I've certainly observed a characteristic said to describe a lot of Generation Y: entitlement. In particular, the feeling of entitlement to status without having the experience.
I was reminded of this recently when talking with an old Gen X friend who was talking about hiring Gen Y'ers who expected to go straight into management positions without having had any experience.
I started wondering if this is really a characteristic specific to Gen Y or if every generation has this issue with younger generations. I know when I was in my early twenties I felt very entitled to status.
The justification I'm sure I gave myself was one of wanting to be judged on merit not age. I hear the same thing from Gen Y.
It's easy to tell yourself this and dismiss the value of experience.
But then I started to wonder: is this related to Carol Dweck's distinction between a Fixed Mindset and a Growth Mindset?
In brief, people with a Fixed Mindset overemphasize the necessity of innate talent to success. People with a Growth Mindset (which Dweck encourages) emphasize the importance of dedication and hard work.
One of the "curses" of a Fixed Mindset is if at first you fail at something, you give up because you take it as a sign you're lacking the natural talent.
There's a lot more I could say about the Fixed vs Growth Mindset but I encourage you to go read up on Carol Dweck's research.
Coming back to the possible relationship to the entitlement of Gen Y (and maybe anyone when they're young)...
If you have too much of a Fixed Mindset, you probably undervalue experience. You likely think you have just as much ability to do a job as someone with far more hours notched up.
A Growth Mindset, on the other hand, celebrates building up experience over time. It encourages you that you don't need to be at the top-of-the-ladder from the get-go. There's nothing wrong with starting small and working your way up slowly.
I hope people can learn the value of a Growth Mindset at a younger age than I was when I first did.