Gen Y – the generation of self-absorbed, lazy twenty-somethings who expect instant gratification. Managers hate us. Parents are baffled by us. But we love ourselves and our lives. That’s at least true for those of us who are choosing to defy the status quo.
What exactly do I mean by that? Well, many Gen Y-ers are choosing to live a more unconventional lifestyle. Some are leaving the corporate workhorse behind and pursuing their own entrepreneurial dreams. Others are selling their possessions and taking off on an indefinite adventure around the world.
We’re tired of being told what to do and how to do it. We don’t want to have mandatory work hours. We want flexibility and demand a life outside of the office. Ironically, though, older generations aren’t so impressed by our ambitions.
When I recently speaking with a close friend, she remarked how one of her superiors always begins a conversation with “Your generation…” He wonders why she travels so much on her time off and why she is involved in so many extracurricular activities.
I guess our generation missed the memo that said work was supposed to be our lives. Being a Gen Y-er, I’d like to defend myself. Admittedly, I grew up privileged. I had all of the latest toys and gadgets, lived in a nice home and participated in any activity I could ever want to. I was TOLD that I could make my dreams come true.
So, baby boomers and Gen X-ers, YOU let me believe that I could be anything I wanted, do anything I could dream of and live a life that fulfilled ME.
BUT, you also became a living example of what I didn’t want to become. I didn’t want to work a thankless job that left me stressed and constantly complaining. I didn’t want to work 70 hours a week and clock a few more hours on the weekends. I didn’t want to be required to bring my blackberry or laptop on my vacations. Simply, I didn’t want what you had.
I appreciate the luxuries that accompany a high-paying salary. But I’ve decided that experiences are more important to me than things. I could probably find a job with a cushy salary that would allow me to get weekly manicures, afford fancy dinners and shop at overpriced stores. But those things won’t make me happy. And, they will all come at a cost. The cost of time and enjoyment.
Maybe, instead of criticizing my lazy, unambitious generation, perhaps you should take a closer look. Some of us will dutifully follow your rules and quietly climb the corporate ladder. Many, however, will not tolerate the abuse.
If we want to travel, we will. If we want to use up all of our vacation days, we are entitled to do just that. If we complete a day’s worth of work in four hours, we request to leave early.
Despite what many may think, we are skilled, productive workers. Computers are second nature to us. We understand the opportunities of this digital workplace. WE are the future. And WE are not you.
Times are changing. Get ready for a revolution. Round-the-world travelers, digital nomads, and risk-taking entreprenuers…they’re about to shake up your safe, structured workplace. The choice is yours…join us or resist us.
Just remember, our time is here. The longer you challenge us, the more you are hurt yourself. Wouldn’t you like to work a little less, travel a little more and smile a little more often? Don’t defy us simply because you can. You’ve got one chance to make this life of yours worthwhile, don’t screw it up!