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Old 10-20-2014, 06:38 PM   #81
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Just wanting to add something a little late to discussion. Born in 1982 myself I guess I am technically a millennial, although I have a hard time relating to people born 3-5 years after me.

My experience in the workplace with the majority of people aged 25-28 (and admittedly it is a small sample size) is that they feel they should be at the top of the pay scale just because they exist. Maybe that is every generation, but I have had some very heated and downright confrontational discussions with employees at my last job about pay raises and comp. The overwhelming response I got was some variation of "I have a bachelors degree, so pay me". Of course these are the same people who the minute you needed them to stay late for a project were complaining about how unfair things were.

The other quality that I have noticed is a general laziness when it comes to quality of work. Former employees (and other managers that were peers of mine had the same issue) would request certain reports, documents, presentations, etc from millennial employees and they were more interested in getting a pat on the back for sending out a requested document. They rarely seemed to care about the quality of said document. I can't tell you the number of times I have had to send deliverables back to a millennial employee because I found something wrong in the work product. Then when it comes time for raises they scream to high heaven they didn't get an 8% raise or a larger bonus and wonder why there are no promotional opportunities.

I see these attitudes more than a desire to find balance in life and to shun materialism. Materialism is alive and well among the younger generation, if not more so.

I am sure to some degree it isn't just millennials, but I saw it more with them than other age groups.

As for my own personal attitude towards work, I am probably overly cynical for my age. I care more about my personal life than work if only because I have come to the realization that companies do not care about me or any of their employees really. Getting into the management position I did at a young age exposed me to a lot of the meetings and politicing that goes on behind closed doors around bonuses, raises, and who gets laid off. The way those things play out disgusts me. So therefore my attitude towards work is that I will work as hard as I can and do the best that I can, but within that I do work to set boundaries that are reasonable in my mind. I am not really sure moving up the corporate food chain interests me much anymore. I think I am probably 1-2 levels below where I want to be long term, so my focus is more on creating a good work environment and finding ways to learn and grow within my department where I can.
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Old 10-21-2014, 04:44 AM   #82
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Klubbie, what you see is in my experience not exclusive to this generation. Entitlement by degree and quality issues are present in every cohort.

Had friends and semi-friends, much older and younger, who thought and still think that way, especially in the care sector: "I have a degree, so I should make more and do less" mentality.

Luckily in places I work I hardly interact with them anymore.

The quality issues beyond what is typical in any organisation are mostly transient though. Starters in the workforce don't know what is expected from them, they are starters after all. Most will adapt, some will get fired.
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Old 10-21-2014, 05:08 AM   #83
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we don't want our society to end up like the one in Idiocracy.
I thought we were too far gone for this to not be the inevitable future......?
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:20 AM   #84
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Amen to that. I saw my parents do the working for the man thing for 25+ years only to get downsized in the latest round of layoffs. I love my parents, but that's not the life I want, per se. I've already lived it watching them grow up and for part of my life.
For every situation there is an equal and opposite... and not working for the man doesn't mean you have job/income security. I will be visiting my best friend soon who for most of his life said the same thing. He is also far from being frugal and enjoys spending without saving. A few years ago due to bad circumstances and poor decisions things went south and he lost everything except for a couple of pieces of furniture . We are both in our mid 60s and he has finally and fortunately been able to get a job - with "the man". While I am retired and FI it looks like he will be working as long as he is able. He has teased me on occasion for being frugal and I was surprised that he recently acknowledged that maybe he could have made better decisions.

Cheers!
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:36 AM   #85
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Getting into the management position I did at a young age exposed me to a lot of the meetings and politicing that goes on behind closed doors around bonuses, raises, and who gets laid off. The way those things play out disgusts me.
OP here. Going back 40 years, I remember getting my first promotion into management and being sat down with my boss who told me: "ok, now you're one of us...a 'guy with a tie'...there's a different set of rules for you now..." meaning that 1) I needed to leave my hourly wage buddies behind and 2) things were more lax on what you could/couldn't do.
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:16 AM   #86
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Corporate employers no longer offer any loyalty and they get none in return.
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When I first started working employees usually only got laid off if either they screwed up or the company was in financial trouble. But the last decade or so has shown employees being worked to death, sometimes literally, getting great reviews and bonuses and still getting laid off at any time just so the CEO can make $15M a year instead of $13M. It is not a motivating situation. If the reward for working hard and getting a project wrapped up is to to get outsourced at the end why bother to work hard?
This. When my boomer dad started working at the bank at age 16, he KNEW that if he kept his nose clean and showed up every day, he'd basically have his job guaranteed for the next 45 years or so. In addition to that, this job would pay for a nice middle class lifestyle. Nothing too fancy, but comfortable. He'd eventually get his pension and gold watch. For him, it made sense to put his nose to the grindstone because he was getting something valuable in return.

