This is my third installment discussing perceptions of myself as a Generation Y employee based on The Gen Y Perceptions Study. In my previous two posts, I discussed how my generation and I compared when it came to being tech savvy as well as casualness in the work place (dress and attitude). For this post I’ll be discussing my views on work-life balance and how I compare to the study done by those at Cal State Fullerton Career Centre and Spectrum Knowledge.

Gen Y prefers work-life balance

Where my generation looks to have a balance between work and life, the study points out that Boomers have the mentality of “Live to Work“, and Gen Xers have the “Work to Live” mindset. As someone who has been raised by Boomer parents, I can definitely say I’m not interested in the “Live to Work” frame of mind. Both of my parents have worked factory jobs the majority of their careers to support myself and my two siblings. My father hasn’t worked in a number of years due to disabilities but I can’t even envision my mother retiring in five years because she always needs to be on the go. Seeing this growing up I always reminded myself that I would make sure I got the education needed to do the career I wanted, not the one that paid the bills the easiest.

Like many other Gen Yers out there I have an appreciation of the my time outside of work. The fact that we’re more tech savvy than any other generation allows us to have shorter work weeks since things can get done quicker now with new technology ( in many cases anyway). As I mentioned in the first post of this series, we don’t want to spend our time at work if we’re done everything that was asked of us.

With all that being said however, one of my goals when looking for an internship and eventually a full time job, will be to find somewhere that I actually care to work for. Many workers may find they’re not as willing to stay at work for longer than needed because they may not feel that connection to their job. If I’m working for an organization that meets my needs, then I’ll more than likely put in extra time and effort into getting jobs done. One quote the study pulled out from a Gen Yer was “I don’t want to be a drone for most of my life,” really stood out for me. I’ve often told people I need a job that pushes me to think and one that teaches me something new all the time, or else I’ll just become that drone.

Conclusion

The reason why myself and my generation choose to have a balanced work-life scenario is because it was instilled in us by our Boomer (in my case) parents. They’re the ones who work hard to support their life and passed down the message to their kids that they’re doing so for them to have an easier one. I’m speaking from my own personal experiences, as I’m sure each person has their own story to tell on that front, but therein lies the root of the issue. I want to have a job that lets me have a life so I can enjoy it like my parents wanted me to.

Next post (possibly after Christmas) I’ll be discussing the supposed sense of entitlement that Gen Yers have in the workplace. Until then have a Merry Christmas readers!

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