My brother just started school at the University of Iowa, and this was his first caucus. He describes a room totally crammed full of young people: “It was basically all the students caucusing for Obama and the adults dispersing among the other candidates.”

In the end, in his Iowa City precinct, the students sat victorious at the Obama camp with 70% of the votes, while the caucuses for Edwards and Clinton were shouting over to the Kucinich supporters to abandon camp and come to them.

This is a metaphor for the workplace. The young people have, effectively, shifted the balance of power to themselves, and the older people squabble between each other, as if their power structures still matter.

Millennials are fundamentally conservative

The victories of Generation Y will not look like the Boston Tea Party or Kent State. They will look like this Iowa caucus: Gen Y, playing by the rules, and winning.

When Gen-Xers were this age, we were so overwhelmed with trying to earn a living that voting was the last thing on our minds. And when baby boomers were this age, they were protesting, and dodging the draft, and disrupting the establishment. So in a way, it’s remarkable how engaged, optimistic, and rule-abiding Millennials are during their twenties.

But as a group, Gen Y is fundamentally conservative, so it’s not surprising that they come out and vote in droves. Voting is a way for people who color-within-the-lines to instigate change. Voting is a fundamentally conservative way to tell the establishment to get out of the way.

Baby boomers are being forced out, in a non-disruptive way

And this is the exact same way that generation Y is telling baby boomers to get out of their way at work. Gen Y plays by the rules, meets expectations, and in the same step, pulls the rug out from under the people with power. How? By refusing to pay dues, by customizing their own career paths instead of lusting after a promotion, and by job hopping when learning curves get flat.

When USA Today wrote “Gen Y has already made its mark” the story was about entrepreneurship – Gen Y is ambitious, driven, and success-oriented, and since hierarchical structures of corporate life allow for so little mobility, young people are turning to entrepreneurship and are starting businesses at a blistering rate not seen among young people earlier.

This is not exactly the Civil Rights movement or grunge music. But Gen Y doesn’t need to rebel because, as I wrote in Time magazine, young people are already in the driver’s seat at the workplace. They can work within the established lines of business to get what they want, but they get it faster than we expect.

The gender divide is an antiquated view of the world

So many times I give a speech and explain to the room why women should not report sexual harassment. Invariably, the room divides. The millennials think the advice makes sense, the baby boomers are outraged.

Baby boomers perceive that there is a gender war going on at work, and women are fighting for equality: “The glass ceiling still exists!” But millennials are entering a workforce where women are making more than men in major cities, and the salary gap is essentially gone in most fields of business for this demographic. Nearly 50% of millennial girls were sexually harassed in their summer job, and by the time they are of voting age, sexual harassment is old news– it doesn’t scare them because they have plenty of power at work.

Early pundit posts declare that the results in Iowa hinged on the votes of young women. The Clinton campaign assumed women would vote for women. But young people did not make this election about gender, they made it about age. They want change. They want a chance to do things differently, within the established structures of power.

And this is true of the workplace as well. There are not women fighting for women in Generation Y. The gender divide ended when Gen X dads started giving up promotions to stay at home with their kids. Today there is a generational divide, and it’s happening at work and in politics and the balance of power has shifted to Generation Y.

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  1. Shefaly
    Shefaly says:

    Penelope: I am not so sure of the rest of the post but on the last bit, I have something which will interest you.

    When the Presidential contenders announced their intentions, I asked a friend of mine in the US (woman, WASP, superb technology lawyer, late 50s, Boston native, currently and during the 1980s working in California) what she thought of the chances of Hillary Clinton.

    Her answer:

    “Honey, in the States, we would sooner vote a Jewish or a black man into Presidential Office before we let a woman in.”

    Make of that what you will. As far as I can see, in one sentence, she has summarised the hierarchy of discrimination ingrained in the American psyche.

    As far as I can see, that is what came out of this caucus and the rest remain to be seen.

    There is many a slip betwixt the cup and the lip. Millenials will have to learn to stay the distance.

  2. thom singer
    thom singer says:

    Interesting post. The test will be to see if the Millenials really come out in mass for the general election. Historically candidates get all excited about this age group in the primaries, but in November they stay home. I will wait to see what you say in November if the percentage of 18-25 year olds stays flat over four and eight years ago. John Kerry was counting on this demographic, and they stayed home.

