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02/03/2011

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Speaking as a Gen Y, I think we do get stereotyped a bit. Honestly, I don't really see us entering the workforce any different than previous generations. The dramatic changes in technology has changed the space of the workplace in general and we just happen to be starting our careers during the workplace shift.

I think you're nailed something I hadn't heard presented. Gen Y is more of an attitude than an age demographic. When it comes to flexibility, the ability to work remotely etc, it's more about desire for those traits than age. These wants tend to get nailed on to younger workers since the ones that make these type of requests are majority in that age group.

Having (barely) preceded Baby Boomers, I consider myself essentially Jurassic although I can be snarky when not my usually placid and amiable self. ;-)

After studying Whyte's "The Organization Man", living through that era and afterwards hearing from the author who followed up on that book to interview the next generation of the same families studied in the original, I attest that while there are broad national/regional common influences, birth date does not determine behavior. Even identical twins raised together act differently in some respects. There have been numerous articles on it over the last few years, such as Frank Giancola's "The Generation Gap: More Myth than Reality," Fourth Qtr 2006, Human Resource Planning.

It's all situational and personal. Q.E.D., I'm totally unique, just like everybody else.

Drew and Jim, I agree. It's all situational and personal. Stereotypes are rubbish in general. ;)

Excellent post. I'll link to it from my blog, theYmightier.com. If you ever want to submit a guest post for the blog, I'd love to see what you write. You can do so via this page - http://bit.ly/he5frN.

Thank you! All of this needed to be said.

Circling back on point 2, I think since Gen Y is arguably more at home with networking technologies, providing feedback and guidance doesn't necessarily mean lots of meetings and face time. It may mean (as Margaret posted about) better adoption of modern technologies.

Excellent point, Laura. The challenge can be when the supervisor's managerial style is face-to-face where the staff member may be more comfortable with digital interactions. Finding the balance between the two is the struggle.

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