What we can learn from Gen Y.

I’m Generation X, our kind are pre-programmed to think ill of Gen Y. It must be some kind of fight or flight survival instinct or something. Either that, or because Gen Y are whinging brats who really should move out of home and discover the joys of living on 2 minute noodles and such. But I digress…..

Generation X’ers can learn a thing or two from Gen Y, if we choose to stop being judge-y for a little bit. (it’s hard though, because we’re good at it)

The biggest thing we can learn from Gen Y is belief in ourselves.
Generation Y back themselves 100%.
Ask them if they know how to do something and they’ll tell you they’re an expert, even if they only heard of whatever it was yesterday. Talk a Gen Y person who’s been in a job for a year and they will firmly believe they should be in management because they know everything. Gen Y don’t think they need to go to new software training, because they’re Gen Y and they just know it.

More than likely the belief comes from parents telling them they’re amazing and brilliant at everything they do. The consequence being Gen Y believe they’re amazing and brilliant at everything they do. Regardless of whether they are or not.

Gen X could do with a dose of this attitude. We think if you don’t have a string of qualifications and years’ of experience you’re not good enough. We place too much emphasis on what others think of us, instead of what we think of ourselves, and becasue we like to judge, we don’t see that we can learn from Gen Y.

I’ve recently become a part time swimming teacher. It’s a profession dominated by the youth. I’d guess most teachers are between 17 and 22. I’m older than 17 and 22 put together but the people I work with are generous with their time, in teaching me tricks of the trade. They have confidence and belief in themselves that sees them completely comfortable teaching 6 year olds how to swim in deep water, meanwhile I was a nervous wreck for weeks when I got my own classes. Most of all, I’ve noticed the Gen Y’s who are teaching me, are not at all judge-y. I don’t know what they say about me when I’m not there, and frankly it’s none of my business, but it is impressive to work with people who are professional, generous with time and advice and confident in their ability. Something we Gen X’ers could be better at.



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