It’s not a large number, but still 3% of 2012 Gen Y graduates reported that their parents had accompanied them to a job interview. Parents trying to help their kids land jobs is nothing new. It’s just usually accomplished through networking connections or nepotism, not outright tagging along. Still those cases are rare.

Gen Y employees and recent grads (those between 18 and 29 years old) are often the target of negatively toned news stories. They’re described as lazy, entitled, non-committal and still living off mom and dad. According to Adecco Group’s North America 2012 Graduation Survey, 2012’s Gen Y grads fit the bill.

Case in point: Adecco’s survey found that a small 3% of 2012 grads expect to stay at a job for more than 5 years. One-third expect to stay for 3 years or less.

When looking for that exciting, engaging and well-paying job, Gen Y wants it all. When asked to prioritize a list of 15 job-search related factors, (company culture, benefits, company prestige etc.), over half of survey respondents said they’d expect to receive a majority once hired.

A large majority (90%) of grads said they would only work at a job they didn’t like for less than a year. One-fifth (21%) said they would stay for only 3 months before quitting. If they weren’t assigned work that didn’t fit their interests, 18% said they would leave their current job.

More than half still get some kind of financial help from mom and dad and one-third get help from their parents in the job search area. And yes, it’s true, a small (but scary) 3% of grads said their parents have joined them in a job interview (let’s hope they read or responded to this question incorrectly).

Although not mentioned in this study specifically, the common theme seems to be that the root of Gen Y’s downfall, our fatal flaw, is our impatience.

While there’s nothing wrong with wanting it all with a cherry on top, Gen Y (myself included) can be quick to forget that all the parts of their perfect career sundae probably won’t come in just one bowl. True career satisfaction can take years to figure out, but Gen Y is used to the instant satisfaction that comes with a quick Google search.

For now, I’m working on keeping the ice cream cold, so that when I move onto the chocolate sauce, sprinkles and whipped cream part of my career, I’ll appreciate that cherry so much more.


Nicole Wray, @NikkiWray, is a member of Generation Y and a regular contributor to Workopolis.