gen-y.jpgI had lunch with some savvy Corporate types from a financial services company yesterday, and we got on the topic of the younger generation.

The one guy at the table talked about how his older, teenage daughter wants to become a doctor but she’s never worked a day in her life. He wondered how she was going to handle being thrown into the work/grind mixture when she goes for her internship at a big hospital in a big city.

And from there, the conversation turned to how so many young workers today expect not to pay dues and just sail through their careers.

This morning, I see a story in the Wall Street Journal about how employers are paying younger workers to volunteer. Why? It can help attract Gen Y workers.

Employers are bending over backwards to attract these employees. In one case a hiring manager told me her firm sends care packages to college students’ homes to butter up the parents.

There’s a lot of hand-holding that goes on with this generation, my lunch mates and me surmised.

So, are Gen Ys just babies? I asked this question of my intern, Katherine Guiney, who is 20.

“We are babies,” she agrees. “We had it easy. We live in suburbia and our parents do everything for us.”

Is that a bad thing?

“Not necessarily,” she says. “As long as you realize it.”

So, who’s going to run the country in 20 years?

I can’t really defend how we’ve run this place…war, global warming, the biggest gap between rich and poor in our history.

Maybe Katherine and her buddies will do better.

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