I remember watching this movie and thinking that Andrea really needs a makeover. I also remember watching and thinking about how I could never work for someone like Miranda Priestly. A thought that is brought to you by a true Generation Y, Millennial, or, as I like to call it, 'gold-star generation.' Generation Y is composed of people born sometime between around 1980 through early 2000. Unlike the generations before us, we were raised on acknowledgment for simply showing up and participating. On field day in elementary school, you had better believe I was excited for my participation ribbon, because that was all I was winning that day. The only thing we loved more than a participation ribbon was the verbal praise of "good job!" We were raised on milk and "good jobs!" Our childhoods, if nothing else, were positive. Gen. Y also grew up with the ideals that everyone deserves to have their voice heard and honored. This is where we get the idea that "there are no stupid questions." Our educational backgrounds focused on team problem solving and research. In terms of our careers and environments, we have to know that our contribution is valuable. The movie The Devil Wears Prada is a slap in the face; a harsh reminder that the gold-star generation hasn't revolutionized the workplace...yet.
"... And you want to know why she doesn't kiss you on the forehead and give you a gold star on your homework at the end of the day. Wake up, sweetheart." - Nigel
Currently, we have three very different generations working side-by-side: the baby boomers (1946-1964), Gen. X (early 1960s to early 1980s), and Gen. Y. Baby boomers are well-established in their careers. They believe in paying their dues to society, and that money and achievement are the result for working hard, long hours and for blind loyalty. Gen. X watched their hard-working, long-hour parents burn out. As a result Gen. Y values freedom and flexibility. They are self-reliant, independent and have a strong skepticism of authority. Gen. Y loves meaningful work and creative opportunities. If their current jobs don't fulfill that need, they will leave.
What can make the workplace so difficult is the varying fundamental needs of each generation. As Gen. Y continues to join the workforce you must remember that we do want gold stars for a good job, and a kiss on the forehead would be nice, too. But, more importantly, we want mentors, not bosses. We don't want to be scared to make mistakes; we want coached to explore all options and possibilities. We want someone who will get in the mud with us. We want to work for a leader and visionary, not a dictator. Give us a unifying goal (a real one), and we will work hard and win in our careers for ourselves and for our mentors and coaches.
In the meantime, "wake up, sweetheart." The baby boomers and Gen. X are still trying to figure out what to do with us Millennials, which means your "boss" probably isn't your mentor or coach. Coworkers are annoyed that you question everything and don't want to work in team with you. So, give yourself a private stash of gold stars ( yes, they still make them), and give yourself a kiss in the mirror for the good job you did today. Make the decision to do the job others would die for.