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The kids today have got it right
weeks




msg:3642351
 10:39 pm on May 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am a card-carrying (AARP) member of the baby-boomers, but if this article in today's WSJ is right, I have to say that the young people today have their heads screwed on right.

According to the article, Generation Y, also known as Millennials, born after 1980 and now age 28 or younger, have grown up with technology, so they "think they can work at any time and any place and believe they should be evaluated on the basis of work produced—not on how, when or where they got it done. Curiously, most Millennials want long-term relationships with employers, but on their own terms," says W. Stanton Smith, a human relations specialist and a principal of Deloitte LLP, who just finished a study.

"The real change in their work-force attitudes is a decrease in ambition in favor of more family/personal time and less pressure in life generally speaking," he told the WSJ.

Also, the Millennials have been raised to question authority and demand value for money. They came of age in a world of layoffs and corporate scandals, fostering the belief that businesses in general, and big businesses in particular, value their own financial gain above all else, and that business talk about the importance of people is largely insincere.

The article says the Millennials respond poorly to those who act in an authoritarian manner and those who expect to be respected due to higher rank alone. They believe they can learn quickly, take on significant responsibility and make major contributions far sooner than baby boomers think they can.

As us baby boomers say, right on!

 

wyweb




msg:3642363
 10:50 pm on May 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

There may be hope yet.

ken_b




msg:3642443
 1:38 am on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

LOL

They believe they can learn quickly, take on significant responsibility and make major contributions far sooner than ...

and the last comparably aged generation that DID NOT think that was ....?

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:3642565
 7:27 am on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Also, the Millennials have been raised to question authority ...

Young people? Questioning authority? Nah, I don't believe it.

Habtom




msg:3642599
 8:24 am on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Generation Y, Millennials, ha?

I thought we were called Echo Boomers :)

Whatever the name, I think I fall in that group, and I approve that message ;)

callivert




msg:3642615
 8:39 am on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

want long-term relationships with employers, but on their own terms

presumably in contrast to the employers' terms.

jecasc




msg:3642643
 9:52 am on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

They believe they can learn quickly, take on significant responsibility and make major contributions far sooner than baby boomers think they can.

In part this may be correct but I have also found that many of those young people are a little overconfident about their abilitys. It reminds me of this young programmer I hired for some time who thought he knew everything about web development and would not take any advice. He only opened up a little when I showed him how I could erase the whole content of the database with a simple "drop table" command in an input field he had created.

After that he was a little more open to suggestions and advice.

Clever and confident is a good combination but I have found the combination stupid and overconfident much too often.

weeks




msg:3642786
 12:56 pm on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

They believe they can learn quickly, take on significant responsibility and make major contributions far sooner than ...

Well, of course. But, I would be really worried if our youth didn't think this. It has always been thus.

It seems to me that the Millennials understand that something is fundamentally wrong with putting employees in a fabric covered box. It's wrong to not to be paid what you are worth. It's wrong for managers and executives not to explain their reasoning.

Murdoch




msg:3643169
 6:35 pm on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

As someone on the cusp of this generation (27) I can say that I never mind hearing the older generation talk about how hard it was to get anything done before the advent of today's technologies. I am grateful to have grown up in an age where I could start programming in Basic on the Tandy Color Computer 2 at age 6.

I saw the creation of the internet as it happened, and as it continues to happen today. What a marvelous thing to have witnessed.

I do have to say though that while my generation has an excellent track record with the ability to adapt to new technologies, our work ethic is typically much much lower than those of generations passed. And that, my friends, is what makes the difference between success and failure.

We're also funnier. :-)

LifeinAsia




msg:3643210
 7:18 pm on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I saw the creation of the internet as it happened

I assume you actually mean the creation of the WWW (from 1991), and not the actual "Internet" that evolved from ARPANET (1969), which some of us old geezers remember using (well, okay, it had eveolved to BITNET when I was using it).

Unless the Generation Y-ers/Millennials/Echo Boomers/whatever have actually invented time travel. :)

our work ethic is typically much much lower than those of generations passed

I think that may partly be due to having access to the modern technology, which makes a lot of work easier. There's a fine line between looking lazy and working more efficiently, which a lot of (older) managers still don't seem to recognize.

