The Generation Gap Myth
Over the weekend, I was thinking about the supposed differences between Generation Y and other generations. There is so much talk about how Gen Y is more independent and has greater personal demands. I haven’t always believed the labels that have put on generations (aside from the Greatest Generation), but the Gen Y debate is something that continues to draw plenty of attention.
There was a recent post on Forbes.com that said “Gen Y Really is Different.” As I read it, one thing struck me: Generation Y isn’t that much different than my generation. We share many of the same ideas, want many of the same things. There isn’t a day that passes where I don’t want to have the freedom to work on my own.
I grew up in the 1980’s; it was the “me” decade. Gordon Gecko said, “Greed… is good.” We dreamed of being successful, making money and living by our own rules. Our parents didn’t put boundaries on us. Is that really a change from what Gen Y wants now?
To me, the whole Gen Y label is bunk. Who wouldn’t want to run their own business, work from a coffee shop, and be able to have the freedom to be what they want? I’d love to have that now and maybe I still will.
When I started out in television, I was given this advice: By the time you are at one spot for six months, start looking for your next job. It wasn’t because we would be fired, it was to get experience. It was about me, not we. I seem to think this is something Gen Y gets criticized for a ton: Thinking about themselves and not the company.
I do want to clarify something. I’m not using this post to say you shouldn’t care about where you work. I’m a big teamwork person and I think most of you who read my blog are the same way. The issue, to me, is the generational labels placed upon all of us.
I know Gen Y has embraced the title and that’s good. All I’m saying here is that Gen Y and Gen X aren’t that much different. And I think my fellow Gen Xers would tend to agree.
Let me know your feelings in the comments below.