It’s no wonder that many boomers and gen-xers think we are the worst generation. We’ve had our helicopter parents swoop in and save us when we’ve gotten into rough situations, we’ve been told our whole lives that we should dream big and that we have the power to change the world (and we believe it!), and most of us have never seen our parents struggle so we “don’t know what it takes.”
Our elders look at those of our generation who decided to take “a year off” to travel, are still jobless because they haven’t found the right fit, on the 5-6 year plan, or moved home to live with their parents after graduation and they tell us that we have “failed to launch.”
I am not defending my generation in this regard. I’m almost 23 (next week!), I have a wife, two dogs, and I’m buying a house. At times I’m disgusted by my own maturity, but at other times I’m disgusted by the lack of maturity that many of my peers show. I have made my decisions, and I am happy, others have made their decisions and I hope they are happy, but in order to change the world like we have been told and taught that we will do; some of us need to camouflage ourselves.
There are some great companies who realize that they need to adapt and appeal to us in order to thrive, you know who they are because you most likely researched them as a place you want to work. But when the reality of being a college grad steps in and you don’t get your dream job, you’ll learn that at most companies it will be a struggle to make the company more gen-y compatible. It will be a struggle that will last until we are in positions of power and can effectively fight for what we believe. Until then we must fall into line, we must play the game, we must appeal to Gen-X and the Boomers. We need to act more mature than we are and we will climb the ladder. Then, when the time is right, we can grab the reigns and make the changes that are needed.
What this entails:
- Do not allow your parents to involve themselves in your workplace.
- Dress up. If your dress code is business casual, wear dressy casual.
- Stay clean cut. Shave and get a haircut, long hair is not boomer compatible.
- Imitate. Older people love younger people that remind them of themselves.
- Go out of your way to impress them.
I know this goes against much that we believe to be true and what many people try tell us about ourselves, but unless you work for one of the few companies that is truly gen-y compatible this cammo will be necessary to make the changes we want. Our fault as a generation is thinking that we can have our dreams now, but we must realize that in order to achieve our dreams and the changes we wish to see we need to plot out a realistic path and work towards acheiving them.