15 Oct Does Gen Y Have a Passion Issue in the Workplace?

Generation Y entering the workplace is creating quite a stir. The New York Times refers to them as the “Generation Why Bother” and USA Today calls them pampered and high maintenance.

The entitlement attitude is not going over well in the workplace. Is this generation really that selfish, or is it confusion and languaging that is the culprit?

Generation Y was raised during the period when “follow your passion” became the number one career advice. This is quite misleading. Of course one should aim for work that fulfills them. But when told to “follow” your dreams or passions, it implies that your passion is fully formed and you will find a career that you love from day one.

The reality is that most people who love what they do for a living developed a passion for their career slowly. Usually this passion comes from unexpected paths or turns of events. It is rare to find that someone loves his or her vocation before becoming good at it.

The early stages of any great career might not feel great at all. The term “follow your passion” leads one to believe their passion somewhere in another place – where a perfect job is waiting. So of course members of this generation seem to demand a lot from their working life right away.

Somehow the idea became ingrained in Gen Y’s collective mind that if work is not enjoyable immediately it can’t be your passion. What’s missing from this scenario is the “paying your dues” or skill set growing phase – less fun but where experience plants the seed and passion is cultivated.

Sibet B Freides