1. One of the (Gen Y) speakers at an Enterprise 2.0 conference in Sydney in August had a refreshingly blunt attitude to employers using Facebook: “So there are photos of me drunk on Facebook. So what if a prospective employer sees them? If they don’t like it, then I don’t want to work there, anyway!”

  2. As a member of Gen Y, I'm very interested to see how everything pans out and what our actual/perceived weaknesses & strengths turn out to be as we grow. I'm sometimes ashamed to be a part of this generation from some negative stereotyping, but I guess you get some of that in every generation.
    I really enjoyed this post as it wasn't a 'bashing' of Gen Y which I see a lot of. I think you've hit the nail on the head with "Gen Y fear not finding their passion".
    Great post Laurel.

  3. Interesting reference to child-rearing values as well: “so that your children will learn to be their own person.” Apparently some of the Gen X methods of child-rearing are backfiring magnificently with parents not laying enough boundaries turning out kids who are absolute nightmares. I’ve detected a real swing back to a more boomer or even pre-boomer method of child rearing in some instances ie: stricter boundaries between work/play/emotional freedom. I wonder if there’ll be a swing back for Gen C’s too? Looking around at the average Gen C here at UTS – I see none of the flamboyant student fashion or even anti-fashion of a couple of decades ago. I’m thinking “come on! you’re young – this is your chance to really have a go! or at least wear what you want” All the kids dress in such a safe, beige kind of way – it’s frankly depressing. Maybe Gen C are the new pre-boomers?

  4. Boomers were definitely more rebellious in their youth than Gen X and Gen Y. Maybe Gen C or Gen Y don’t have as much to rebel against – or they are doing it in new ways. Is job shifting, search for passion and an independent outlook about getting up the nose of the X’s and Y’s? Is conservative fashion sense a blight on the protestors of old?

  5. @Keith yes, I hear that too. Gen Y want to match their values to their employers – no turning a blind eye to sweatshops and cigarette factories. Judging their work style on personal photos indicates a warning signal that other value indicators may not be aligned…

    @classymarketing thank you, it’s general (as always) and YMMV (your mileage may vary).

    @catherine and @peter faux rebellion (rock n roll dancing, punk rock) are often fashion statements. This generation Y (and Z are doing something similar!) got serious very quick, very young – it’s intriguing that they are often in their early 20’s with a young family yet starting up their own business. I was still phaffing around at that age.
    Come to think of it, I still am! πŸ™‚

  6. I’m currently studying virtually, and am often disappointed that some (only some) lecturers rely heavily on content from the web to provide the content for student learning. Is the paycheck still being earned?

  7. Hi Laurel, I’ve been popping in now and then since the New Media Conference in Melb. Thought this post was particularly relevant and very spot on the mark about Gen Y matching values to the org and seeking out our passion. As someone who works for a not for profit I am living proof of this.

    As another poster commented, I too am sometimes disillusioned about being part of Gen Y as the stereotypes *sometimes* dont (in my opinion) even appear to be based on any recognisable truth (though I am a married young Gen Y!). I second classymarketing in that its nice to see a post not “bashing” Gen Y’s somewhat different approach.

    I have to say, I will watch with interest the attraction of my generation to causes such as environmental sustainability (as just one example) where values alignment is a key factor.

  8. Laurel,
    What a fascinating post. I know I’m a bit late on the commenting, but I felt compelled; I’m quite interested in how social media has and is changing our culture, our social and political systems, as well as our individual identities.

    However, it seems to me that we often forget that the current technologies that have so captivated (our collective and individual attention) are tools. As such, they owe their existence to human need.

    So, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the “big picture” (why this is happening now? etc…) You certainly have spent a lot more time on the subject! So I ask you this: How do you think the rapidly changing global economy will impact the current generation and the next generation (one that will come of age in an entirely different world)?

    Thank you for your time.

  9. Hmm blogs are actually hopeless for convesations – and community – but I’ll keep this brief.

    I think it is the Millenials job to break an economic model that doesn’t work. I think they will chuck out the industrial/information economy and bring in peer to peer economies. Not Freeonomics like Chris Anderson says but Communinomics.

    When tracking of value – store of, measurement of and trade of (functions of currency) – is displaced and in the cloud, money is no longer required.

    Gen Y will break the model, the next generations will build better ones. I hope for a non-zero sum based economy (we both win coins for trading, not one pay the other) but am not sure I can articulate how that will happen yet.

    Serious, career minded, brand aware, early to have kids and marriage yet late to ‘settle’ down to a job… what IS in their minds? πŸ™‚

  10. I find unstructured learning strange and frightening. The idea of not having a structure around anything frightens me. But I’m not of the Gen Y, and therefore I’m not suprised. I think that each generation will shape the world the way it sees fit and it will seem as alien to those that have come before and those that are coming afterwards perpetually. You wish you could take a long term view to see if all this has some kind of ultimate destination, our average lifespan is too short to determine how human social evolution will play out in 4-5 generations time.

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