    I would love to see a HUGE surge of the young people vote. I can promise you if they came out in force, the older generations would too, and this country NEEDS to have better voter turn out or we will continue to get the same old results.

  3. Don B.
    Don B. says:

    I think voters are willing to consider candidates regardless of gender, race or other classifications. Obama has regional strength in Iowa that may not translate to other regions. Your tie-in to how this mirrors the workplace was intriguing. For this boomer the prospect of two younger generations beginning to assert power and influence is great and causes me joy. Politically I am uninspired by most politicians of the last thirty years so new blood is always welcome. The key will be to find a candidate who is willing to disagree with the majority when the majority needs such disagreement. Finding candidates with that type of courage (Truman) seems increasingly unlikely.

  4. Heidi
    Heidi says:

    I am 31-year-old Iowan and this was my first caucus. I showed up because I felt that this was the first time we actually had some good choices.

    In my precint, which is demographically mixed in age and race, but includes lots of upper-middle class – Obama ran away with the win (Hillary was almost not a viable candidate in my precint). The feeling that I got that it wasn’t a generational thing, but Obama’s message of Change and Hope that really carried him to the win. People here are sick of the Clinton Political Machine.

  5. Jenflex
    Jenflex says:

    I agree with Heidi…it’s a little scary to think about a former President using his spouse to circumvent the Constitution. Does anyone really believe he’ll stay on message? Plus, I don’t like Hillary’s marionette approach to politics; i.e. different messages/accents/whatever for different audiences based on focus group/polls/consultants. It makes you wonder what she would stand for.

  6. Norcross
    Norcross says:

    Politics aside (the whole process disgusts me), it will be interesting to see what happens if / when some of these Gen-Y entrepreneurs become successful and the business starts taking on some of the structure that we currently see. It’s easy to keep the structure loose and open when you have 4 employees. But what about 400? 4,000? I mean, Apple computers was started in a garage. They’re certainly using the industrial model now.

  7. Curmudgeon
    Curmudgeon says:

    I agree, interesting post, but not for the political ramifications. You paint the generations with very broad brushes, and I’ve never been sure if those brushes are valid. I’m a mid-generation Boomer, yet I was certainly too young to be involved in protests, which also seemed to be too localized to be defined as a national trend. Likewise, it’s not at all clear to me that the X, Y, and millenial generations easily fit your stereotypes.

    For the record, my vote will be counted in New Hampshire next Tuesday. Iowa is all well and good, but a caucus is not an election.

  8. Matt Bingham
    Matt Bingham says:

    I can’t stand politics either…the whole Camelot has gone too far and now it’s like who ever has the flashiest toy wins. I still get out and vote because it is our duty as citizens to do so, and I hope that our younger millenial friends do the same. As for workplace mentality spilling into politics, I think it spills over into many other areas than that. Retailers to restaurants to jobs to family. Retail loyalty is the first one that comes to mind. I’ll never forget when I was in high school working at sears and this older gentleman chewed me up one side and down the other because he thought his jeans were too expensive and that he has shopped at Sears for 50 years and this is rediculous…all the time I was thinking, “Ahh, then why don’t you go to another store if you don’t like it”. It’s a generational engrainment that is with us in every aspect of our life.

  9. Hope
    Hope says:

    Agree with Heidi…people are sick of the slick. Obama represents real hope. I hope he can go the distance.

  10. holly
    holly says:

    It doesn’t come down to gender for me, as P. stated in this post. I LISTEN. Maybe I’m not hearing the issues, but I’m hearing the message. When Clinton talks, I hear measured inflections and timed volume increases… staged enthusiasm. When Obama talks, I hear passion and steadiness, pauses to think of the next words… actual enthusiasm.

    More than anything, I want someone to represent America who believes we can be a great nation again, and not in the patriotic, family values Republican kind of way. Someone who believes we can be everything we once thought ourselves. I want someone who has faith in our country, and I think that’s what young people see in Obama. He’s not out to prove a black man can win the White House… if he were, it wouldn’t be working.

  11. Suze
    Suze says:

    To your brother’s comment on students and adults: If you are over 18 and caucusing, you are an adult. That is important — children can’t generally effect change — adults can. How you describe yourself is important. Take yourself seriously and others will, too.

    I think Barack Obama has a broad appeal but whether he can go the distance remains to be seen. Remember John Anderson in 1980 — the workplace and world was changing then, too.

