The term Generation Y is synonymous with the term Millennials. According to researchers, they generally classify individuals born during the mid-1980’s and early 2000’s as falling into this category. These individuals have recently entered the workforce and they are considered one of the fastest growing sectors of the current labor force. This article will discuss 5 traits that define Generation Y law professionals.
Generation Y individuals have parents from the Generation X grouping who were born during 1965 – 1980. Both generations came from different backgrounds and societal cultures due to the events they grew up during. Generation Y individuals were generally more indulged in the rearing process than their Generation X parents. Due to that pampering, the younger group became more aware of the mistakes their parents made and they want to become more goal-oriented. However, their drive has caused them to have less fear in questioning authority and they expect more benefits from their employers than previous generations did.
Generation Y law professionals are self-oriented in regard to their careers. They crave direction from their managers and bosses. If such individuals are not in the inner circle, they feel left out. It is important for these individuals to connect in a positive manner with those in leadership and to receive constructive criticism. Managers would do well to also provide regular commendations and reassurances. As a result of being self-oriented, Generation Y law professionals work well with assistance from a mentor and often congregate around the newest self-help guru on the market.
3. Team Player
Generation Y law professionals have come from a parenting strategy of becoming a team player. For example, as students in high school and college, they were highly encouraged to participate in sports and other team-oriented social and volunteer groups. During their early childhood years, many Generation Y children were brought to play groups and encouraged to work well with other children. This generation of professionals grew up during the “no child left behind” educational theory in school. This teaching has carried over into their current professional workplace ethic.
Generation Y law professionals are one of the most technically inclined generations. Basically, these individuals grew up in an environment that was more technically advanced than that of their Generation X parents. This reliance on technology has both benefits and disadvantages. It allows them to better perform their daily work tasks. However, they also don’t know how to “live” without being connected and plugged into technology. This connection to technology makes these professionals more inclined to send an email or text message rather than to engage in personal face-to-face contact. Another factor as it pertains to the workplace is that these individuals would rather participate in a web-based teaching such as a webinar instead of a regular lunch and learn session that their parents may have enjoyed.
Generation Y law professionals have a different perspective than the previous generation regarding balancing work ethic and family time. Due to their self-oriented mentality, they are more willing to seek out a workplace environment that is more life-balanced. This means they would like to have more flexible work hours and less billable hours. Many people see this difference from the high-paced work ethic of the previous generation as Generation Y professionals being self-absorbed and lacking self-discipline and a desire to succeed.
Each generation is different in their ideals, morals and work ethic due to the guidance of their parents and the specific environments they grew up in. As this article discussed, Generation Y professionals are goal-oriented, self-oriented, team-players, technically-inclined and family-oriented.