Demaestro




msg:3643220
 7:26 pm on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Even though I was born in the early 70s I feel all those things described.

More then just having access to technology, this generation understands the technology more then previous generations. I swear I still deal with people who think magic fairies live in the computer and make it work.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:3643269
 7:59 pm on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

We're also funnier.

And your generation also invented sex, right? ;)

It may be a bit off topic but I always think it's amazing that each new generation thinks they know everything about sex and the preceding generations know nothing. They don't seem to realise that sex has only a few active components and therefore a very limited combination of activities (... and people have been practising these combinations for many thousands of years.)
:)

weeks




msg:3643302
 8:35 pm on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

It may be a bit off topic but I always think it's amazing that each new generation thinks they know everything about sex and the preceding generations know nothing. They don't seem to realise that sex has only a few active components and therefore a very limited combination of activities (... and people have been practising these combinations for many thousands of years.)
:)

Right, but again, would we want to change that attitude? What we see is the young have passion about sex. And, while it's great to have passion about your career, well, anyway...

weeks




msg:3643307
 8:43 pm on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Funnier?

You never saw Laugh-in. And M*A*S*H (the TV show and the movie) is funnier than anything I've seen recently. And Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe is a boomer's book.

callivert




msg:3643389
 11:36 pm on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

our work ethic is typically much much lower than those of generations passed. And that, my friends, is what makes the difference between success and failure.

I can see what you mean about being funnier.

Murdoch




msg:3643844
 1:29 pm on May 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

You never saw Laugh-in. And M*A*S*H (the TV show and the movie) is funnier than anything I've seen recently. And Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe is a boomer's book.

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is indeed an excellent book (as is the Dirk Gently duo by Adams as well, maybe even more so) but I do not consider the literature of one's generation to be a component of its culture.

Especially considering that maybe 1 out of 5 Gen-Y'ers does a healthy dose of (book) reading. But c'mon, M*A*S*H and Laugn-In? Maybe one's sense of humor is directly related to the time period in which they were born (though I do appreciate the historical references made in old Looney Tunes cartoons).

And yes, you are correct, I mean the WWW, not the generic term "Internet". I just have fond memories of running a BBS (on Spitfire) that pretty much dissolved after Compuserve and AOL began running their graphical interfaces, but it was a good time nonetheless.

weeks




msg:3643943
 3:47 pm on May 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Our generation would be proud to take credit for it, but Looney Tunes may owe more to pre-boomer humor.

SlyGuy




msg:3644001
 4:43 pm on May 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

And Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe is a boomer's book.

Surely then, you'd know it's "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" ;)

..seriously though, that particular book is ageless and should be required reading for all students

LifeinAsia




msg:3644020
 4:59 pm on May 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

should be required reading for all students

But then it goes from a fun book to read to a textbook that's a chore to read. :)

rocknbil




msg:3644148
 7:13 pm on May 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

It may be a bit off topic but I always think it's amazing that each new generation thinks they know everything about [everything] and the preceding generations know nothing.

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

- Twain

MatthewHSE




msg:3644158
 7:25 pm on May 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Every generation of youth feels that way.

Every generation of youth is wrong.

Years bring experience and wisdom. I long for a generation when the younger will go to the older and actually seek some wisdom from them.

Spoken from the sublime heights of 26 years old...

weeks




msg:3644290
 10:14 pm on May 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Surely then, you'd know it's "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" ;)

I just call it Hitchhiker's Guide. Thanks for the correction, and thanks for all of the fish...

Anyway, for anyone thinking about checking it out, do get the The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide, which has five Douglas Adams novels "and one story."

ronin




msg:3644646
 12:23 pm on May 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I long for a generation when the younger will go to the older and actually seek some wisdom from them.

In global terms, that social dynamic is quite normal. Go and live in a Confucian or a Buddhist or an Islamic society for a bit and you'll soon have more of that than you can deal with.

You're lucky enough that you live in a post-Enlightenment society where you can choose not to seek wisdom from elders and set out to beat your own path without being ostracised as a social pariah. Don't knock it.

LifeinAsia




msg:3644816
 3:34 pm on May 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I long for a generation when the younger will go to the older and actually seek some wisdom from them.

I actually did choose this path towards enlightenment once. And I received these profound words that I live my life by everyday: "I don't know. Go ask your mother."

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