Gen Y workers not afraid to quit

Published On March 12, 2013 | By HN Staff | News
Generation Y employees may be viewed as entitled but employees have to deal with it, experts say. (PHOTO COURTESY Samantha Martin)

Generation Y employees may be viewed as entitled but employees have to deal with it, experts say. (PHOTO COURTESY Samantha Martin)

By Samantha Martin

Generation Y employees aren’t afraid of quitting their jobs to get ahead.

The Huffington Post is reporting that multiple studies show Generation Y employees are likely to stay in their jobs for approximately two years before moving on to a new one.

The article states that because Gen Y, people born after 1980, were raised by Baby Boomers who encouraged their kids to “be anything they want to be,” experts say, adding Gen Ys are more willing to switch jobs if they aren’t satisfied.

Humber College career centre co-ordinator, Karen Fast, said young Canadians are choosing shorter work terms because they aren’t being challenged in their jobs.

“Gen Ys are looking for a lot more accountability and responsibility that their managers aren’t willing to give them,” said Fast.

The generation has been painted with a broad stereotypical brush, and that they have reasons to stay in jobs for a short period of time, she said.

“Gen Y workers need to self manage their own career, that way they can try different things,” said Fast. “They have tens of thousands of jobs open to them because they have different skill sets.”

Humber News reporter Jeanette Liu interviewed York University Professor at the Schulich School of Business, and executive job coach, Stephen Friedman. He said Gen Ys aren’t the only people to change jobs often.

“The kind of things people stay in a job for these days are changing whether you’re 25, 19, or 45,” said Friedman.

“I think the younger generation has an easier time of making choices around what matters to them in terms of work, where as the older generation is more afraid,” he said.

Friedman said the top two important workplace matters for Gen Ys are who they work with, and the product/brand or service that they work for.

Friedman also said some Baby Boomers may call young employees entitled brats, because they want to be treated fairly and enjoy their workplace, but older workers have to get used to it.

“I think that as time moves on and the labour pools shifts to a situation where available employees are that generation, you’re not going to have a choice,” said Friedman.

“You can call them entitled all you want, but if you’ve got 100 resumes for a job you want to fill and they all fall under that category of what you would call entitled, tough beans, those are the people you’re going to have to hire,” Friedman said.

Whether entitled or not Fast says the work force is changing and she feels like it’s moving in a good direction.

“I don’t see it as a lazy generation at all, I see it as a very self managed and intuitive generation,” said Fast. “I think the future is in very good hands with the Gen Y.”

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