It's my birthday!

by Ally Harding, 5:00 AM
So today is my 30th birthday...ok, it's my 27th but I might as well round up so I'm not too shocked when 30 actually comes. 
What fun do I have scheduled for my birthday?! Well I worked last night, so sleeping all day today, then working again tonight. I live the life I tell ya! 
I used to be the person who starts talking about their birthday a month in advance. I'd start mentioning to Theo ideas for my birthday party and he'd just roll his eyes. We would end up going to dinner somewhere nice then meeting up with some friends at a few bars. It was always fun.
This year my birthday snuck up on me, especially since we were in NC all last week. 
I was jokingly whining to my family about how I have to work on my birthday, (I mean does anyone actually enjoy working on their birthday?! I've even heard of big companies that will give you the day off every year.) When my older cousin just rolls her eyes and laughs and says "It's that Generation Y, always think you deserve something." I personally don't think I walk around with a sense of entitlement but then she went on to explain all of the characteristics of Generation Y, and a lot of them hit home.

1. Generation Y prefer to communicate more quickly and effectively via email, social networks or text messaging as opposed to traditional means of communication. Technology needs to be part of this generations day to day life. Ask yourself the question ‘How many 20 somethings do you see without a smartphone?' I know I grew up using AOL Instant Messanger or AIM and that was how I talked to my friends as soon as I got home from school. I would much rather email someone then have to call them. I never leave home without my iPhone and check it constantly.

2. The way one see’s the workplace is entirely different when it comes to Generation Y. Instead of working long shifts to work their way up an organisation the millennial generation prefer flexible working schedules and a more rounded work/life balance. Don’t confuse the generation as lazy. Far from it however family life takes priority over the work place. Many Generation Y’s have grown up with overworked parents and this has driven the new perception to work. The older generation may see this as a commitment issue however the millennial’s merely view life differently and want to find the best blend of an enjoyable life with a fulfilling working environment. This is me for sure. I work 3 12 hour shifts at work and really have a hard time picking up extra shifts because it'll mean I'll miss out on family time.

3. Generation Y are confident and ambitious.  Expectations typically need to be managed as Generation Y’s are confident to take on important roles within organisations as soon as they begin. With young entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerburg the millennials believe theres no limit to what they can achieve. Generation Y have high expectations of their employees and expect this to be matched. Many are not afraid to seek employment elsewhere if this ambition is not met. Unlike generations before them they are happy to change job roles more often to find the right organisation to work within. My mom is a teacher and has been one for 27 years and that was her job out of college and even though she complains about it, she'd never leave it. Most young people I know have switched jobs many times. If they aren't happy with one job, don't sweat it, move on to another. When I first decided I was going to go to nursing school I was working in the scheduling department of the current hospital I work at. I worked with all older women than me who had been there for 10+ years. They didn't exactly love it but it was their job so they stayed with it. I on the other hand hated it from the first day and decided from the beginning I was going to become a nurse and left the job after 1 year.

4. Communication is key for Generation Y however it has to be on the right terms. Sending a Generation Y an email, a tweet or a Facebook message will receive an instant reply whereas a phone call may take a little longer for a return. Within the office environment Generation Y’s prefer communication via email whereas the baby boomer generation prefer to pick up the phone.  Communication which is quick, effective and on Generation Y terms will be conducted in a heartbeat. I'm horrible about calling someone back but will email you back in a second. 

5. Constant feedback, gratitude, relaying to someone they are doing a good job are common characteristics of Generation Y. In generations before this level of communication was unheard of with senior management however Generation Y in the workplace seek this level of love. Having this level of guidance and reassurance is essential when working with and nurturing this generation. This is kind of what my cousin was referring to. I don't think it's that we feel we are "entitled" but that we need positive feedback to get us through the day or else we feel like we are doing this for nothing. I know when I became a nurse I was kind of shocked of how other nurses will tell you in a minute what you did wrong but you never hear of what a good job you're doing and I needed that. I was already so scared and insecure being a new nurse that only hearing what I was doing wrong and not doing right wasn't building up my confidence.





I had never taken the time to read my Generation characteristics before but I found them pretty spot on. What about you? Do these describe you or is it so far off you're wondering if you were born in the wrong generation?
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  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my little Generation Y love :)

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  2. Happy Birthday!!! Too bad the little prince didn't wait for today to make his debut! I'm a Gen X (translate old fuddy dud) but fit into many Gen Y traits!

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  3. Happy birthday one day late!!
    Mine is Friday... Our bday are so close :)
    Hope you had fun! All the best!
    Sara
    Life with Baby Sophia

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