"Welcome to the era of hedged bets and lowered expectations", says the cover story of Time Magazine. A poll of 18 to 29-year olds, found 65 per cent agreed that it will be harder for their group to live as comfortably as previous generations. But despite the lowered expectations, these twentysomethings have the power to wreak havoc in the workplace:
Companies are discovering that to win the best talent. they must cater to a young work force that is considered overly sensitive at best and lazy at worst … These youngsters are starting to use their bargaining power to get more of what they feel is coming to them. They want flexibility, access to decision making and a return to the sacredness of work-free weekends. "I want a work environment concerned about my personal growth," says Jennifer Peters, 22, one of the youngest candidates ever to be admitted to the State Bar of California. "I don’t want to go to work and feel I’ll be burned out two or three years down the road."
Most of all, young people want constant feedback from supervisors. In contrast with the baby boomers, who disdained evaluations as somehow undemocratic, people in their 20s crave grades, performance evaluations and reviews. They want a quantification of their achievement. After all, these were the children who prepped diligently for college-aptitude exams and learned how to master Rubik’s Cube and Space Invaders. They are consummate game players and grade grubbers. "Unlike yuppies, younger people are not driven from within, they need reinforcement," says Penny Erikson, 40, a senior vice president at the Young & Rubicam ad agency, which has hired many recent college graduates. "They prefer short-term tasks with observable results."
Rubik’s cube and Space Invaders? Yuppies? Should the West Help Gorbachev? That’s right, we’re talking about Generation X. Look closely at the magazine cover and you’ll see the date — July 16, 1990.