Navigating the world of young adulthood is plenty difficult without media coverage that routinely characterizes your entire generation as a bunch of snot-nosed jerks with wildly unrealistic expectations of what the world owes them. But, here we are — yet another survey has concluded that "Generation I" has a poopy entitled attitude and doting parents who cater to their every whim. God, young people with their entire lives ahead of them, making their first big time mistakes in an unforgiving world are just the worst!
The survey was conducted by job search site Adecco USA and it concluded that young people (college graduates in their early 20's) of today are worse than ever. They expect too much from their jobs! They're naive about getting a job in their chosen field! They're big babies about having to pay for things themselves! And when things don't go their way, they just run to mommy and daddy for help, and mommy and daddy happily write checks. Get a load of these jerkstores, everyone.
Except it seems that "Generation 'I'" doesn't nearly fit the selfish jerk mold into which the survey desperately tries to cram them. For example, the press release emphasizes the fact that 1/3 of employed recent grads only expect to stay in their job for 3 years or less, like that's a testament to the fact that they're a generation bereft of commitment. But what self-respecting 22-year-old believes they're going to be at their first job for 10 years? Expecting to move on after a few years isn't flighty; it's realistic, especially in a job market that's about as stable as a meditation session led by Courtney Love via Twitter. And the survey also cites the fact that 1 in 10 say they'd leave a job they hated after a year as evidence that they're a bunch of selfish prigs. But if you have the financial means to quit your job and find something that better suits your interests, staying in a job you hated for a long time would be stupid and unnecessarily self-flagellating. Further, scoffs the survey results, two thirds of Generation Fuck Everyone Who Isn't Me would hesitate to take a job that didn't allow personal phone calls, checking of personal email, or other personal socialization. No one wants to work in a Draconian office where the official work policy is No Fun Allowed, Ever.
But the cherry atop the The Kids Are All Jerks sundae is the statistics that point to an increased dependance on parents. According to the survey results, a third of youths of today got their job with parental involvement that ranged from their parent helping them find job listings online to writing post interview Thank You notes (young men are helped out by their parents with slightly greater frequency than women). And this is somehow indicative of rampant coddling.
I'm a hair too old to have this survey apply to me; the young folks included were college graduates between 22 and 26. But it's not fair to say that youthful selfishness, wide-eyed optimism regarding the openness of the world before them, and childlike entitlement are exclusive to "Generation I," or that Generation I even exists. Young people can be real shitheads, but that's not a special characteristic of the group of young adults currently getting screwed in every orifice by terrible economic circumstances; it's something that comes with the territory of youth. Early twentysomethings will be crushed by reality soon enough, regardless of what slightly insulting moniker we give them.