Gen Y: The world is at your fingertips?

By Scot Herrick | Cube Rules Commentary

Jan 16

In the last eight years, Gen Y has come of age and entered the workforce. And what an entrance it was with many having the attitude that their generation will be the next big deal as baby boomers leave the workforce. Gen Y’s services will be in such demand that they will change the way corporations work. With technology and social media, no longer will corporations hold them prisoners in their cubicles.

Worked out pretty well, didn’t it? Um…not so much.

Rhein, the legal assistant, certainly was not prepared.

“Growing up, my parents were telling me, ‘The world is at your fingertips. All you have to do is educate yourself, go to college, and you’d get a prime position right out of school.’ They were wrong.”

They were wrong in that the unemployment rate for those 29 and younger is a whopping 9.8%, almost 3% higher than the national average. And going up against more experienced workers shows that hiring managers want people to step up in the position right away and not be trained on the job.

If you think this is bashing Gen Y, it’s not.

We need to change how corporations are run. We need to change how work is done so that the work provides more satisfaction to those doing the work.

What this does show is the fundamentals of managing a career are not trumped by social media, assumptions about retirement of baby boomers, and being told the world is at your fingertips.

No, we all need to go out and earn our careers.

To be successful — at any age — we need to have the job skills to do the work. We need to perform well in our job. We need to know How to write your performance review to get the performance ratings we deserve. We need to network. We need to have a personal brand that represents not only who we are, but that we get things done. And we need to save for the layoff day so we can keep our castles.

Just because the world is at our fingertips doesn’t mean the world is paying any attention.


About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.