  12. klein
    klein says:

    You are so myopic in your focus, and so out of touch with the working world, I don’t know how you can still purport to know anything about it.

  13. Jason Unger
    Jason Unger says:

    This seems pretty obvious, but a lot of this has to do with technology and communication.

    If it wasn’t for the Internet, many of us Gen-Y’ers couldn’t start our own businesses, nor would we be able to communicate as efficiently.

    Our parents didn’t have a Facebook group for Barack Obama or online fundraising for Ron Paul.

  14. Brandon
    Brandon says:

    PT,

    I am amazed and impressed with Gen Yer’s (I’m 28) who pursue entrepreneurship. They trade the security of a steady paycheck for the unknown. My wife is a teacher, and like her parents, I believe fearful of leaving a steady income to pursue passions.

    I believe Obama’s life story is what appeals most of all. His candidacy is a repudiation of the Establishment.

  15. Steve
    Steve says:

    As a liberal from Illinois, and an Edwards supporter, it became clear to me last night what happened in Iowa.

    Obama’s victory was the result of an organization comprised primarily of people from Illinois. Carloads of Illinois residents helped to mobilize college aged voters.

    Many of the caucus going GenY folks were not even Iowa residents. A loophole in Iowa’s laws allows students who are not registered to vote from their home state to register to vote in Iowa.

    A deeper statistical analysis will bear this out. So that means this was a hollow victory for Obama at best.

    No power has shifted to GenY at all. They are still the spoiled children of helicopter parents who feel entitled to the American Dream immediately and without effort. Reality will hit them hard soon enough. They are success-oriented, but are unwilling to commit to doing the work required for the success.

    How can you on the one hand say that GenY plays by the rules, yet (at least in my experience) routinely find them abysmally failing to meet expectations (even ones as simple as attendance in an environment that requires physical presence) and refuse to pay dues. They job hop because they are looking for the easiest meal ticket they can find. After five years of 6-12 month job tenure on their resumes, they will find that their desired success will be out of reach.

    By the way, if GenY is so conservative, why did they almost all turn out for the Democrats?

    Get some facts before you make blanket statements. Links to someone else’s unsubstantiated comments on their blogs do not make your assumptions valid ones.

  16. Adam Bair
    Adam Bair says:

    Politics aside, you’re assessment of Gen-Y’s affinity for career achievement is dead on. It’s very much about defining your ‘success/win condition’ or lifestyle and then aligning your goals/actions accordingly. You nailed it when you mentioned the ‘learn then jump’ career mentality; I find that it’s quite rare to find a promotion that rivals the forward momentum of a ‘hop’. Great article.

  17. Suze
    Suze says:

    Good grief, often I sound like the crabby old lady that I am. I forgot to add to my comment that I am immensely impressed that your brother participated in the causcus. That is great.

    I’m glad to see younger people taking an interest and getting involved. It’s a great sign.

  18. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    Oh no – don’t mix work with politics! ;) I’m expecting this will get tons of political comments, rather than work-related comments.

    I do see what you’re saying about Gen Y and bringing about change by following the rules. It’s almost like revolution through infiltration, rather than through protesting or fighting.

    The bad thing about Gen Y Activists is that they’re so bandwagon. All you need is one person – a “campus leader” – talking loudly and confidently, and many fellow college students will fall in line just to be a part of it. Not only that, but they so easily fall for slogans and surface arguments, without really having life experience to back it up. (And I say this as someone who graduated from college only a few years ago.)

    I’m from Illinois, and I don’t support Obama. I have a hard time trusting anything that comes from the South Side political machine – Todd Stroger anyone?

    P.S. True conservatives aren’t Republicans, at least not after the past 8 years. True conservatives are those who go for the middle ground. There are extremists on both sides, and the ones on the right have an alarming amount of power.

  19. Madhu
    Madhu says:

    “When Gen-Xers were this age, we were so overwhelmed with trying to earn a living”

    With an economic recession being predicted in near future, I guess Gen Y is going to be experiencing a churn…The conditions are going to be so different from what they were ten years ago when Gen Y was growing up

  20. Erin
    Erin says:

    I’m on the cusp of Gen-Y and Gen-X and still am not impressed with any of the candidates — Democratic or Republican — enough to commit to any of them fully.

