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starMetro, sAruRDAy ll MAy 2013 ###'ffi-42ffiw"*ew il Fl ECENILY, I've stumbled upon ftf manv articles on Gen Y, I \Milldnials, Echo Boomers whatever you want to call those ffiiiJJiil'"r"':ir:iildilt"."'" ^, I |lFB Being a Gen-Y myself, I can stomach all those generalisations, but the one that really got my goat was a under 30 year olds - in the mainstream media. We are typically credited as being disloyal, lazy, surgi- cally attached to our phones as well as being self-indulgent. write-up on the blog of an Australian, radio station. It wrote that apparently not only are we incredibly selfish, we also live offour parents for almost everything. The writer cites a study, which notes that only a third of Australian Gen Y rated their jobs as being'very important" while 18- to 3g-year-olds in the UK "expect" their parents to cook and clean for them. The ignoramus goes further to say that these parents even lend financial assistance for entertainment expens- es or to pay off their child's phone bills. While the writer does not specifi- cally state who commissioned these studies, or gave any indication on what the methodology used was, it is rather disconcert- ing to see how people attempt to categorise our traits, hopes and ambitions rather incorrectly, I might add

Debunk Myth GenY

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Debunk Myth GenY

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  • starMetro, sAruRDAy ll MAy 2013 ###'ffi-42ffiw"*ew il

    Fl ECENILY, I've stumbled uponftf manv articles on Gen Y,I \Milldnials, Echo Boomerswhatever you want to call those

    ffiiiJJiil'"r"':ir:iildilt"."'" ^, I |lFBBeing a Gen-Y myself, I canstomach all those generalisations, butthe one that really got my goat was a

    under 30 year olds -

    in themainstream media.

    We are typically creditedas being disloyal, lazy, surgi-cally attached to our phones aswell as being self-indulgent.

    write-up on the blog of an Australian,radio station.

    It wrote that apparently not onlyare we incredibly selfish, we also liveoffour parents for almost everything.

    The writer cites a study, whichnotes that only a third of AustralianGen Y rated their jobs as being'veryimportant" while 18- to 3g-year-oldsin the UK "expect" their parents tocook and clean for them.

    The ignoramus goes further to saythat these parents even lend financialassistance for entertainment expens-es or to pay off their child's phonebills.

    While the writer does not specifi-cally state who commissioned thesestudies, or gave any indicationon what the methodology usedwas, it is rather disconcert-ing to see how peopleattempt to categoriseour traits, hopes andambitions ratherincorrectly, I might add

  • - despite us being very

    disparate individuals.However, although I do appreciate

    the need for stereotyping -

    ater all, it!s an important part of us trying tobreak down the complexities of-theworld and life in general into bite-sized pieces

    - there are oftentimesthat we get it wrong, and gives a badname to the individuals at hand.

    For instance, I don't actually knowof anyone who "expect" their parentsto do chores for them, nor am I famil-iar with anybody who

    - at this age

    -still asks their parents for money towatch a movie,or have a drink.

    And if the general election hastaught us anything

    - it is that Gen y

    are not as self-involved or apolitical aswe were made out to be.

    So, I am hoping to debunk the manymyths of what under-30s are com-monly typecast to be.

    Myth #l: We are disloyal.If I had a dollar for the number oftimes I have heard this stereotypebeing thrown about I would be a mil-lionaire.

    We are not disloyal, we are simplyon the constant lookout for betteropportunities. And if a better prospectcomes by, logically, who wouldn'tsnap it up?

    I once had a boss that wanted me topromise that I would dedicate the nextfive years of my life to staying in thecompany that I was then working at.' "Stay and you'll go far," he said. Butmy question was, where would thenext five years take me? What posi-

    tion would tr have achieved after theend ofthose years oflabour?

    With no clearanswerin sightand noreal reason to stay, I left for greenerpastures. Gen Ywant a solid, long termrelationship with a company, but wemust also be certain that the organisa-tion wants the same thing for us.

    As Bruce Tulgan, co-author ofMana$ng GenerationY puts it : "They'revery loyal. It's just not the kind ofblind loyalty you get in a kingdom

    -blind loyalty to the hierarchy.';

    Myth #2:We are tech mvw.No, actually, we are not. There aremany, many others out there who aremuch more technologically inclinedthan us Gen-Y.., Take larry Page or Bill Gates, whoare both 40 and 57 years old respec-tively, as a case in point. There isilsothe brilliant Steve Jobs, who passedaway at the age of 56.

    I think what we are, though, is beingtechnologically dependent. There is adifference

    - admittedly; we are

    attached to our devices.The Connected World Technolog

    Reportby Cisco revealed that a third ofAustralia's Gen Y crowd suffer with-drawai symptoms when separatedfrom their smartphones.

    And it is true, we do love our gadg-ets. I am even guilty of texting myhousemates when they're in the'nextroom.

    My!h- f3: t{. arc an increasinglyselfish bunch.

    But we'are not. In fact, according toDeloitte's Volunteer lmpact Suitey,there is an extremely stiong correli-tion between workplace volunteeractivities and promoting positive cor-porate culture.

    Employed adults between the agesof 2'l to 35 prefer to work at compa-nies that provide volunteering servic-es, and tend to feel more loyal towardsorganisations that offer ttiese oppor-tunities.

    An article in Bloomberg BuSinessweekalso notes that members of Gen yhave volunteered in their commun!ties more so than any other genera-tion in American history, aird areknown to be the "most,civic-mindedgeneration since World War II".

    But perhaps we shouldn't even betermed as being a "generation" alto-gether.

    Afterall, we're not just a category ofpeople, with stereotypical quirks, per-sonalities and traitq.

    We are more -

    as Karen Foster, asociologist at Saint Mary's Universityin Canada

    - terms it, a "matter of

    ideas", which shape, mould and growin response to various happenings insociety; be it the state of the econo-my, the fast'paced world of tectrnot-ogy, or the ever-changing face ofpolitics.

    Joyce Au-Yong is a Malaysian who is arelent Masters graduate the universityof Sydney, and rarcls in the many iois(and idiosynrasies) that the city hds tooffer.