Thursday, 16 July 2009


We have been looking into stereotypes recently for a seminar series we will be hosting later on this year. I came across the millennial at work article by Claire Raines.

They’re the hottest commodity on the job market since Rosie the Riveter. They’re sociable, optimistic, talented, well-educated, collaborative, open-minded, influential, and achievement-oriented. They’ve always felt sought after, needed, indispensable. They are arriving in the workplace with higher expectations than any generation before them—and they’re so well connected that, if an employer doesn’t match those expectations, they can tell thousands of their cohorts with one click of the mouse. They’re the Millennial Generation. Born between 1980 and 2000, they’re a generation nearly as large as the Baby Boom, and they’re charged with potential. They’re variously called the Internet Generation, Echo Boomers, the Boomlet, Nexters, Generation Y, the Nintendo Generation, the Digital Generation, and, in Canada, the Sunshine Generation. But several thousand of them sent suggestions about what they want to be called to Peter Jennings at, and “Millennials” was the clear winner.

In this uncertain economy and highly competitive business environment, companies across North America recognize that the differentiator is their people. Those organizations that emerge as winners in the battle for talent will have their fingers on the pulse of this newest generation. They’ll design specific techniques for recruiting, managing, motivating, and retaining them.

The Millennials are just entering the workforce, and, as they do, employers are scrambling to find out everything they can about them. Are they Gen-Xers on steroids? Or are they a new breed entirely? How do they choose a career? And why? How will they change the workplace as we know it today? What are they looking for when they post their resumes on What is their work ethic? What is unique about them? How do the best and brightest managers communicate with and motivate them?

While we’ll continue to see older colleagues—Xers, Boomers, and Veterans—supervising the newest recruits, other scenarios will become commonplace: experienced Boomers reporting to a fresh-faced Millennial…members of all four generations working side-by-side on teams…a Millennial calling on a powerful Gen-X client. Just as the Xers and Boomers finalize their own negotiations for an uncertain workplace peace, optimistic Millennials find themselves at the mercy of Xer skepticism. Gen-Xers complain the Millennials are another indulged generation like the Boomers—that they’re self-absorbed and Pollyanna-ish. Millennials charge that Gen-Xers are cynical and aloof—that they throw a wet blanket on fresh ideas and idealism.

As the most recent generation to enter the fray, the Millennials are likely to ask their older colleagues to chill out, get a life, and walk a mile in a younger generation’s shoes.

see the rest of the article here

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