28 May Wake up Millennial generation, your competition is global!
60 Minutes (CBS) ran a segment on “Millennials” in the job market. As CBS put it:
There are about 80 million of them, born between 1980 and 1995, and they’re rapidly taking over from the Baby Boomers that are now pushing 60. They were raised by doting parents who told them they are special, played in little leagues with no winners or losers, or all winners. They are laden with trophies just for participating, and they think your business-as-usual ethic is for the birds.
“Mary Crane, who once whipped up soufflés for the White House, now offers crash courses for millennials in, well, the obvious. “As to the tattoos, just make sure they stay covered up within the office, especially if you are going to be meeting clients,” she advises her clients.
“You now have a generation coming into the workplace that has grown up with the expectation that they will automatically win, and they’ll always be rewarded, even for just showing up,” Crane says. “To what extent are you having to tell the Boomers, the bosses, the 50 to 60 year olds, ‘The people who got to change are you guys, not them?'” Safer asks. “The Boomers do need to hear the message, that they’re gonna have to start focusing more on coaching rather than bossing. If this generation in particular, you just tell them, ‘You got to do this. You got to do this. You got to do this.’ They truly will walk. And every major law firm, every major company knows, this is the future,” Crane explains.
Is it the future? The 60 Minutes segment focused on the young pampered “Muffy and Biff” types who were coddled and given an education where “no one fails, everyone is a winner.” Now they are entering the workforce and their self-centered demands have to be met. Or do they?
Comments after the presentation at CBS’s website reflected this:
• “Watching this presentation was a very telling example of the what I call “the New Upside Down World”!!! It exposes but one of the classic results of pansy, feel-good parenting which has totally run amuck. This has resulted in the cultivation of a narcissistic generation and the characteristic disorder of those having an inflated idea of their own importance.
Similar consequences have resulted from the push towards the use of “politically correct” words and speech, indirect support of illegal immigration resulting from no significant willingness to protect the borders and so many other unintended (unwanted) changes in our culture and everyday life that I could go on ad nauseum.This raises the question of why employers do not see the ready solution in the recruitment and hiring of the so-called “senior citizen” employees that need/want to work, are reasonable in their expectations and results, and possess highly developed skills rather than pandering to the “young and spoiled,” self-centered perennial 12 year olds!
All is not lost as would be evidenced if “60 Minutes” were to do another feature about our current military. Almost all of these military folks are the antithesis of the young people described as “Millennials.” They are not only technically savvy and extremely competent as well as understand well the quid pro quo arrangement of employer and employee responsibilities and duties to others.”
• “I watched the piece on the Millennials wondering what planet these youngsters were from? No wonder American firms are moving their jobs overseas. If this is the best our future workers have to offer, it won’t be long and all the jobs will have gone overseas and these kids will be scratching their smart ***** wondering what went wrong!”
• “Is it a wonder that American Business has gone outside the U S to find workers who are motivated and grateful for work as opposed to self-centered, spoiled, undeserving American brats? The work ethic of young America is abysmal!”
Typical reactions by those who have been in the workforce for a couple of decades who have been through some layoffs, a recession or two, a missed promotion, and maybe on the wrong side of a corporate merger.
Stereotyping any generation is wrong. Would it be accurate to stereotype everyone that grew up in the Depression as “Bonnie & Clyde” types? Growing up back then, you probably were a bootlegger or a bank robber. You idolized Capone and Dillinger. No one good came out of the Great Depression.
Oh sorry, that is stereotyping the Greatest Generation. Funny, they had their share of deadbeats and criminals, yet they also sacrificed and banded together to fight and win the biggest war of the century.
Not everyone is a Muffy or Biff
More encouraging was to read some comments from young people who had more to say about the CBS generalizations and inaccuracies:
• “Disappointed and angry are the two comments that came to mind during this segment. This was completely frivolous journalism. I am disgusted that 60 minutes would corrupt their integrity with vast generalizations, age-ism and pampered so-called “specialists.” I am 25 years old and I work and make my own way in the world and work ***** hard to do it, and I am embarrassed that this is the best of what 60 minutes can do to represent and grossly misrepresent my generation!!”
• “I think this was an absolutely ridiculous story. I am a 23-year-old college graduate working a full-time job. I would never dream of rolling into work at 12 p.m. I could wear flip flops to work but I don’t, I value hard work, and understand that teamwork and good communications skills are all essential keys in getting ahead in the workforce. Never mind that admissions to universities, public and private, is more competitive than ever before and that the pressure to succeed is an ever present force in many adolescent minds. Ignore that for many college students, unpaid internships are considered prerequisites for the jobs they wish to hold following graduation, and that people move home to live with their parents because housing prices and living expenses are increasingly high, particularly when combined with repaying the student loans you need to take out to pay for an education (with tuition prices rising each year) that is fundamental to your career.”
• “Apparently, the quality journalism 60 Minutes is known for was thrown by the wayside in favor of lavishing praise on aging managers who refuse to acknowledge that maybe times are changing and are instead putting up with this new and hideous breed of overindulged prima donnas. It’s all right to not worship at the altar of your company and to be able to balance that with a personal life.”
• “This is really a tasteless, stupid story. How could CBS in their idiotic thinking believe that this is some form of reality? While these kids are still wanting to play “romper room,” there are men that match them in age that are serving and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. The idiots are reaping the benefit of what others provide and believe somehow that they created it. They don’t want to make the same mistakes that their parents generation did – well, they already have but are not smart enough to realize it. Their legacy will be the example of what happens when the U.S. education system falls to 48th in the world. There should be no need for all those high-paid consultant to instruct them on how to be. A little time on active duty with one of the Armed Forces would straighten out the attitude problem. What a pack of morons and that goes for their parents, too, for allowing this to occur. By the way, I have a child in this age group and he is in no way like them – he is a responsible person.”
Ah, active duty. Express lane to adulthood. No coddling at boot camp.
Try enlisting at 17 before high school graduation and coming back in September to start freshman year at college, committing six years in the reserve or National Guard. That was a positive life experience. Anyone serving today is getting a lot more education about life and values than someone sitting in a classroom or playing Grand Theft Auto in their parents’ basement.
Get a clue – Dorks are in every age group
Not everyone in the Great generation was great. They had their share of slackers and misfits, as did the Baby Boomer group. What every young “Millennial” has to realize is that there were also a lot of great talent and great leaders in those other generations as well. Learn from them and their accomplishments.
Here’s a more accurate comment on today’s job market:
• Unfortunately what I’m seeing at my company is they are not hiring young people at all, only hiring offshore for the “entry level.” I’ve seen this at other companies, too; for all the hype about the Millennials, they are just not hiring them for skilled positions. It appears the foreigners are cheaper and more subservient and self-abased.”
Wake up Millennials! You have to compete with the Globalites. Those are the people coming in on L1 and H-1B Visas. They are hungry, skilled, and will work for less than you.
Contrary to the pseudo-experts, there is no room for pampered Prima Donnas in the workplace. Think twice before emulating Muffy and Biff. You will be passed over for Punjab, Sumatra, and Tin Chang.
CARLINI-ISM : Be the best, or get passed up by the rest.
Recent articles by James Carlini
• James Carlini: Where does your city stand in the broadband race?
• James Carlini: The domino effect of “cheap” IT labor
• James Carlini: Building IQ expands with broadband connectivity
• James Carlini: On Patton and getting back to real organizational leadership
• James Carlini: Column on abuse of H-1B program ignites feedback
This article previously appeared in MidwestBusiness.com, and was reprinted with its permission.
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