or part time career gig in order before you graduate.

Posted by MrChristian | Report as abusive

An attitude of some Gen Y folks (and others) is that some work is demeaning. Especially when you are young, any work is good. I spoke to a friend of mine recently who worked at a burger joint when he was a teenager. His wording was, “I got to go to work when I was 14 years old” My point is that the world does not owe anyone a job. For years, college grads may have to do “non-fun” repetitive work. We called it “paying your dues.” In general, work is an honor and we should approach it with respect. We are made to be creative and to benefit mankind. Please be patient when experiencing a plateau. Another issue is that many go through their teenage years without ever having worked. My, what a shame! High school and college are only a small help in preparing for the rigors of the work life. Working as a teenager gives dignity and builds traits that will be helpful for entire lifetimes. Paper routes, lawn mowing, farm work, flipping burgers…

Posted by forestladd | Report as abusive

Oldies always love to look on the generation(s) behind them and point out how different they are than kids growing up in the good ol’ days.

Today’s graduates know much more than the employers’s generation did coming out of university. They hurdle higher requirements to attain the same professional degrees, and do so at a younger age. They are grouped together, stigmatized, and discriminated by employers who assume that they are all pampered an inept due to their age.

Firms need to begin adapting and evolving instead of desparately trying to hammer all the protruding nails in.

Posted by u_mirin_aum | Report as abusive

The problem with generation Y are their parents. They’re the ones taught and let these young people become who they are. I actually feel sorry for these kids because they all talk the same (“like” valley girls) and they have to have some type of programmed electronic device in their face 24/7. If you told any of them they couldn’t talk like a valley girl, or locked them in a room that didn’t have an electronic device in it, they’d probably kill themselves.

Posted by gruven137 | Report as abusive

As a boomer parent of two Gen Y guys, I can personally attest to one of my sons not having a clue as to how to get a job or apply to grad school. He’s a typical nerd/geek.

(I feel qualified to declare this, because I have retired from an IT career and know nerds/geeks pretty well.)

If he has to jump through hoops, he’s dismissive of the BS. He graduates in December. We’ve given him the ultimatum: get a job and support yourself.

Believe me, it’s not for lack of trying.

Posted by NancyinStL | Report as abusive


The boomers pass the buck every chance they get, always going with the politician who promises “more tax cuts” or who can save you money, continuously piling up national debt, passing deregulation bills so everyone can own a home, and injecting inflation just to breath easy for another year. All the while snowballing the gigantic doom that is the current financial crisis, avoiding it for one year so its 10 times worst a few years later…

And now all of a sudden its the work ethic of Generation Y which is the problem?

No offense but you’re starting to sound senile… OH WAIT A SECOND.

Posted by AncientHunter | Report as abusive

What are corporations doing about it. Nothing – they continue to ship jobs overseas, so they can pay the top 1000+ people in every corporation millions in stock options.

Posted by minipaws | Report as abusive

As a Gen Y’er, I will say that I was raised to feel as though I was always a winner. I was far from spoiled though. With my own mother and myself living on the streets as a toddler, and working our way up, I learned a lot about what it means to EARN a living. I have worked hard and been in the workforce from the age of 15… until three years ago. I was laid off the day after I announce pregnancy at my job. I applied for 5+ jobs a week for two of the three years, and also launched a business to bring in money as much as possible. New businesses need money to survive and they need more attention than a new mother can give without being able to afford childcare. I launched another business, desperate to succeed. In this time, I went to several interviews. All employers seem genuinely interested in me, having me back for multiple interviews. But, in the end, I am always rejected. I have finally had to make a deadline for myself. If I do not have a job by the middle of this month, I will return to school for an MBA and hopefully more opportunities, despite losing the career that I hold passion for. This is not entitlement that put me in this place.

Posted by boggin828 | Report as abusive