    The candidate who has most of my support so far, because he seems to represent the Gen-Y mentality,is Ron Paul and he’s barely keeping his head above water.

    I think the candidates need to stop pandering to the conservative baby boomer groups that are in the majority and realize where the future is and apply their efforts there.

  21. wayne
    wayne says:

    Republicans and Democrats are the same thing – elitists. One group’s comments may align with your own beliefs, but they are just comments. Ultimately they are all looking out for themselves and their own. Go Ron Paul!!!

  22. Melanie
    Melanie says:

    As a Gen-Y gal I’m excited that so many young people turned out and that voter turnout has been on the rise for our generation. Not all of us are politically active though – I told my husband (also Gen-Y) last night about Obama winning the Iowa caucus and he didn’t even know what a caucus was.

    Same goes with the workplace – there are some who are proactive in entrepreneurship and breaking down gender and generational divides, but there are also many that don’t care. I do agree though that we are not a generation of revolt and we try to play by the rules, so to speak, but sometimes we have to exploit the rules to our advantage to get what we know we deserve.

  23. Chris
    Chris says:

    “Gen Y plays by the rules, meets expectations, and in the same step, pulls the rug out from under the people with power. ”

    I’m thinking this is more GenX than GenX gets credit for. It’s just culture jamming applied to the elections (or workplace). Use the rules of the organization to subvert the orgnization.

  24. Craig
    Craig says:

    I would bet than, among Obama’s many enthusiastic young supporters last night, not a single one could tell me his position on a single issue. (These are not issues: hope, “real change”, uniting-not-dividing.)

  25. Jerry
    Jerry says:

    PT –

    I’m not sure how Millennials can be viewed as conservative. If they are more entrepreneurial than their Gen X counterparts, create their own rules for work, life and have their own views of what success means, and determine their own career progression, how can that be seen as conservative? If they were conservative, in my estimation, they would identify with the party and the candidate(s) that claim Conservatism as their mantra. Instead, what did they do? They flocked to a candidate who has based his campaign on change – €“ historically a Liberal or Democratic value. If they were conservative they would buy into the "established" rules and norms – €“ not create their own.

    Staying the course would be an idiotic thing to say or do. Conservatism needs to be thrown out on its ear – €“ quickly. Voting isn't a conservative value. Voting is a right we have in this country, thanks to the many men and women who fought (and are still fighting) to keep it that way. Voting is something every American can – €“ no, better – €“ do come November. To not vote is a slap in the face to your country.

    I think it's great that so many young people came to the caucus. I hope they come out again when it really matters – €“ in November. If they want to play within the rules and make a difference November will be the chance. Let's check the demographics of who voted after our next President is elected.

    Gen Y isn't rebelling. They're playing by the rules, I agree – €“ their own rules. They have re-written what the "rules" are so, yes, it's easy to play by them. They don't buy into the hierarchical structure set forth by the Baby Boomers so they've created their own set of standards, cultural norms, and determine what's acceptable in the workplace – €“ to them. Job hopping and refusing to pay dues can't be seen as Conservative by anyone, no matter how far they stretch it. You can call them "rule-abiding" if you like. I only question "who's Rules" do you mean?

  26. mimsey tove
    mimsey tove says:

    You sound like Peter Pan when you write about the different generations and the workplace. You have an active fantasy life.

  27. Recruiting Animal
    Recruiting Animal says:

    In Canada, Gen Y’s are known for not voting. It doesn’t matter which party you vote for, they say, they’re all the same. I suspect it’s the same in the USA.

    So there are two issues here. Obama is different (but not too different) so maybe he will galvanize some non-voters to cast a ballot. But wasn’t McGovern a young people’s candidate, too? And, didn’t all but one state go to Nixon?

    I want to see that Boomer who is being forced out in a non-disruptive way. Not a Willie Loman who is old before his time but someone like Ryan Healy’s dad. Ryan seems to take his offhand remarks as gospel truth so how and why would he push him aside?

  28. Scott
    Scott says:

    To the person who has a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    I think in your haste to see in all current events evidence of the uniqueness of millennials, you overlook the possibility that what happened in Iowa last night is just the latest chapter in our country’s long policital history of one generation peacefully ousting the previous one through the use of the ballot. Depending on how you define generations, each one has its moment of electoral dominance, eventually becomes a spent political force, and is supplanted by the next. For example, since World War II, one could view the Presidency as having passed through three generations: the War’s commanding officers (Truman, Eisenhower), its junior officers (Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I), then the boomers (Clinton, Bush II). These changes were the result not so much of the unique qualities of each generation, but of the fact that every generation grows old. Each generation tires of the previous one’s political tune and votes to change the station.

