Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tag You're It, Gen Y (US News & World Report)


Damn, I'd hate to be in high school or college right now, or have kids who are there. The Baby Boomers have made a mess of things, and my generation, Gen X, doesn't really give a damn (if you believe the media). So, Gen Y, especially young men, sorry to tell you this, but you're screwed.

More than likely, unless things change dramatically, not only will you not make as much as your parents, but you may not even make as much as your grandparents. And retirement? Yeah, right, maybe when they put you in the ground.

Oh yeah, we didn't do you any favors as parents, either.

Tag You're It, Gen Y

Not Everyone Gets a Trophy.” That's the title of Bruce Tulgan’s new book and I think it summarizes perfectly a point I would like to make to younger job seekers today.

[See the best careers for 2010.]

We, your parents, have done you wrong. Because of our never-ending support and helicoptering, we have nudged you toward the conclusion that most authority figures will be the same. You know: flexible, willing to listen to your reasons, er, excuses, and happy to provide you with the tools you need to be passionate at work.

Of course, nothing is further from the truth. Now, the brutal reality of the workplace has hit even us. Where we once thought we were “safe,” we have learned that's no longer true. Our 401(k)’s have dropped in value so much they ought to be called 201's, and we are fearful. We have precious few years to recover, but recover we must. Many fear that you have been trained to be so selfish and in pursuit of instant gratification, that you won’t be there to help out.

[See how to love the job you're with.]

As you search for that one passionate job, please remember that you can learn a lot from jobs you dislike. That is OK. You learn something from each one, get better, and move on. The worst thing you can do is sit around, and be on that perpetual search.

We are too busy now to help you much. Tag, you're it.

G. L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneuer and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig, which operates LinkUp, one of the fastest-growing job search engines. His blog can be found at WhatWouldDadSay.com.

But wait a minute - if all this is true, why get out of bed in the morning?

Check the list at the top of this post. Gen Y has a unique advantage on previous generations in that you have grown up with technology as a way of life. Sure, Gen X created most of it, but you kids use it better than we ever imagined, and you will find ways to make relationships the focus of both your personal life and your income.

We are creating the foundation for person-to-person culture (P2P), but you will find new ways to implement it. You are the first post-modern generation. According to the research, you don't see skin color, you believe in equal rights for ALL people, and you want to give back as much as you take.

Gen Y is the first networked generation.
"What of the subject in networked culture? Under modernism, for the most part, the subject is autonomous, or at least subscribes to a fantasy of autonomy, even if experiencing pressures and deformations from the simultaneity generated by that era’s technologies of communication and by increasing encounters with the Other. In postmodernism, Jameson explains, these pressures couple with a final unmooring of the self from any ground as well as the undoing of any coherent temporal sequence, forcing the subject to schizophrenically fragment. With network culture, these shards of the subject take flight, disappearing into the network itself. Less an autonomous individual and more of a construct of the relations it has with others, the contemporary subject is constituted within the network. This is a development of the condition that Castells observes in The Rise of the Network Society, when he concludes that contemporary society is driven by a fundamental division between the self and the net. To support his argument, Castells turns to Alain Touraine: “In a post-industrial society, in which cultural services have replaced material goods at the core of its production, it is the defence of the subject, in its personality and in its culture, against the logic of apparatuses and markets, that replaces the idea of class struggle.”
You guys are up to this, right?

On second thought, maybe you should just follow your heart and find a way to do work that makes you happy.

Screw the expectations and the predictions.

Take a deep breath or two, talk to your friends, build meaningful relationships, and create a life centered in love and compassion. That's what the world really needs from you young men - passion, compassion, and joy.

No comments: