One of the hardest parts of managing your career is getting clear on what’s most important to you in the work you do. And it’s ironic that the true-but-cliched exclamation from new parents — “the kids force me to see what is really important in my life” — comes after we have navigated a big chunk of our careers. So a great strategy to find out what you should be doing in your career is to look at research about how you are likely to parent.

To this end, I am happy to report on the first few studies I’ve seen about what Generation Y is like as parents. The best part about generational research is that you can see yourself from a different perspective, and in a larger context. Your generation is never a perfect mirror of you, but it’s usually fairly accurate. Otherwise people wouldn’t continue to pay for the research, right?

Parenting styles reveal one’s true values, so reading this research is like giving yourself a jump-start on self-knowledge that usually comes after you’ve slogged through your twenties. Based on research about values that guide new millennium parenting, here are three things to seek out in new millennium work.

1. Look for good flow of information.
Generation Y sees information as a personal differentiator. As parents, Gen Y does not hesitate to give advice, and they feel confident that they have the right information at hand to make the right decisions for their kids.

And as employees, having access to premium information in their field, and being able to share it in a productive way, is very important to feeling fulfilled.

This is a hard nut to crack in the workplace because other generations conspire against you. For example, it is much more important to Gen Y than Gen X to be perceived as someone who gives good advice. Gen X is skeptical of all expert advice. And Baby Boomers think good advice comes only with age.

So stay away from offices that have hierarchy as a way to make people feel useful and important—it will mean a constipated flow of information. Companies that are truly good at creating team environments will probably provide rich information environments because not only do these companies encourage sharing ideas, but they value the flow of information enough to have shifted away from the focus on individualism of earlier generations.

2. Make sure you can customize your environment.
While Generation X is largely cynical about consumerism, Generation Y is known for fitting in by standing out and using consumer products as a means of self-expression. This generation has been choosing the color and style of their phones forever, and they have been customizing the colors on their Nikes.

Gen Y brings these values to their kids in the form of products like Webkinz. These infinitely customizable toys allow Gen Y’s kids to express themselves through kid-friendly consumerism. And the studies about Gen Y found that “Moms admitted to logging onto their children’s Webkinz accounts after their kids went to bed to help them earn more virtual currency and give them more fuel to further customize their virtual pets’ rooms.”

In the workplace, customization is a must in order to feel like you are being recognized for your authentic self by co-workers. The most common request in this arena is flexible hours, but you should also look for a company that focuses on playing to your individual strengths.

For example, ask someone to match you with the perfect mentor, or to help figure out what training you need and find you the right coach to do it. You won’t feel like you are making an authentic connection with your workplace if the workplace does not make an effort to address what is different about you.

3. Surround yourself with people who have faith in the future.
Members of Gen Y are optimistic parents. They worry much less about the future than their Gen X counterparts; Gen Y deals with the uncertainty of the future by living more in the present.

For example, while Gen Y has less tolerance for debt than other generations, they are saving less for college and retirement, figuring that the money will take care of itself. Another example is that Gen X parents care a lot about what their kids eat on a daily basis in order to establish good eating habits in the future. But Gen Y parents figure that the eating habits will work themselves out later on, and they don’t pay as much attention to daily food choices.

Gen Y also have more trust in kids’ abilities to learn all the time than other parents. For example, when it comes to media, Gen Xers want everything to be labeled officially “educational,” but Gen Y believes more in “invisible learning” — the idea that kids can learn from any media they use (with a caveat for violence).

In the workplace, these values play out in the quest for lifelong learning. Paying dues is out because the reliance on the certainty of pay-off in the future does not make sense in today’s workplace. Instead, focus on finding work that has payoff on a daily basis since you can never know what will come next in your work life.

Make each day one where you learn and have fun because putting that off for some maybe-payoff (like making partner at a law firm, or getting a fat paycheck) will make you feel like you’re not being true to yourself. Also, don’t be derailed by the cynicism of older generations. There is no rule that says they see the world more clearly than you do.

34 replies
  1. Tiffany Monhollon
    Tiffany Monhollon says:

    The connection between parenting habits and personal values is such a great way to diagnose personal values – you’re so right that we don’t pay enough attention to how these personal aspects of our lives can and should inform our career, so bravo for this post.

    We can only hope organizations will pay close attention to these values and that skeptical though they may be, the older generations who are calling the shots will see how offering the kinds of work environments that appeal to Gen Y because of these reasons is more than simply a recruiting gimmick – it’s a way to make work and life more compatible and something that everyone, not just the younguns, would benefit from.

    Research I’ve seen on flexible work schedules is interesting in confirming this fact. It started out being offered to appeal to younger workers, but now with a recruiting and retention crisis emerging as Boomers begin to retire, it’s being utilized by all spans of the generational spectrum.

