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1.25.2010

Generation Y believes in hard work to get ahead

Posted by: Sharalyn Hartwell - Examiner.Com

Despite being frequently stereotyped as spoiled and possessing a sense of entitlement, the majority of Millennials believe it takes hard work to get ahead, according to University of California, Berkeley survey results published in The Baby Boom Americans Born 1946 to 1964.

As a whole, two-thirds of Americans believe hard work, rather than luck, gets you ahead in life and business. But, even more Millennials than Boomers believe in hard work, rather than luck, 70 percent versus 63 percent. Similarly, 71 percent of Gen X believes in hard work to get ahead.

This information certainly does not correlate with the recognized attributes of Generation Y, known as the Trophy Generation for growing up on sports teams where everyone got a trophy, win or lose. Instead, this statistic implies Generation Y maybe learned a thing or two from their hard-working Boomer parents. They are ready to dig in and roll up their sleeves as necessary.

Bottom line, more Gen Y’ers than you may think are ready and more than willing to work hard to get where they want to be. There ultimately is not that big of a difference in fundamental work ethic and value of work between Generation Y and Boomer (or between Millennials and X’ers for that matter). Gen Y just tends to be more selective in what capacities they expend hard work.

The real difference is the end result. The Gen Y view of the American dream is not necessarily the typical Boomer aspirations of a big house with a white picket fence and climbing the corporate ladder. Rather, Generation Y’s definition of success is more of working hard while maintaining a favorable work-life balance (i.e. work hard AND play hard).

..:: Note: A big thank you to Kathy Mills of Factix Research for passing along statistical information.

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