COMPLEMENTARY: Nicole Thompson from Generation Y and Kerry Watkin from the Baby Boomer generation said they work well together.
COMPLEMENTARY: Nicole Thompson from Generation Y and Kerry Watkin from the Baby Boomer generation said they work well together. Tony Martin

Gen Y fights ‘lazy' tag

ABSOLUTELY no work ethics, lazy, permanently attached to their iPhone and have an overdose of self importance.

Yep, Generation Y has been called it all.

By next year 40% of the workforce will be made up of people who were born between 1982 and 1998.

They have grown up with the internet and instant communication. But are Generation Y an employer's nightmare?

Autocorner financial controller Donna Heideman is in charge of about 20 administration staff at Mackay Toyota.

The staff are a mix of Generation Y, Generation X and Baby Boomers.

Ms Heideman said she loved her Gen Y's and that they worked well with the Baby Boomers in the office.

"I personally think that people who are in the older age bracket struggle to keep up with technology," Ms Heideman said.

"That's where the Gen Y are useful... and they (Gen Y) absorb new technology so easily."

She said she has experienced some younger employers who had a typical Gen Y attitude.

"I think they pretty quickly work out what's really going on - you have to come to work to earn a living, that's the reality."

Ms Heideman said that Gen Y employees were fast workers and were always willing to learn new skills.

"They work fast and hard. They will give anything a go," she said.

"They are spurt workers and I embrace that. They can do some things in a quarter of the time that I can."

She said Baby Boomers might work slower, but they will work hard and persistently for long periods of time.

According to the Queensland Tourism Industry Council the average Gen Y employee will have 29 jobs and seven different careers in their working lifetime.

Nicole Thompson, 20, said that Gen Y were getting a tough rap and that it was just a stereotype.

"Not all Gen Y's are lazy," Ms Thompson said.

"We have grown up with computers and the internet; I often help out the Baby Boomers when it comes to using their phones."

Baby Boomer Kerry Watkin said Gen Y's were the first to help her if she was having problems with new technologies.

"Everything I have learnt about computers I have learnt while I was on the job," Ms Watkin said.

"And I have learnt a lot of this from them (Gen Y).

"If I throw my arms up in the air and not know how to do something it is generally one of the younger ones who will come and help me," she said.


  •  Born between 1982-1998
  •  Age 13-29
  •  Will have about 29 jobs in their working lifetime
  •  Grown up watching Lord of the Rings and Reality TV
  •  Impatient, demand workplace flexibility and have no job loyalty
  •  Fast learners, ambitious and financially smart


  •  Born between 1946-1964
  •  Age 47-65
  •  Older Baby Boomers are approaching retirement
  •  Watched Jaws and listened to the Rolling Stones
  •  Slow learners, less likely to want to learn new skills
  •  Have job loyalty, are good with people and have experience

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