Quarsh Blog

Generation Y and the Graduate Exploitation

Third-year university students graduate at a high level of academia; when they are promptly pushed off that pedestal and find themselves bottom of the pile, with the realisation that they now need to find their feet within the working world.

The working world provides great difficulty for graduates. There is a lack of opportunities due to the masses that are competing for individual job roles; the graduate is thought to be too inexperienced with most roles expecting 1-2 years’ experience in their required field. A lot of companies seem to want graduates to have both a respectable degree AND also have a years’ experience, which is unworkable since many graduates will prioritise their degrees over work whilst they're at university.

Which brings us to the internship - working for free. But, it’s acceptable to allow somebody to work for free because they provide valuable experience whilst giving the role the fancy name, “internship”. Too many companies expect graduates to pay for their own training and then work for free.

With new experience gained from internships under their belts (and money problems), graduates are slightly more attractive to their employer. It’s time to apply for job roles that they can see themselves excelling at. You receive the call and schedule an interview, scrape together the money to make it to the interview only to find that the job description you originally read was a job you do not want in disguise.

It is at this point where I noticed a key correlation when talking to fellow graduates. Upon (finally) gaining their first graduate job, each graduate admitted their degree (that they spent years studying) has little use for their entry level job. The graduates are often eager to please, they’re willing to do the jobs that colleagues refuse to do simply because they desperately need the experience as well as the job itself, which is easy for an employer to take advantage of. The job market is so saturated, recent graduates generally feel the need to carry a heavier workload as a way of justifying a company giving them a job - when really, that isn’t the case. Each graduate I spoke to felt their job load outweighs their pay packet. They are overloaded with work whilst their colleagues are on a higher wage whilst having a smaller workload, and yet, our generation has been labelled by Simon Sinek as “entitled, narcissistic, self-interested, unfocused and lazy'’.

But, maybe that’s because we are entitled - entitled to expect more, and yes, we are aware that the world doesn’t revolve around us. The hoops we have to jump through in order to obtain an entry level job surely gives us some right to want that little bit more for our careers. Maybe, Simon has been surrounding himself with the wrong types of millennia’s because every millennial I know is career driven and wanting to excel in their job.

Generation X, (in my opinion) are the first to criticise today’s millennia’s because they are completely unaware of our struggle. We have to pay for our own work experience and take on the huge university fee increase, house prices are completely unachievable and our generation earns less than our parents at our age, (just to name a few reasons!). How many generation X’s can really come forward and say they have had to work for free? Especially for the amount of time someone from Generation Y has had to. How many still lived at home at the age of 24? Not many I’m sure.

So, if we are entitled, narcissistic, self-interested, unfocused and lazy, then so be it. I’m going to take my generation 'snowflake' self back to my large workload and helping the generation Xs on how to tweet… since we want to stereotype.