    I was born in late 1963. Despite what the demographers say, I’m not a boomer (if yoTo the person who has a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    I think in your haste to see in all current events evidence of the uniqueness of millennials, you overlook the possibility that what happened in Iowa last night is just the latest chapter in our country's long policital history of one generation peacefully ousting the previous one through the use of the ballot. Depending on how you define generations, each one has its moment of electoral dominance, eventually becomes a spent political force, and is supplanted by the next. For example, since World War II, one could view the Presidency as having passed through three generations: the War's commanding officers (Truman, Eisenhower), its junior officers (Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I), then the boomers (Clinton, Bush II). These changes were the result not so much of the unique qualities of each generation, but of the fact that every generation grows old. Each generation tires of the previous one's political tune and votes to change the station.

    I was born in late 1963. Despite what the demographers say, I'm not a boomer (if you don't remember Elvis, the Beatles,or Mickey Mantle in their primes, you're not a boomer). Obama appeals to me in part simply because he offers the opportunity to change the station after the boomers'16-year run, not because I think my generation has some particularly advanced view of the world (or the workplace).

    As for the boomers not working within the system, ask a boomer what he/she remembers about Eugene McCarthy. In 1968 McCarthy beat President Johnson in the New Hampshire primary, largely with the support of then-college age boomers. Within days of his defeat, Johnson ended his run for re-election, a casualty of boomers working within the established system to bring about peaceful change. Millennials didn't invent using the rules to achieve change.
    u don’t remember Elvis, the Beatles,or Mickey Mantle in their primes, you’re not a boomer). Obama appeals to me in part simply because he offers the opportunity to change the station after the boomers’16-year run, not because I think my generation has some particularly advanced view of the world (or the workplace).

    As for the boomers not working within the system, ask a boomer what he/she remembers about Eugene McCarthy. In 1968 McCarthy beat President Johnson in the New Hampshire primary, largely with the support of then-college age boomers. Within days of his defeat, Johnson ended his run for re-election, a casualty of boomers working within the established system to bring about peaceful change. Millennials didn’t invent using the rules to achieve change.
    * * * * * *
    ;Demograhpic clarification: Wikipedia says you’re generation Jones.

  29. Joanne
    Joanne says:

    Hi Penelope,

    Politics aside (not American, so I’m not that interested at this stage), there are two statements I don’t really agree with.

    Your generalisation about the gender divide being gone and not a concern for Gen Y may be an overstatement. I would have to say that it still depends on the industry, and the more that industry is struggling, the more regressive their attitudes become. I work in manufacturing, and there are still real divides. It does seem to be much more traditional – and oddly enough, I had always blamed that on the fact my company is American-owned.

    The second is the point that Gen Y is changing their workplaces – something you show a great deal of enthusiasm for. Some of these changes are not for the better – we’re having a HUGE struggle getting work out because many of our young employees don’t seem to grasp that work isn’t a place soley to network, chat, and check out facebook, but that they are actually being paid to ACCOMPLISH something. It will be interesting to see, in a recession where LAYOFFS may happen, whether their laissez-faire, “do it MY GENERATION’s way” lasts past many rounds of cutbacks. Of course, they are the cheapest employees, so maybe they will be stuck holding all the work when their older, more expensive Boomer and Gen X teammates get the axe. That could change things too.

    I’m not Gen Y… but I’m not Gen X either. Too old for the former, too young for the latter, it’s interesting NOT being in a generation, as well!

  30. Dave Atkins
    Dave Atkins says:

    I think Obama’s and Huckabee’s wins say more about optimism and desire for change than anything generational. The same drama you describe from your brother’s experience played out in the Tsongas caucus groups of 92, the Hart groups of 88 and 84 and probably on back as far as young people were excited and present in a majority setting at a political gathering. I think the winds of change are really blowing strong this time, but it is cross-cultural and cross-generational–and that is what makes me think it will really work this time.

