Generation Y and the workplace

Generation Y employees are often judged and stereotyped in the world of work. Are they really eternally dissatisfied and selfish? Youth does not always mean impatience or immaturity, as we have discovered thanks to a study of the Viavoice institute in partnership with Les Echos START.


The well-worn cliche

Generation Y youth have the undeserved reputation of  constantly being dissatisfied with their position and the opportunities available to them. Received wisdom holds that these young dilettantes leave their work at the first opportunity or difficulty. A survey of more than a thousand young people aged between 18 and 30 in metropolitan France shows that today’s youth have a desire to correct this view and change attitudes. Far from being lazy, these people simply want to work hard on something they really care about.


Satisfied but demanding

The precariousness of their situation and the increase of the unemployment rate do not seem to have affected these young souls in the slightest in their search for a stable position with the prospect of promotion. The majority of these young people are even rather optimistic about their future career and see the professional field as a source of fulfillment and not as a constraint.

The only difference with other generations is that 18-30 year olds know what they want and have very specific requirements. The survey reveals that if one considers their hierarchy of values, self-fulfillment and autonomy take precedence over effort and the job itself. Their primary objective is to find the perfect balance between their professional and personal lives.


Ready to change

It is certainly true that a young person of this generation tends to change employers quite often. This can be misinterpreted by older colleagues who aim for stability rather than promotion or progression. One of the main aims of these young people is to acquire more autonomy by participating in real teamwork and by abolishing old-fashioned hierarchical structures within companies.