The term has been hitting the workforce like a storm lately. If you are like me and enjoy reading about business and the workplace, chances are you’ve stumbled upon at least one-if not a half dozen-articles about Gen Yers, also known as Millenials, who are graduating from college now and getting ready to enter the workforce.
So just how much will the workforce change once they make their move? And what do we need to do, those of us who passed by 20 so long ago that we can barely remember it, to keep up with the times, which, as Dylan once sang, are a’changing?
I read an article online recently written for Pink magazine in which the author made some really interesting points about the difference between those that are just now entering the workforce and those of us who have been around for quite some time.
For one thing, kids in their twenties don’t know life before cell phones, the Internet or email.
Can you imagine? I can still recall winding that long white phone cord around my finger while hiding out in the closet, twenty five feet away from the actual phone’s base, talking to my friends from down the street. If we wanted to talk to someone who wasn’t in our house we had to pick up the rotary phone and dial. And if that person had just stepped out and, say, headed down to the local pizza shop, we had no way to call them as they walked and ask them to pick us up a slice.
I believe one of the greatest things that those who are just now entering the workforce have to offer is their ability to quickly learn and pick up on anything that has to do with technology. I can’t figure out how to use an Ipod, and they don’t remember a time when one didn’t exist.
Myspace? I’ve been on it a time or two, and I believe I may have even, one night, when bored and unable to sleep, signed up for an account. Yet I have no idea how to use it or what to do with it now.
I should learn; I know I should. I understand that things are changing. And I do know, because of my business, that I need to keep up with these changes in order to be an effective business owner, or employee, or employer.
Yet time gets in the way. I have kids to feed and bathe, laundry to fold and a business to run.
Do I really need to learn about all of the latest technological tools in order to succeed?
The answer, according to many, is yes. Those just now entering the workforce understand these tools and will use them on a daily basis. If I don’t know about them, I will lose out, because I will be behind.
The article points out that we really can learn from those Gen Yers who are going to be working alongside of us soon. Watch what they do and how they do it. Ask questions. Listen to the answers.
And if you begin to feel a little, well, upset because someone who is half of your age knows a much more effective way of getting something done even though you have been doing your job for as long as they have been alive, take a deep breath and smile. Then remember just how difficult it was when you first started out right after college and you had to learn everything from scratch.
That’s where they are now; getting their feet wet. Let them teach you something about the newest and best, and then tell them something interesting that they may not know: Like how, thirty years ago, we had to keep forward-winding and rewinding our cassette tapes if we wanted to find one particular song that we really, really, really wanted to hear.
Wow, we really have become a much more efficient society, haven’t we?!
Now the question is this: What are we doing with all of this saved time? (I wish I could figure that out!)
Have a great Monday, mommies.