Does anybody understand the graduates or are they just talking to the wall?

After reading the Straits Times article: ‘Don’t blame the millennials if you can’t hold on to them’ that was published on the 12th of April 2016, I had an urge to write about something that had been on my mind — bothered me for years but I couldn’t quite figured it out until now.

So what on earth does the ‘millennials’ even refers to? A quick search on wiki tells us that they are the:

‘cohort following Generation X which is Generation Y and are born as early as the 1980s to the 2000s’.

The title says that the Gen Y is being blamed for being unable to stay on long in a company and tends to quit after a few months, at most a few years, usually no more than 2. So why is that we ask?

The article mentions that everyone complains that the company have:

  1. Extremely bad working culture, in the sense that most juniors would usually have to work longgggg hours like 8.30am to 8.30pm on most days and a mandatory overtime on alternate Saturdays. Best of all, be required to do menial tasks such as buying coffee for their seniors.

Actually, most of them find it acceptable if there are ‘real work’ to be done such as rushing for the month end closing or tallying the accounts at the end of the financial year. However, most of the time, they are just doing OT for the sake of it in which the superiors would even go to the extent of threatening and exposing their ‘laziness’ to the higher ups and of course, that would presumably affect their year end performance bonuses. Isn’t that just sad? Sad that up to this modern era, when we have the best quality in education and technology to help advance our business potentials and human resources, that redundancy and unwise management still exists?

2. Gen Y are groomed, told by their educators, sold to their bosses with an idea that they are awesome, intelligent, wise, a team player, someone that will rise up to the challenges of the job, enjoy the exhilarating position with bright future prospects. But is that always the case?

It goes without saying that everyone in the right mind would love such a job — with a reasonable payout, exciting, a learning journey, great leader and mentor with awesome prospects. However, when the excitement dies out and it dies out FAST— we find ourselves being stuck with the mundane and repetitive tasks of the job. UNLESS the department is project based with a term of 2–6 months, I don’t see how a job can continue to be ‘exciting’ 24/7 365 days. I am strictly talking about a typical office worker + a graduate + a millennial. Perhaps we have unrealistic expectations that is not and will never be found in office jobs ever? That such a ‘perfect’ culture is non-existent except in popular culture/ movies/ articles which features huge conglomerates such as your Facebook and Google? (Awww, those entertainment rooms and yummy food in those pantries.) So is the Gen Y asking for too much or that the industry standard is simply that low since the beginning till now? Ultimately a little of both?

3. Lastly, the article talks about a junior consultant that was bring told frequently that the company places its clients’ needs as its priority BUT often witnesses that these clients being charged with unnecessary services.

I am not saying that all people in Gen Y have a big heart, straight moral compasses, good characters and values, but when you just started working and you truly BELIEVED (past tense) in the company’s values and mottoes, you’d thought that you had made the right choice until you started seeing how fucking ‘dark’ everything actually is. Things aren’t always what they say they are — I guess it’s okay not telling the full truth which is better than making something up that appears to be morally upright. Perhaps Gen Y, not being born into an era of physical and mental suffering, or with great financial difficulties, aren’t too particularly fond of chasing money over establishing themselves ‘appropriately’. The senior generation might be less concerned about how morally upright your businesses is but the young would somehow ‘judge’ if one made it out successfully with underhanded methods. Perhaps pride and acknowledgement is a thing with Gen Y?

So sooner or later, everyone started having the mentality of ‘using’ the current experience at this ‘shit job’ as a milestone for something better, something ‘exhilarating’, satisfying even. Knowing that their current job is just a shitload of crap and isn’t as gratifying as people say it is, they would inevitably stop, drop and move on elsewhere. Who can blame them? Finally, the article ended off saying that:

It is not an advancement or improvement in human resource or training that we are after. There is nothing wrong with the way we hire people or their caliber but is in the way of how companies ‘sell’ their positions, and how they assign tasks to the workers or not explaining the importance of certain ‘mundane and repetitive’ tasks.

It makes me feel that what we need is to simply and easily said — create a startup. Have your own company values, hire the best that you can, have a vision of serving the best to your clients, delete repetition and redundancy, maximize efficiency and productivity, keep working hours to the minimum as long as serious shit gets done, respect co-workers’ privacy and personal space, expect respectful and open feedback, creative and relaxing work spaces, logical and wise leaders, platforms for ideas to bounce off and lastly, a healthy dose of practical realism. *me laughing cynically*

This is not an essay substantiated with abundant evidences. It’s more like an opinionated piece, so feel free to share your ideas and comment below!

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