Misconceptions around Generation Y

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Generation Y, also known as millennial are born between 1981 and 2000. They are already transforming the workplace.

Hannah Seligson, herself a Generation Y, just released her new book called “Mission: Adulthood: How the 20-Somethings of Today Are Transforming Work, Love, and Life.” She followed over the years 7 Generation Y. She says they can’t be ignored. Generation Y, at 77 million, is the largest generation since the Baby Boomers. Also, they are everywhere. To some extent, as digital natives, they are foreign creatures, who work, date, and, socialize differently.

Most members of Generation Y prefer to work for smaller firms that offer more flexibility and the chance to do social networking at work without strict corporate guidelines.  Recent studies have shown that the highest concentration of Generation Y workers (47%) work for companies with fewer than 100 employees, followed by medium-sized companies with between 100 and 1,500 employees (30%).

There are many misconceptions in regards to Generation Y.  I won’t get into these here. I suggest you read Hannah’s new book.  However, I will point common generational behaviours when looking for a job:

  1. Looking for work that allows them to feel they are contributors for a bigger cause.
  2. Looking for life-balance not from the perspective of balancing work with life but from doing their work from a location of their choosing. (As long as the work gets done).
  3. Failing to clean up their social media profile.
  4. Looking for being employed and being their own boss at the same time.
  5. Doing poor follow-up on job interview.
  6. Failing to show generational deference.
  7. Relying too heavily on networking to find a job.

Of course, there is room for interpretation whenever something new comes up.  At the end, every generation has its load of challenges.  What Generation Y is facing for certain is the cleaning up of the environmental mess made by the generations preceding them.


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