My generation (I'm a millennial by birth year) has learned very early that there is no security, no guarantees, and certainly no loyalty. What's the point in killing myself for my corporate overloards if they'll readily toss me on the trash heap at a whim? I've only been in the workforce for eight years, but I have already survived way too many rounds of layoffs, RIFs, outsourcing, offshoring, downsizing, or, most cynicially, "rightsizing", and I've seen too many good employees let go.

There are basically two ways to address that: One is to save aggressively and try to achieve FI before megacorp decides you're no longer useful and cheap enough to keep you around. This is what I'm trying to do.
Alternatively, you can eschew the corporate lifestyle altogether and just try Starbucks'ing through life, as someone here put it very elegantly. Not for me, as I have a family to support, but it's not necessarily a bad coice either.

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I saw my parents do the working for the man thing for 25+ years only to get downsized in the latest round of layoffs.
That kind of thing make me SO angry. When I'm 50 and some HR clown walks into my office to tell me my job is outsourced to India, I'll be prepared. Boy, will I ever be prepared.
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:21 AM   #87
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My generation (I'm a millennial by birth year) has learned very early that there is no security, no guarantees, and certainly no loyalty. What's the point in killing myself for my corporate overlords if they'll readily toss me on the trash heap at a whim? I've only been in the workforce for eight years, but I have already survived way too many rounds of layoffs, RIFs, outsourcing, offshoring, downsizing, or, most cynicially, "rightsizing", and I've seen too many good employees let go.
I try not to be cynical, but I have to agree with the above. I have seen to many friends and relatives, tossed out, not because the company was failing or not making money, but simply to improve the 'financials' so others can make more money. It's a reality. And while it's sad if the person is single and in their 20's, it's a tragedy when they are in their 30's and 40 with children to support, or in their 50's and they have to drain their retirement accounts to hang on.

That said, my millenial relatives have also told me about some pretty atrocious work habits. This includes people calling in sick on Monday because they have "a hangover from to much partying on the weekend". Give me a break!

Like my father taught me, "You may be employed by somebody else, but always work for yourself."
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:50 AM   #88
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If one were inclined to think poorly of the younger generation, then check this out
A humble hero has emerged for cynical voters suffering a bombardment of boastful political ads.
The Boston Globe reported that Seth W. Moulton, a former Marine and Democratic nominee for Congress in Massachusetts’ Sixth Congressional District, was twice decorated for heroism during battles with Iraqi insurgents in 2003 and 2004. Moulton earned the Bronze Star medal for valor and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation for valor.
But he didn’t tell anyone. Not even his parents.

Mass. Congressional Hopeful Seth Moulton Kept His Military Awards a Secret - Massachusetts news - Boston.com
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:36 AM   #89
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My generation (I'm a millennial by birth year) has learned very early that there is no security, no guarantees, and certainly no loyalty.
+1000

I'm in Gen X, and after a few years in the work force, I learned there is no loyalty in corporate America anymore. I operate under the principle that my employer buys my loyalty only two weeks at a time, with every paycheck. No more than that.

And I've never given a second thought to "firing" an employer when a better offer somewhere else came around. And I've fired more employers than have fired me (or RIF'd me).

An employer can tap me on the shoulder and walk me out on a moment's notice. I have no problem doing the same to them.
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:44 AM   #90
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I am trying to figure out how this is a new idea. My Dad knew this, and preached it to his 3 kids. The Sumerians probably knew it.

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+1000

I'm in Gen X, and after a few years in the work force, I learned there is no loyalty in corporate America anymore. I operate under the principle that my employer buys my loyalty only two weeks at a time, with every paycheck. No more than that.

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Old 10-21-2014, 01:20 PM   #91
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I am trying to figure out how this is a new idea. My Dad knew this, and preached it to his 3 kids. The Sumerians probably knew it.

