The New Gen Y: Embrace Them

I was going through my feed reader yet again and found an incredible article on ReadWriteWeb.com through a recent PandemicBlog post. This article, “Why Gen Y Is Going to Change the Web,” begins to explain to the older generation that they must adapt to this new generation, who are or who will soon be working for you. I wanted to be sure to share this with my readers.

This post is also meant as somewhat of a wake up call. Do not reject change. It’ll hurt you in the end. Your way may have worked in the past but times have changed. Blogs will bash you and other companies or services will take over, to leave you to die out. Maybe not today, or tomorrow. But if you resist the change and do not embrace the technology while it’s not too late, you will cease to exist.

I highly recommend you read through the article, but there’s a few points that it makes that I wanted to highlight.

Article Highlights

  • We, the “Y” Generation, grew up on computers: Some of us took college courses through a computer screen, we expected professors and employers to respond to our emails within two hours, or they were considered “slow.” We surf the web for fun, instead of watching TV.
  • Work isn’t our whole world: We expect more than your older employees may have- don’t block our networking sites, it’ll hurt you in the end. We’ll spend a few hours on your clock trying to figure out how to get around it. Once we do (and we will), we’ll still use it. Don’t block Gmail or other email sites. It’s unnecessary and stupid. Your mail server isn’t the only one that exists. Don’t want to give us what we want? Hire somebody else. We’ll work as consultants.
  • We soak up everything: news, politics, educational content, howto videos. We put everything in a feed reader or our inbox and just read, read, and read until we get sick of it for the day. Then, we go to sleep, wake up, and read some more. Bottom line? We’re smart and stay educated on what matters in our personal and professional lives.

Erica’s Personal Input

And a little bit I want to add to the content of this article:

  • Consider individuals with less “years of work experience” if they apply for a position that “requires” an extensive amount of experience. We may have more knowledge and be better for the job than those with “10 years work experience.” I graduated from college in three years and taught myself how to successfully market online within 6 months, and am actively learning more and more at an increased rate. Your applicant with ten years of work experience- he may have simply pushed paper for ten years. One year experience of the Gen Y could = 5 years experience for a Gen X.
  • You are marketing to the Gen Y crowd now. What does this mean? Don’t rely on traditional mediums. That means stop spending so much money on those damn Superbowl commercials and create some online viral marketing campaigns. We’re not all Pepsi- we can’t spend money just to spend it. Give us a user generated content campaign (like Doritos did when they asked their audience to make their own commercials). Find us– we’ll be online, with the television on in the background as noise.
  • Respond. Did somebody say your website has a problem? Fix it. Suggest an improvement? Consider it. Seriously consider it. And don’t put together committees and meetings in order to decide on something. The internet is immediate. We don’t need to have proofs of newspapers like we did in the past. Take a lesson from Google. Throw your site out there and see if it works. If it doesn’t? Fix it as you go. This whole new generation is about communication. Don’t shut the door on it.

Thanks to Brennan White at PandemicBlogs for making me aware of this article and making me think even more than I already do every day! 🙂

Thanks to Sarah Perez at ReadWriteWeb for writing the article that inspired this post.

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7 thoughts on “The New Gen Y: Embrace Them

  1. As long as there is a tomorrow 24 hours from now, today will always become obsolete. Gen Y is already obsolete, for the technology changes faster than anyone can learn it.

    Gen Y is largely being hired for their IT knowledge and skills in the marketplace. But those same skills can be found worldwide now, with a click of the mouse. You are no longer a decent trout in Lake Pleasant, Gen Y.
    You are a blue fish in the ocean of life.

    Comments on articles often reveal more than the post.
    I read all comments in the original article.[Business Week]
    This following comment from Patrick reflects the truth that Gen Y will place in their denial box to their own detriment:

    “Patrick
    Mar 5, 2008 9:49 PM GMT
    Most of these things sound like repackaged ideas from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Customers never change, they expect a lot and explain little. Hopefully no one from your Gen Y goes into sales or marketing or their own business. Because they will be empowered into the poor house. Everyone does not always win the people. If you want a hand out go to a soup kitchen. ”

    [Patrick comment from the article in Business Week – under “all comments” – a link throws this comment into moderation filters, sorry….no link for you]

    What Patrick distills succinctly here, I thought precisely the same when I read the Most Popular Posts at this blog titled “The Secret to Exciting Resumes”. If ever there was a way to remain jobless, following that resume advice will do it.

    Gen Y has already been snagged and hauled into the boat of life.
    They lay flapping around on the bottom of the boat, still unaware that they are no longer in water. To exist, they will either have to quickly get in the water with everyone else, or flap in the boat until they expire alone.

  2. Erica, came across this report from Frontline: Growing Up Online, which really illustrates the divide between Gen-Y and older generations (even Gen-X to a certain extent, to which I belong).

    From my own experience, I can tell you it’s going to be a frustrating transition–both for those who cannot appreciate the digital age and from those who absolutely have to be tethered to a cell phone or computer.

  3. I couldn’t agree more about your comments about “work experience” with generation Y. Experience is not merely the number of years behind you, anymore. The world has changed during last 10 or 15 years to a level where, you can expedite the experience you gather through working. Experience has a new definition now. It’s not doing the same old thing over and over again, and advocate others to do the same thing. It’s more towards, experimenting new things all the time, and improving your accuracy of predicting the success rate of the next new thing you are going to try!

  4. @Brad- your welcome! I definitely want to help spread the news in new marketing trends!

    @Danny-I agree with the concept that “today will always become obsolete.” There’s always some new and “better” thing or idea that will come along and wipe out the newest thing. But there’s always that time of transition that you have. So, although I don’t believe Generation Y is already obsolete, I do understand that there’s a new generation picking up momentum and becoming the norm. What do we take from this? Stay informed. Subscribe to feeds that will keep you updated on your market, different trends, and new types of technology. Thanks for the comment, Danny!

    @Rich- thanks for the link- that’s a great report! Kids have grown up on computers and with the latest piece of technology. My three year old cousin shows my 80 year old grand mother how to play computer games on a day to day basis, and my 11 year old cousin has had her own cell phone for a year. Today’s children have grown up much differently then my generation has (Gen Y), and MUCH different then yesterday’s generation. We must adapt- as these are who we are going to marketing too soon.

    @Andrew- thanks for the compliment, and I’ll definitely check out the new Erie Forum!

    @Ami- I’m so glad to hear somebody getting my frustration with the whole “work experience” concept. I am truly more experienced than certain individuals with 15 years of work experience. I also love the comment you made about how experience is in experimenting with new ideas and improving them over time…Google is a perfect example of this! Google has been “online” in some form or another ever since the founders thought of the idea and developed the technology. They didn’t wait until it was perfected before letting customers try it out. Thanks so much for your comment!

    @Billso- thanks for your comment!

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