7 concessions and a challenge to the Gen-Y naysayers

Cynics have decided that I’m a “Gen-Y Princess” floating oblivious amongst the clouds, here and here.

More specifically, that I’m a high-maintenance spoiled brat. But who’s counting.

I appreciate criticism, even if it’s lackluster on the constructive side. I want this blog to recognize and appreciate the foundation that previous generations have laid and build upon it. To greatness. I want it to be about dialogue and community. And kicking some major butt. This includes realizing when I haven’t given the full picture. Here are seven concessions to the Gen-Y naysayers:

1) Gen-Y will fail. Miserably. We won’t change the world straight away. You have to fail to succeed. When you haven’t wiped the crud off your shoes, you can’t develop emotional intelligence, which is an important factor for career advancement. Only experience will help us learn. Let us take the reins quickly so we can learn quickly.

2) We’re idealistic and naïve. We want to believe in the dream of changing the world a little longer. Why are other generations so intent on crushing the dreams of idealistic youth so swiftly? What sense is there in bringing us to the dark side? Don’t break my knees just as I’m training for the marathon.

3) You have to play the game to win. I know that. I’ve talked about it here. But guess what? The current game sucks. So, along the way, we’re going to break every rule and change what it means to win.

4) Patience is a virtue too. Millennials are an impatient bunch. We want to change things right away, right now, this instant. Patience is crucial in this process to avoid burnout. We understand change takes time, and don’t mind, as long as we’re taking action. Gen-Y patience is about perseverance.

5) You have to pay dues. No one gets to skip paying dues all together. I didn’t like my first job, but I moved on. Good things are learned from bad experiences. The key is to learn those things and move on as soon as possible. The real world isn’t all that great sometimes. Young workers shouldn’t have to pay dues to a workforce that is often dirty, unethical and shameful.

6) We can’t all be leaders. Not all of us are suited to be leaders. True. But the last time I checked, we need leaders to encourage positive change. Most movements today – political, environmental, social – all greatly suffer from lack of visionary leadership. The more quality leaders we can cultivate, the better.

7) Loyalty is important. Gen Y plays the field of careers. It’s not good. But it’s not bad. We’re twenty-somethings; loyalty means something different to us. It’s not about time, but the value that the company and the Gen-Y employee offer each other.

And now the challenge…

The discussion surrounding Generation Y should center on how we can leverage our weaknesses into strengths and how we can use our unique talents effectively in our professional development, entrepreneurial, social, public policy, and philanthropic endeavors.

So please, tell me:

How can Generation Y show respect and learn from previous generations so that we may fully engage in meaningful interactions to our mutual benefit? How can we work together to fulfill our dreams?

Really, I want to know the answer.

Come together.