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Recently, I have not been happy concerncing my work environment: The work load and interactions with my superiors. So I resigned, without a job offer already at hand. I tried beforehand to explain my reasoning, however, without a future job offer, for the old generation’s boss this looked more like blackmailing and bluffing. Thus, let us analyse the mindset of generaion Y a bit.

Changing is not job hopping

An article about job hoppers shows that generation Y is switching jobs as no generation before. They do not fear to leave a job even without having already a new one. Other reports indicate same behaviour. I see this around me quite frequently. Personally, I do not like to quit a job. I consider myself loyal as long as my employer is trustworthy and loyal.

Job hopping is defined by

  1. A short timespan of company affilation: Depending on your country and your industry this time span can be either 1 year or 2 years. For industries like counceling, rapid changes are more common
  2. Multiple times of switching: You have a series of small timespans working for the same company.

It is a bit different when you switch the job within a company regularly. This might be even common in certain industries and wished for because the education of leading personal might have a trainee-like background in different departments.

But job hopping is a missing long term connection towards one single company. How can we explain short term actions?

Orders without meaning

Why seems loyality to be such a big issue of the young 30s these days. Is it a lacking sense of finding common ground? Is it the egocentric world view? Is it a reluctance of adapting and working hard?

From my observations, I can say that this is far from the reality. In fact, generation Y shows a strong will to work hard if they know and align with the purpose of their work. They are social and adaptable because no generation before has been as connected and chatty as they were due to growing up with internet. They are very open minded.

And here, I find a big gap with the traditional role models of a boss. The existence of orders and commands without showing of purpose, general mistrust in my skills and reliablity are showing no respect of my time that I sacrifice for the company. Yes, I am paid BUT (!) I can be paid in another place, as well. I want to flourish and grow in a humane surrounding. “I do not want a boss, I want a coach“. This is a clear statement.

So why does generation Y resign so often?

Generation Y likes to self-develop and adapt but with a big focus on fairness and purpose. This is why they are called generation Y: “Why shall I do this?”

A problem occurs when this expectation is not met – and it can be very easily undermined. Adapting to a company can be done but then you can still fail on the other three points: You are not self-developing your gen Y because they do the same thing time in and time out, missing purpose in and might be even feeling mistreated.

So what can you do as a executive to help out?
Give them space.
Give them meaning.
Let them grow on different tasks and challenges.
Show them that you care.

Many leaders are now in their 50s and have learned the strict way of the 80s leadership style. They have to rework on their norms. Be a modest leader.

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