  31. James Wilson
    James Wilson says:

    Why do you find it surprising that young people turned out to vote for the young, inexperienced, idealistic, Marxist candidate in the race? Who did you think they would support, Fred Thompson?

    These kids have never worked a day in their lives. They aren’t thinking about their future when they rally behind Obama. They are thinking about how to “stick it to the man” and how to follow the crowd. Big deal.

  32. Ernie
    Ernie says:

    PT,
    I found your assessment of the generations and women’s rights to be interesting. I think you could be spot on. However, hierarchy’s came from the generation prior to BBers, GI’s. Essentially, we adopted the military model for corporations. Baby Boomers made critical advances in human resources regarding teams, women’s issues and reward based incentives in the work place. In some ways, technology has set us back, i.e., electronic customer service set TQM back 25 years. While it’s true that Millenials are makeing many advacnes in how the new work place should look, many of their ideas could fail due to the nature of profits. For instance, flexible schedules could lead to an employee placing persoanl situations above important work place deadlines (deadlines that have no flexibility) or a myriad of other examples. In the end, the work place will dictate to this new generation as much or more as they will dictate to the work place. I wanted to ask you a question: when you are speaking to a group and someone answers their phone or replies to a text message does it distract you? Do you consider this to be rude or just another advancement?

  33. Resume Writer
    Resume Writer says:

    I have never been a fan of politics, but am in full agreement with the Gen Y entrepreneur trend analysis. I am a Gen Y-er and own my own business. In fact, of my 8 close friends from my grade school days, 5 of them left the corporate structure and struck out on their own.

  34. Karl Goldfield
    Karl Goldfield says:

    P,

    Great post, and as a GenX’er I wish we had seen the light earlier. Most of us were so hungover from the drain of Reaganomics and the mind numbing trends of the ’80’s, our mini-rebellion of the ’90’s really set us back. While I have definately cuaght up with the times, the landscape is now with the Y’ers.

    In the lasts 30 years, the dynamics of social correctness and personal expectation have changed the way people communicate. In business it has had a dramatic effect on how people approach each other, especially in sales. I am interested in seeing how the Y’ers new social personality changes the dynamic of business communication, and if it will continue down a path of collaboration and meeting expectations.

    I enjoyed your post thoroughly and look forward to the next!

    All the best,

    Karl Goldfield

  35. Ernie
    Ernie says:

    Karl,
    Exactly what is the drain from “Reganomics” & the “mind numbing” trends of the ’80s? That sounds vague (I wanted to say stupid, but it’s your blog PT).

  36. Brian
    Brian says:

    [ – ] But where Penelope sees young professionals today as fundamentally conservative, I beg to differ. It's not that I disagree with her completely; more-so, I that I think she misses some of the ways in which this new generation of workers is one of the more disruptive we've ever seen. [ – ]

  37. John Feier
    John Feier says:

    Now I see what’s going on. THIS is exactly why the old fogies over at Yahoo did not like you, Penelope.

    Keep giving ’em hell, Penelope.

  38. John Feier
    John Feier says:

    James Wilson,

    You act as if the young people are not going to run into the reasons that things are the way they are.

    There should be a reason we have authority. There should be a reason we have “the man.” The younger generation are making sure that every thing DOES have a reason and that every thing has a purpose. The younger generation are simply going to re-questions all of the basic assumptions that past generations have made. They see that the problems we have today are systemic. The problems are in the design. They will question everything about the design. The past generations gave them this world and expected them to look at it in the way the past generations look at and now the old fogies are mad because they’re not?

    he he he

  39. Carmen
    Carmen says:

    PT,

    I hope you never have a business where you have to hire a Gen Yer. First when you advertise for the position, you will receive at least 500 resumes, of the 500 you will throw away 450 because of the misspellings and the job hopping or just plain obvious incompetence.

    When you narrowed the applicant pool down to 15, of the 15 you call for interviews only 4 will show up. This is what this generation is like.
    Then you hire one of them and spend a year training and then their gone. Is this behavior what you are so proud of?

    I find that the Gen y workforce is extremely selfish and have a huge sense of entitlement. “I’ve been here 4 months and have done everything you asked of me, I am ready for my promotion”…no thanks!

