For anyone who missed it, Steve Earl’s blog series last week on the Generation X v Generation Y issue in PR and communications agencies was one of the most interesting, revealing and thought-provoking things I’ve come across on the web in a long time.
In the five part series, he discussed in some depth the serious issues that the managers of comms agencies and their employees are facing as the gap between the ageing Gen Xers and the spritely, young Gen Yers becomes more prominent. It’s an especially interesting topic to me personally as, much as I may debate that my attitudes and motivations are firmly Gen Y, at 38 years old I unfortunately fall firmly into the Gen X category!
At the end of the series, Steve admits that he expected his conclusion would be that “Gen Y should just suck it up, snap out of it and get back to the harsh realities of toil.” And yet having investigated and thought about the issues, and having gained input from numerous comms and PR pros, he concludes that:
> the people running PR agencies have to stand up and be counted over the growing issue of differing generational attitudes and outlooks amongst their staff
> Gen Y needs to avoid going down in history as Generation Whine. The stereotypical whingeing of today’s teenagers is tarnishing the self-honesty and modern pragmatism of Gen Y in the workplace, and it is up to Gen Y to change this, with the support of bosses
> all other generations need to pull their heads out of their fast-maturing arses and realise that we are all part of the problem and can all help to improve understanding.
Today, however, the story continues! Following on from Steve’s series, a genuine Gen Yer has written a great follow up piece from the Gen Y perspective discussing: the Gen X misconceptions about work/life balance; the Gen Y desire for positive reinforcement of abilities and a job well done rather than rewarding financially for how long it took to do it; and how happiness is now a key motivator for Gen Y rather than promotions and pay rises (nice as they are!). She encourages Gen Y to take responsibility for their own happiness rather than waiting for bosses to change, and to commit to helping Gen X to understand what Gen Y wants from its work life, making Gen X see it in a different light.
The piece was originally supposed to feature as a guest post for me, here on Tribal Boogie as part of #BeMyGuest month. But having read how powerful it was, I felt that it deserved to sit alongside the original series on Steve Earl’s blog. I strongly recommend that you have a read both of Steve Earl’s original series and the Gen Y response – it’s a fascinating topic.
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