The whole Generation Y concept of work- where flexibility, work life balance and a socially responsible employer is demanded by jobseekers – is set to change. That’s according to Steve Carter, Managing Director of accountancy and finance recruitment specialist Nigel Lynn.
“I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t have flexibility in the workplace”, says Carter, far from it, but according to recent research from the London Business School, while Generation X often requires flexibility for childcare, Generation Y demands it for lifestyle reasons. And according to a report in The Observer back in May, Generation Y jobseekers are “ready to resign if their jobs are not fulfilling and fun, with decent holidays and the opportunity to take long stretches off for charity work or travel.”
“In this market, that attitude isn’t going to go down terribly well with potential employers – many of whom may well be boomers and Generation X themselves and who had to really buckle down during the last major recession. And it’s going to be those people who can demonstrate that they can add real value to a business that will succeed. That means getting back to the Generation X ethos of hard work, long hours and potentially less time off. There will also need to be an acceptance that Generation X managers and leaders who have worked through a major downturn in the past will have valuable lessons to pass on. And above all, job seekers will need to demonstrate an attitude which reflects what they can do for their employer – not what their employer can do for them!”
Generation Y is a group that has never witnessed recession or economic hardship. They have grown up in a booming economy with rising house prices and a raging war for talent and so it is not surprising that they tend to talk about what they want from work. They may have some hard lessons to learn in the months to come.
What are your thoughts? Is Gen Y now going to become Gen X v2.0?