Gen Y at Work: Happiness First (Part II)

By 2030, Generation “Y”, those born between 1980 and 2000, will represent over 50% of the workforce. They are also known as Millennials.

By Justine Aubry

Right now, the workforce is composed largely of Baby-Boomers, born between 1946 and 1965. Do the Ys see their careers developing along the same lines as the Baby Boomers did?

A Lifestyle

The youth of Generation Y feel a greater pressure to succeed than do their elders. They are more highly educated, which means there’s more competition for open jobs. Contrary to their parents, Ys look for jobs with flexible hours centred on learning and training, rather than jobs that are stable, well-paid and full of responsibilities.

They also put greater emphasis on their lives outside of work. According to a 2015 Université de Laval study, 30% of all Ys dream of opening their own business in the next 5 years. The study notes that “Ys consider that people, relationships and lifestyles are the key components of happiness, and they’re not inclined to compromise these aspects for their career.”

Louis, a musician and an artist’s agent, is 32. He agrees with the study’s results.

To build the career he wants, he puts his emphasis on his relationships and accepts irregular working hours. To be happy, he thinks he has to “invent a job for myself.” He may not make a fortune, but he has to respect his own creative, marginal personality. He thinks being cooped up in an office all day would be unthinkable.

Fleeing Boredom

A consultant in human resources and industrial psychology, Michel Langlois thinks that “contrary to the Baby Boomers who, as a group, have a tendency to be workers devoted to their company, Ys are characterized by the search for more immediate gratification.”

Millennials hate boredom, often associated with repetitive, menial tasks. If they don’t find what they want in a job, they won’t hesitate to pull up stakes and quit!

In sum, Ys are hard workers and ambitious. But they’re not interested in repetitive, traditional employment. Flexible hours, quick advancement and entrepreneurialism are all the order of the day for theis new bold generation.

First seen in: Reflet de Société, Vol. 28 no. 2, printemps (spring) 2020, pages 14-15.

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