Generation Y and job loss

March 11, 2009
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Is the Generation Y/ “highly praised” generation taking job loss worse than other attorneys or even others their same age in different professions?

You definitely have to have a certain type of personality and work ethic to become an attorney: hard working, type-A, detail oriented, go-getter kind of person. Combine your personality with the fact you grew up constantly hearing how great you were at everything you did (and probably got a trophy for something even if you didn’t actually win the competition), and attorneys from this generation who can’t find a job may be taking it harder than others.

The fresh out of law school students and young associates under the age of 30 could answer this question better than I can since I am not an associate looking for a job. But being around that age, I can understand the theory that people our age may be more affected mentally by the rejection. You’ve worked hard to become an attorney and expect to get a job out of school or hold on to the one you’ve got, so not having a job is a major blow to the ego and self-esteem. Suddenly, no matter how hard you work, you can’t get the results you want. Plus, if you’ve been in school since the age of 6, you haven’t really had to deal with rejection and struggles like finding a job.

Does this theory have any weight to it? As someone who grew up on the cusp of the “highly praised” generation, I can see how handling rejection can be more difficult for us than someone 10 or 15 years older, especially if we were told we could do anything we wanted and we did everything great.
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  • Oh please. I\'m a young associate and have never experienced the high praise to which you refer.
    I also doubt that many young associates or law students have made it out of law school without taking at least one serious knock to the ego. The reality for young lawyers is the same as lawyers (and people) of any generation. It is scary and unnerving to be without employment. Plain and simple.

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