An increasing topic of interest to me (and, apparently, the rest of the world) is the melee that seems to surround Generation Y. I’m sure you know many of these folks, as they are born between 1980-2000; they go by a number of names, including Generation Y, Echo Boom, the Net Generation, Generation Me, Sunshine Generation, and Millennials.

In their recent book Connecting to the Net.Generation, Reynol Junco and Jeanna Mastrodicasa found a few interesting facts about Gen Y by taking a survey of 7,705 US college students (info taken from Wikipedia):

  • 97% own a computer
  • 94% own a cell phone
  • 76% use Instant Messaging (and 15% of us IM users are logged on 24 hours a day/7 days a week)
  • 34% use websites as their primary source of news
  • 28% author a blog and 44% read blogs
  • 49% download music using peer-to-peer file sharing
  • 75% of college students have a Facebook account
  • 60% own some type of portable music and/or video device such as an iPod

It’s easy to find negative spew about Gen Y all over the internet. But today I came across this article from the Harvard Business School and wanted to share it — someone is finally paying attention to the positive qualities of Gen Y:

How Will Millennials Manage?
by Jim Heskett

I was struck by the eloquence of Anonymous Commenter #4, who is describing some of the core values of a Millennial:

I am ambitious but not overly committed. I prefer to work as a consultant because I am not chained to one company. I am a problem solver by nature, and I want to get immediately to the problem solving. I’m not interested in meaningless titles, mine or anyone else’s, and I’m not willing to enslave myself to attain a position with a great title and no depth of purpose. I don’t want the appearance of success. I want the integral satisfaction of succeeding. I want to make a lot of money, but only if I have time to spend it, and I’m more interested in health care and vacation than bonuses that I’d have to work too much to get and work too much to enjoy.

My family and my pursuit of knowledge for knowledge’s sake are more important to me than any particular job, with any particular company. I have confidence in myself, my marketability, and my ability to put my nose to the grindstone when it is necessary. I’m interested in being as efficient and productive as possible, but not every second of every day, and not under someone else’s thumb.

If you’re a Millennial (born between or around 1980-2000) let me hear it; does this description sound like you?


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