In case you haven’t noticed, today’s fresh-faced college grads are quickly becoming entrepreneurial moguls. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, 26, is the business world’s biggest rock star and many more like him are hatching.
Look at the last 50 years and notice who made their move to the hoop before they turned 25. There was no “getting seasoned” or “following protocol” for Jobs & Wozniak, Gates, Branson, Cuban, Edison, Rockefeller, Brin & Page, or Hewlett & Packard. What makes you think today’s “lazy Gen Y’s” will be any different? Is it your fear of the unknown or the untamed?
Most of you have managed college graduates from the last few years. There’s is a different world from ours —
- They have never had to get up to change the channel.
- They SEXTED on their cell phones when the were 12.
- Their parents drove SUV’s, used ATM’s and drank bottled water.
- The don’t know who the Talking Heads (and many more) are.
You’ve heard all the rhetoric about these kids. They are the trophy generation, as in “win an award just for showing up.” Notorious for their self entitlement and indifference to authority, Gen Y is a hybrid between the spirited independence of 60’s love children with the ambitious expectations of the 80’s “greed is good-ers.”
Maybe the Mayans were right; could the apocalypse really be near? Hop in a time machine with me for a second. Let’s just say for the sake of conversation, Boomers were born up to 1965 and Generation X spans from 1969 to 1981.
Gen Y’s last birth years are pegged as the late 90‘s to early 00’s. Also referred to as Generation Me, Gen Next, The Net Generation, Echo-Boomers and Millennials, these young entrepreneurs — stop calling them kids — may appear naive and self-serving but consider that they have —
- Never known a world without AIDS
- Only known a world capable of 9-11
- Watched ten years of war (and counting) on their flat screens
- Always feared Columbine or Virginia Tech could happen to them
Gen Y has grown up in a more chaotic, fractured, fragile and hostile world than many of us did. You may disagree, claiming your generation’s iconic events and tragedies to be superior, but be realistic, it’s a wash at best. Millennials are just as entitled to be the product of their upbringing as we are or our grandparents were. Trading Places tackled this topic better than I ever could. A movie like that could never be made today — un-politically correct — insightful — funny — no 3-D!
One of my responsibilities at David and Sam PR has been to build and oversee our Training Program, a unique interpretation of what an unpaid internship can really be.
I have had the pleasure of indirectly and directly managing more than 120 Millennials in the past five years. No, that wasn’t sarcasm. Notwithstanding a few dubious moments, it has been a pleasure to launch these young professionals’ careers.
The reality is that there are plenty of smart, hard working, motivated, passionate, dedicated, proactive, creative souls to be found in this generation. The Mayans are wrong.
The simple fact is we are the “grownups” — the parents, teachers, bosses — so naturally we think the younger generation, the Millennials, are pathetic. Their music, clothes, morals, leisure activities, work ethic etc…hmmm, smells like a “generation gap” to me. Remember that expression?
So what mysterious experiments has DSPR been conducting with those 120 Millennials?
On Monday we answer that question.
On Tuesday, we turn to our hiring methodology.
On Wednesday, your Iliad will reach its conclusion at the the much awaited Genius Bar, so you can learn how to harness Gen Y’s energy to produce substantial results for your business. Or a least it will better prepare you to work for them.
Have a great weekend.