Parents Meet GenY

September 18, 2009

Last night I got home after a night out with friends. My mom was still awake and decided that 11pm was the best time to talk about my future.

During our late night conversation, besides the fact that my parents want me out of the house (ha), I learned that parents may not necessarily understand what makes up GenY.

At this point in my job search I’m being pushed to accept any job offer that comes my way. And while my wallet is more easily persuaded to do so, something in me just can’t do it.

You see, I’ve never seen GenY as entitled. We don’t expect things to be handed to us. We don’t think we deserve more than others. On the contrary, it’s that we have high expectations of ourselves.

The thing I’ve learned about GenY is that we refuse to settle. We’ve been taught to set goals, to reach those goals, and to follow our dreams. Its engraved in us to be the absolute best we can be. So the idea of settling leaves a horrible taste in my mouth.

So where do I go from here? How do we explain to our parents who GenY is?



  1. Absolutely right Megan!! GenY WON’T settle for just anything because we have been brought up that way. Growing up, my father always told me that I should always follow my dreams and have whatever career will make me happy because you spend such a good portion of your life working. When you have a job that you truly love, doing it never seems like work. I want to wake up every day and be excited to go to “work”. However, as we grow up and finances become involved, parents push you to start taking those jobs you don’t necessarily want and all that ‘follow your dreams’ talk goes out the window. While, yes, I have bills that need to be paid and needs that have to be met…money isn’t always the issue! Money will never give you happiness. Experiences do. And you’re going to work everyday and hating every minute of it…that, to me, is a bad experience…even if you’re making the big bucks.

    • Thank you for your comment Laura! First of all, you called me Megan. That’s weird. Hahaha. Second of all, it’s good to see we’re in the same boat. To follow our dreams or not to follow our dreams? You make a good point though later in your comment regarding bills and money. At a certain point it can be very tempting to take any job available to meet those needs. Yes, I’m fully in support of taking a serving or PT job to pay your bills, but taking a corporate job isn’t something I’m willing to do just yet. It’s a hard place to be.

  2. So true, I made the same realization last week when I was offered a full time job and turned it down to take yet another internship. It’s a huge risk but to me its better than settling. I’m sorry your parents don’t agree, mine both supported and agreed with my decision so it was pretty easy to make. The good new is things are starting to look up!

    • Hey Emily-

      First of all, congratulations on your internship! That is so exciting! Another opportunity for you to grow and learn more 🙂 Your story is exactly what I’m talking about when it comes to GenY. We’re driven by our ambition to be our best and we’ll do whatever it takes to get there. Don’t get me wrong, my parents are FULLY supportive of my decisions (love you mom & dad ;)), but our generations are definitely different!

      Best of luck with your new internship and hopefully you’re right about things looking up!

  3. I have a recent blog post about how to find a job that may be helpful here http://helpfind.wordpress.com and might I suggest checking out the first website listed in my introduction. Everyone old enough to work can register free and start earning money immediately. It is not a lot of money and you can work as much as you want to, but I bet that if your parents see that you are earning some money rather than just going out with friends the issue of whatever generation you belong to may not become so important as you take free skills training, learn new job tasks, and continue to earn money every day – they will see you making progress in your life. Good luck!

  4. Meg, yet again another great blog post. I completely agree that we’ve all been brought up to never settle until we reach our dreams. I think that’s why we have so many perfectionists in our generation, because we all want to be the best in our desired fields.

    As for the whole parents thing…I’m sure my parents would LOVE for me to move out. Right now my dad just wants me to have some job on the side for 20+ hours a week so I can pay my bills and insurance. It’s more so I stay independent, but he’s not pushing me to settle for a career choice I don’t want. He knows I want to work in baseball, and he wants that for me as well. My parents are supporting my application for Teach for America, and if that doesn’t work they’re behind me for the Winter Meetings (if you want to come you can stay here =]).

  5. I’ve been through this. Here are some points I make when people ask me these things:

    1. Job security is a myth. If you take a job you hate just for a paycheck, you will not perform at your optimum and you will risk getting fired, especially in a recession. Also, taking a job that may not be there in 6 months looks horrible on your resume. Both of these are detrimental to your career in the long-term.

    2. Career management is at an all-time high. Everyone can find out whether you are passionate or not about their opportunity, just by reading your blog or following you on Twitter. Companies want people who know they are the perfect fit for the job, and if you take a job you weren’t a good fit for, you will forever have to explain why it’s on your resume when it didn’t fit your life plans.

    I probably have some more ideas, but these are just a few thoughts! Good luck with both the job search and holding out for the right job.

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