Friday, April 25, 2008

More on the Generations Buzz

Last week I had my final customer program with The Soderquist Center. I coordinated the Spring Milestone at Greystone Estate. It was a neat group of participants that spurred on rich conversation. I had the opportunity to talk with them about my generation. It seems Gen Y is causing quite a commotion as we enter the workforce. I thought I would share a few of my insights here.

Where I've been:
  • I was born in 1984 to loving, Christian parents who are still married today.
  • Until I got married, they were the most important people in my life. They gave me a solid foundation of faith, family, & finances.
  • I did not have to work for my first car, but I did have a 1984 clunker...
  • I got my first email address in the 6th grade. I don't remember life without the Internet.
  • I am 23 and debt-free and do not own a credit card. Not all of us grew up with the "entitlement epidemic." My parents biggest pet peeve was the "ribbon for just participating."
  • I attended Oklahoma State University, got married, went to John Brown University for my MBA through a fellowship at The Soderquist Center and have landed here.
Where I'm going:
  • I don't know. It's that simple. I don't have a 5-year plan. I don't believe in planning your personal life that far out. Don't mis-understand me. I do believe in preparing for 5 years out, but not planning.
  • I am less concerned with what I will be do as I am about who I will be.
What's important to me in a job:
  • Relationships. They are the foundation to any great team. I have to like the people I work with, report to, and interact with on a daily basis.
  • Flexibility. Who said 8-5 are the only productive hours in the day? In a world of endless connectivity, why does an office have to be the only place where work gets done? Simple answer, its not.
  • Growth. I want to be developed and grow in skills and knowledge. I don't mind putting in the extra hours, as long as I'm developing. I want to know where I'm headed.
  • Meaning. I want to know that what I am doing is important. I need to be able to see how my role fits into the bigger picture & success of the company - don't we all?
  • Feedback. This goes back to growth. I can't grow if I don't know what to work on. It's a simple question of "how am I doing?"
Yes, Gen Y is unique - just as every new generation who enters the workforce. We are faced with the same questions and challenges as a new wave of thought & expectations enter corporate America. Instead of constantly grumbling about our differences, though, why not embrace the positive? Why not take advantage of the experience and wisdom of the Baby Boomers while coupling it with the tenacity and creativity of my generation? Seems like win-win to me!

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