Amethyst
+1 Very Good Point! Reading these posts I have been thinking the same thing. Most of what people remember about the past is illusion. It is a dog eat dog world and always has been. Work hard, work for yourself, nobody else really cares about you (except maybe your mom). Nothing has changed and it won't change in the future. Maybe a lot of the Millennials just had too easy a childhood. Did they perchance get the real Mother Goose or the Disney version? After all the fantasizing, sometimes a healthy dose of reality is all that is needed.
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:28 PM   #92
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I am trying to figure out how this is a new idea. My Dad knew this, and preached it to his 3 kids. The Sumerians probably knew it.

Amethyst
You'd be surprised. My Mom and Dad grew up during the Great Depression, and my Dad worked at the same employer for over 30 years. I had other relatives who did exactly the same. In my family, it was the norm to stay at one place for sometimes decades. Nobody "preached" it because it's just what was expected and how people did things.

I've also worked with many people who were afraid to leave because they wrapped themselves too tightly in an imaginary blanket of corporate loyalty, security, or whatever. In the mid 90's when I got MCSE certified, there was a coworker of mine who got his at the same time. I jumped ship soon after for more lucrative opportunities, while he stagnated (his own words) and later got RIF'd.

Corporate loyalty may never have been around, true. But I think there are still a lot of people who think it does.
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:33 PM   #93
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Here's a lovely article for you folks, self explanatory title.
When The Economy Goes Down, Vasectomies Go Up : Shots - Health News : NPR

I spent the last 10 days with some of my favorite millennials, and as always, am reminded of how important it is for me to listen to their fresh perspective and find ways to reach common ground with the younger generation. I love their take on priorities, work and social, as well as their far more tolerant views on all sorts of pesky prejudices that my and earlier generations still battle to some degree.

And they made me go to Disney with them...which is a feat unto itself! All those children! All those lines! All that hugging! But I survived, and saw how fun it could be when you go with folks who were that happy to be there.

Nope, these 20-somethings aren't at the same place in their lives as I was at their age, but that's just different, not wrong. There's room enough for all of us to find common ground, even the lotus-eating childfree folks like myself and the dutiful parents.
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:59 PM   #94
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I am trying to figure out how this is a new idea. My Dad knew this, and preached it to his 3 kids.
Then your Dad is a smart man. My Dad's experience was different: He was told to find a good employer, make sure he didn't screw up, and he'd be golden. And it worked out for him just fine.
My FIL had one employer for his entire career, too. Now, my sample size is obviously limited, but it seems to me that this was somewhat common for baby boomers. I don't recall ever hearing any stories about whole departments being moved to Asia, or people being laid off.

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Maybe a lot of the Millennials just had too easy a childhood.
I don't know how old you are, and I'm not going to argue with you who had it worse (Four Yorkshiremen, anybody?), but it seems kinda silly to me to argue that the current young generation isn't facing greater hardships than those before it, starting with the boomers. The year my Dad graduated, Germany's unemployment rate was 0.7%. The GDP climbed 5.4% that year, and that was considered kind of a down year. The inflation rate was low, too: Just 2.0%. Anybody could get a job in that environment; anybody who was willing and able could expect to have a nice career. Compare that with today.
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:26 PM   #95
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You'd be surprised. My Mom and Dad grew up during the Great Depression, and my Dad worked at the same employer for over 30 years. I had other relatives who did exactly the same. In my family, it was the norm to stay at one place for sometimes decades. Nobody "preached" it because it's just what was expected and how people did things.
That's the environment I grew up in too. Dad worked for the electric company for 35 years and got "The Big Ache" at 62. But my mother got an annuity from the company for the next 25 years, SS, and her own small pension from time as a federal government secretary. In that era, it worked. It worked for me too since I started in 1973 but clearly, those days are over. The pension plan I'm grandfathered into has been changed two or three times since.
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:54 PM   #96
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I have kids in that Millennial generation and have had the opportunity to watch them along with their Millennial friends grow up together...
Didn't mean to give the impression I was dissing the Millennials, actually I think I had some nice things to say about them if you see my above full post earlier in this thread.

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...
I don't know how old you are, and I'm not going to argue with you who had it worse (Four Yorkshiremen, anybody?), but it seems kinda silly to me to argue that the current young generation isn't facing greater hardships than those before it, starting with the boomers. The year my Dad graduated, Germany's unemployment rate was 0.7%. The GDP climbed 5.4% that year, and that was considered kind of a down year. The inflation rate was low, too: Just 2.0%. Anybody could get a job in that environment; anybody who was willing and able could expect to have a nice career. Compare that with today.
Made me go check out that old Monty Python sketch again on youtube. Great insight there. All generations face hardships, and sure some more than others. As a boomer I had it very easy compared to my father's generation who went through the depression and WWII. The big bump in GDP was after the war, there was no housing available, no cars, everything had been on hold during the war, a big catchup was needed.