    Instant everything, they are probably the largest participants of the sub-prime morgage melt down. “I have to have this unafordable house, but can’t be bothered to save or even pay my bills, but I drive a huge Hummer and look good and that is all that counts”

    Of course now they just need to wait for the government to come save them…

    Sad

    * * * * * * *

    I’m in business with a bunch of Gen Yers right now. And I feel lucky. I learn so much from them. And I’m a better manager from working with them becuase they come to the workplace with so many expecations that surprise me and require me to rethink things and adapt.

    —Penelope

  40. Andy
    Andy says:

    Carmen,

    Your generalizations about generations are just as bad as PT’s are. And please, if you’re going to criticize people’s spelling on their(notice the correct usage) resumes, make sure you do a little proofreading yourself.

    Afordable? Really?

  41. John
    John says:

    I agree with your comments relative to the differences between Gen X and Y’ers, but as an early stage Boomer (1948) must take exception. When I was introduced to Obama by my cousin who lived in Chicago and 18 years my senior I was blown away! Here was someone that had vision, charisma, intelligence and most of all (but seemingly never mentioned in the campaign) talent. Experience is one thing, talent is another and given the opportunity to select one over the other talent should win out every time.

    The Boomers shared many of the qualities of the Milennials early on; a conservative, color between the lines philosophy, but then things happened to change that. I saw the pivotal event being the assassination of JFK, then the assassinations within weeks of each other of both RFK and MLK. I don’t need to mention an unpopular war fueled by a non-voluntary draft. We can only ask what would have happened had RFK become president instead of Richard Nixon in 1968! Certainly this was sufficient fuel to take a young generation of play by the rules individuals and turn them into cynics. My only hope is that Obama can go all the way and lead this country down the path that those great leaders of the 1960’s started.

    I think you’ll see the Milennials making a difference in this election, but I also think you’ll see the Boomers standing shoulder to shoulder with them; both on the conservative right and progressive left.

  42. leslie
    leslie says:

    @Carmen

    resume means to pick up again

    résumé is a description of qualifications for a particular occupation and/or job

    I find it so interesting that the first word on most résumés is often misspelled.

    * * * * * *

    Hi. Penelope here. I’ll tell you why it’s “misspelled” so much. Few English speakers know how to do the accents on their keyboard. And those who do don’t bother becuase if most people aren’t doing it then you can consider it an evolution of the language — in this case, as a result of the keyboard.

    –Penelope

  43. leslie
    leslie says:

    Hi Penelope,
    But doesn’t that seem contradictory when a job description requires “computer skills”, as most do. Isn’t knowing how to use the extended keyboard part of computer skills?

  44. John Feier
    John Feier says:

    Leslie,

    Isn’t it entirely possible that someone could know programming such as C++ and the languages that Linux supports, know how to use Excel functions in order to lessen data entry workload and have an extensive knowledge of collaborative networking systems and techniques and STILL not know how to put the accent marks on the word, “resume?” Isn’t that just slightly possible? So you’re going to choose someone who could have just learned how to use the accent marks by reading an in-system tutorial over someone who knows a lot more but who didn’t quite meet your standards of impeccability? That’s stupid. I can’t find any other words. You could have just the person your company needs to pull together some cohesion between MIS and Accounting and you’re worried about whether or not the individual can put accent marks on the word “resume” simply because you think that that somehow signifies the existence of competency and skill? That’s just petty and irrelevant.

    Looking for substance takes time. It involves looking beyond the surface of what the individual has presented. It involves asking the right kinds of questions. It involves knowing your needs extensively.

    If you’re not willing to go the extra mile to ensure that your firm gets the most qualified people for the job, then you deserve to get nothing more than what you get.

  45. Karen M
    Karen M says:

    It appears that unfortunately I was unable to add a link, so I would like to try this again

    Penelope, the link you cited regarding the fact that women make more than men, really provides misleading and corrupted data. That data besides being old data, reflecting information from 2000-2005 – reflects data ONLY of young Women, fresh out of school – and only for NYC.

    Unfortunately, it does not represent the data that the wage gap for women increases tremendously after 6 years in the workplace, and that we have actually taken a Step BACKWARDS more so than forwards in the past 2 years.

    I wrote an article recently called Have we really come a long way baby – that was featured by the Wall Street Journal. It can be found by clicking my name. It provides all the shockig But accurate data and statistics regarding the plight of women.

    I suggest that Men should also be aware of this topic, as it costs your family tens of thousands, and our economy billions of dollars each year.

    Karen Mattonen

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