I’m Calling Out This Gen Y Bullshit – The Job Security Myth

You know what’s great about being a millenial or Gen Y professional today? Everyone gets to talk about what we want and what drives us – because they’ve spoken to some of us and they ‘get us‘.

Ugh. No.

The latest article to tout next-gen insights says “Young people don’t think like we do about work, [and] they don’t want a full-time job for the next 20 years. Young people [want] work to be fun and they [are] less concerned about material wealth than their parents.”

Apparently we believe as long as we’ve got the skills, we will pay the bills. Or, as the expert said “increasingly, job security comes from having a lot of skills and a flexible attitude.”
Holla back at me if you’re a uni graduate who couldn’t get secure employment, and thought “awesome, my skills and flexibility in working bit piece jobs is a great way to pay the bills.” Seriously, get back to me so I can stuff your mouth with marshmallows, shine a bright light in your face and scream into your ears “STOP TALKING TO PEOPLE WHO THINK YOU REPRESENT ALL OF US!”

No – the people who represent all of us are my friends who have the same ambition as their parents did and their grand parents did. They want to be surrounded by people they love, do something that provides for them and the people they love, and live a lifestyle that they desire with those people they love.

Gen Y is just a group of people who need to set themselves up. They are adults trying to start their independent lives. I have a sneaking suspicion that Gen Ys giving feedback about wanting “work to be fun” are financially supported by their parents and aren’t contemplating mortgage payments.

In order to set myself up, I need to: 
  • save for a housing deposit, and start on a mortgage;
  • put as much extra money in my retirement fund as I can, because let’s be realistic here – by the time I retire, there will be no pension;
  • pay off my tertiary education debts; and
  • get financially stable so I can start popping out the little-uns.

I need a secure job. A job that provides stable income. A job that enables a bank to loan me money. A job that gives me an assurance that if I start making the big investments to start my adult life, I will be able to meet the costs. I need job security.

Gen Y, Millennial, Gen X, Baby Boomers, the Silent Generation, we’re not so different. We work to gain better financial security, and the first way we hope to do that is with job security. If it’s not available, then we adapt to whatever is required. But we, and everyone before and after us, recognise job security as an immensely important part of setting ourselves up in life.

This whole Gen Y is so different thing is just so wrong, and our disinterest in job security is simply a myth employers like to hear to justify their cost-cutting staffing options. So in case you didn’t know – it’s bullshit. I called it.
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.

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  • 12 September 2012