Fast forward to my generation, boomer means a big glut of people all competing for the same resources at the same time. When I went to college, classes that were easy to get previously were full, too many people. Easy jobs? Hey, there was no fast food places to get work, no part time, you were competing against a big bunch of other young people. Yeh, maybe you could pump gas, they still did that. I see my kids have a much easier time finding part time work than I did. Sure there are changes in corporate life, but it also means there are more opportunities today. I got two Millennial kids, one finished school now with a good job, and another getting good grades near finishing college, with no debt, and still working a part time job (which Dad mandated).

Times change, the types of challenges change, opportunities change, but they are still out there. Another boomer friend of mine, had one kid with difficulty finding a job out of college, settling on a cashier job and another who was hired even before they graduated. Guess which one had the degree in history and which one the degree in applied math and mechanical engineering.

I remember complaining that those just a few years ahead of me had taken up all the easy management slots I could have picked up, but were full. But then whole new opportunities and industries arose (microprocessors being one of them) and I followed that lead. There are so many opportunities now, your Millennial generation may end up being the luckiest (hardest working?) and most successful one yet.
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Old 10-21-2014, 04:31 PM   #97
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I work with very bright 20-somethings. They complain about the same things I complained about when I was their age: unfair workplace, high cost of living, not getting enough respect....but their communication and feedback modes are far more effective. We either grumbled to ourselves, or to others in the corridors. They get on the workplace "social media," reinforce one another's discontent, and create a written record that, from time to time, gets higher management's attention.

Of late, there has been a significant meme about young women despising the "ogling" and other harassment they experience. Upper management is paying serious attention. In "my day," people thought it was amusing if a young woman complained about co-workers focusing on her appearance over her talents. I was even advised to consider it a compliment! The only way anyone could "get" a harasser was if the dumb-ass actually offered some sort of a sex-for-advancement deal with witnesses present, as if anyone would do that.

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Old 10-21-2014, 06:01 PM   #98
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Nash, you are way too young to be playing that card

Hey, as a bona fide Gen X or Gen Y -er, I finally have a younger generation at which to scoff, shake my head, and generally act like Clint Eastwood.
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:20 PM   #99
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I have a total of 10 millennial relatives, 2 kids and 8 nieces and nephews. I don't see a lot of difference between them and my generation. They all have jobs:
- 3 are nurses, works well because employment is available even in the small communities 2 of them live in.
- 1 is an entrepreneur. This was an accident. He took a job driving truck in the local oil patch while waiting for a trade apprenticeship. A year later he owned 4 trucks and had a staff of 8 drivers. I suspect he makes more than I ever did (ok, don't count my bonuses). If the current crude prices don't screw him, he'll be a millionaire by 30.
- 3 are civil servants. All work fairly hard, usually out of office but on the road rather than at home. In a rural area, you visit. One took a transfer to a remote location because it would help promotion chances.
- 1 is a geek. He had a chance to join my former mega-corp but instead took a job with a micro-corp at about 60% salary because he would be doing what he wanted to do. When his 1st kid was born, FMC was hiring and he said he thought about it since there were about 20K reason to do so. He didn't and FMC has since RIF'd al lot of people. His micro-C has given him stock options that may become valuable. HMC sells at a PE of 7, has been in business for 22 years without a loss and has (IMHO) good prospects (I own a lot of them in my fun account and have done quite well so far).
- 1 is just a guy who has a seasonal job, works huge hours 4 months of the year and looks after his kids the other 8 while his DW is making 6 figures.
- the last one may not be a millennial. was born in 1998 and will get out of HS soon. She works part time in a restaurant.
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:43 PM   #100
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We are moving increasingly toward a mercenary labor market. Obamacare accelerates that trend as did the great recession. I don't think this is a problem; in fact it appears to me that this makes employees act more like rational economic actors rather than fools who still hang on due to misguided ideas about loyalty, career-long employment, etc.
+1

Ultimately, our economy will benefit from employees moving freely from employer to employer to meet employers' demands for their skills. It's inefficient to handcuff employees and employers together with seniority based pension plans, employer provided medical insurance, etc.
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