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Growing gulf between pay of younger and older people

  • June 25, 2018
 

Growing gulf between pay of younger and older people, says TUC

A recent article in the Guardian has identified a ‘growing gulf between pay of younger and older people.’ Whilst young people in the UK are already struggling to save enough money to leave home and get a mortgage, we question whether it is differing attitudes of these generations towards work that is creating this gap?

Marketing expert Simon Sinek thinks yes and has given his take on the difference in attitude of millennials:

‘[Millennials are] thrust in the real world and in an instant they find out they’re not special, their mums can’t get them a promotion, that you get nothing for coming in last - and by the way, you can’t just have it because you want it.’

According to Simon, it is possible that a this it could be the lack of altruism which is leading to millennial’s reduced dedication to their jobs.  As a millennial myself, I do take comfort in Simon blaming parents for the cultivation of this attitude. Maybe I really can blame my parents for the reason I don’t earn as much money as older generations…

We are a generation, according to Simon, used to ‘winning medals for coming last’ and this is a primary perpetrator in encouraging this attitude in comparison to older generations. They didn’t have access to instant gratification: parents couldn’t buy replacements phones straight away, they had to work for their money and if they wanted to communicate with someone it wouldn’t be as simple as sending a WhatsApp.

Is it really the “taking part that counts” attitude, for being able to access anyone at any time and having instant recognition for achievements through social media engagements that has made some of the younger generation entitled and therefore unworthy of higher pay? 

Are workplace benefits the reason for the pay of younger and older people?

Employers are asked quite often from millennials about flexible working hours and the ability to work from home. These have become common requests, with as many as 70% of millennials wanting flexible working hours.  Research by RIAS has also found 44 per cent of younger people were found to have feigned illness to avoid coming into work, compared to just 12 per cent of over-50s. And almost a third of 20 to 39-year-olds also see sick leave as an ‘additional holiday’ that they deserve and are entitled to.

If we put these statistics to an older generation we might hear “back in my day we were happy to have a job and did whatever we had to do to keep it.” Perhaps this is where the millennial generation are having a shortfall in drive. Perhaps it’s lack of gratitude for having a job that makes employers resentful in giving the same payslip to both the millennials and their older, more grateful counterpart. That said, looking at the CVs of millennials you’ll find a vast number of free or low paid internships, work experience and charity work, alongside a Saturday job, university and outside skills. Many millennials perhaps feel “entitled” not because they’re “self-absorbed” but because they work very hard, for very little, and feel they deserve a job which reflects that.

Millennials, starting out at work have such an array of skills, qualifications and experience that perhaps they feel empowered to find the right job which warrants their hard work. An attitude which encourages self-worth but could also hinder career growth and getting that first foot onto the ladder. It’s the shared understanding between self-worth and the desire to progress which is what will make a successful candidate.

What we think

We are finding experience in a specific role or industry is key these days and pay will generally go in line with relevant knowledge and the right attitude, no matter what age or generation you belong to.

 

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