Plenty of get up and go
I've read some articles recently that the problem with Gen Y is they're lazy, or lacking motivation to find a job in what is a very tough job market.
the New York Times got in on the act recently writing that "despite 8.3% nationwide unemployment, members of
Having spent a few years living in America, being Gen Y myself (albeit one of the oldest!), and volunteering alongside many young people on political campaigns in both America and Britain, I have to disagree with the New York Times and others who are already writing off today's young people.
Certainly the job market is incredibly tough for school leavers and graduates at the moment, and there are lots of reasons for young people to feel depressed about their career prospects. However, the majority of young people I come into contact with (Harvey Nash consultants volunteer to run career workshops for 16, 17 and 18 year old students in a number of inner city UK schools) are highly motivated and willing to overcome the challenges they face to achieve a rewarding career.
such example is Shabnam who is 16 years old and lives in
However, rather than simply focus on her own job prospects Shabnam is also planning to develop an employability programme that focuses on enhancing the job prospects for many Asian women throughout her community. She recently wrote to me saying that her aim is to "lift the self esteem of many Asian women in my area. We know that this is a long journey but I don't see how things will change without us giving it a try."
Shabnam and her friends are not 'Generation Why Bother' as the New York Times referred to them. In fact for many Gen Y there is a realisation that they will be inheriting problems that they will have to solve because their parents weren't responsible enough to.
It will fall to our generation to resolve some of the most difficult political, economic and social problems any generation has faced, including our grandparents in the 'greatest' generation.
These problems are not of our making and they have been exacerbated by generations of politicians who have lacked the courage to tackle the ticking time-bomb of aging populations, declining tax revenues and runaway entitlement costs.
In sixty years time I hope an aging Gen Y commentator will write to the New York Times (or tweet them or ask my grandkids how to use whatever gadget the newspaper is published on in 2072!) and remind them that it was Gen Y who rebalanced the national budgets and looked after the generations who spent their kids inheritance, all while raising our own families to ensure the next generation of ambitious and smart young kids are ready to take on the world.
Read further Gen Y blog articles here