Gen Y ... can we have it all in the corporate world?

It's tough to have it all. We're Gen Y. We're young, ambitious, eager to succeed. We're educated, well-travelled and ready for a challenge. We are used to change, and have learnt to embrace it.

We also resent being chained to our desks, are wondering how we ended up staring at a screen all day, but find ourselves climbing the corporate ladder as we ponder this. We've survived a number of restructures, our titles have changed, and the excitement of corporate travel has fallen by the wayside.

We work hard and we play hard (when we manage to leave the office at a reasonable hour). We take for granted the excesses of the corporate card, but we're still saving to buy our first property. We want to take our 3 month mini-breaks to climb Machu Pichu and trek in Nepal, we value meaningful relationships, and we know money isn't the solution to our problems. But we still enjoy the lifestyle it brings.

As social researcher Hugh Mackay once told an audience at the Pyrmont Library, the mantra of our generation is "keep your options open". He told that "the generational ethos is bred into them: keep your options open, hang loose, don't get too committed too soon."

We've lost the idealism we had at university and know that we have to work to achieve our goals. But we know life is not all about work... we're "young professionals" in black and grey but we still care about music, edgy fashion and fabulous food. We still want to find meaning in the small things, cry and laugh reading non-business related books, and dance to daggy music like no one's watching.

So when we do manage to beat the clock, what are we doing?


  1. Starting my own business! This post summarises exactly my thoughts... kind of depressing though!

  2. This article has been published in the James Johnson Daily -