  2. Seth Mattison
    Seth Mattison says:

    Interesting analogy. As twenty something male I will secretly admit I do contemplate what my parenting values will be and how I will try and communicate better then my parents did with me on the tougher things to talk about with kids. ie sex, etc. I think you’re right on the money and the two really do go hand in hand. I’ve yet to see an article coming from this angle and I love it. Companies take notice!!

  3. Milena
    Milena says:

    Penelope – forgive me for being skeptical, but perhaps you could offer some “case studies” in people who are living the life you are talking about in your post. And since you mention parenting, someone who is still happily married, is a good parent, having fun, making decent money (i.e., no excessive debt, still go out to eat sometimes, and buy a few nice things) and works at a job they truly enjoy all at the same time.

    I certainly understand and support your vision in theory…but am wary that the buck stops there. I would love to see some “rags to riches” stories on here.

    * * * * * * *

    I don’t think there is anything in this piece about dream families, dream parenting or rags-to-riches. And believe me, I would be the last person to write that it’s possible to have a perfect family and perfect marriage.

    But a lot of our perception of how well things are going is what our baseline optimism is, and as a generation, Millenniels are very optimistic. Which means that, say, in the face of excessive debt, which many people in this generation have, they can still think that the world is basically a good place and issues about eating and videos will work out okay in the end.

    I actually think that everyone can learn from this sunny, hopeful outlook. Optimism has been shown to be a very important part of a life where you meet your goals.

    –Penelope

  4. Mark
    Mark says:

    I feel that this post about relating parenting traits to necessary occupational traits has depicted a portion of the sociological picture for our generation (y). It really made me think about my role in my current career, and how I fit the scheme.

    I believe your points are valid. Being in a position that literally follows every word that you derogate, I can understand that avoiding these could lead to a fulfilled professional life.

    Hierarchical dominance in the workplace would not only constipate the flow of information, but also of usefulness and advancement. I'm at an entry level position essentially straight out of college (though, additionally, I do have valuable experience that I developed in academia). I've been optimistic that this position could help further my career, but I'm stuck at the bottom until I "pay my dues" in order to advance. Though it has only been a short time, I believe it has really inhibited the development of my true potential. But unfortunately, this is an inevitable evil.

    I wish that I could agree with saying that "paying dues is out." But your advice (at least in my field) of finding work that would avoid the hierarchy might be harder than what is thought. In a previous article you stated the job market should not be affected in a recession. Lay-offs throughout the industry, expense cut-backs, and a general tightening of the purse strings has made the job search that much more difficult. Even though I have seen the "dream job" that I have the necessary skills and experience, I am forced to stay where I am because I only have 2 years experience (as opposed to 5 that someone else might have).

    But your final take-home message of "make[ing] each day one where you learn and have fun" is the end-all to the exiguous blight. Making friends (networking), continuing education in my field, attending company events, and giving back to the community are small actions that fulfill my needs personally and professionally. But in the end, I am still left hoping that optimism and hard work will ultimately help me accomplish my goals!

    * * * * * *

    Mark, thanks for your comment. But this is the part I don’t get: If you are in an entry-level job in a field that requires your to pay dues and is very hierarchical, and you know this is not good for you, why not switch to a more rewarding and accommodating field? You have very little switching cost right now – you are entry level! Don’t wait!

    -Penelope

  5. funkright
    funkright says:

    Mark, like Penelope says, “don’t wait”.. your costs of migrating are marginal relative to what will occur later in life.

    As you grow older, get married, have a family, then your parents start having challenges (medical, financial, etc.) well, life, it definitely gets more complicated, I can surely attest to that lately.

    I definitely bought into the program, but switching the channel now is prohibitively expensive (emotionally, financially, etc…).

  6. Michael Cortes (Gen X)
    Michael Cortes (Gen X) says:

    There’s a couple things I don’t get. You compare X’s pessimism to Y’s optimism. Is that X’s pessimism when they were Y’s current age? Or when X was the age of Y now, was X also optimistic then?

    And as we move forward in time, will Y become as pessimistic, skeptical, and controlling as you just made me feel?

    * * * * * * *

    Gen X rules as the generation of cynics at any age. Something I am actually proud of as an Xer. I think it’s what makes Gen X more revolutionary and creative than other generations — the misery. There is a great book coming out from De Capo press about Gen X as the creative generation. I’m excited to read that. I’ll probably do twenty posts about that book.

    –Penelope

  7. Jim C
    Jim C says:

    Two points:

    (1) “…while Gen Y has less tolerance for debt than other generations, they are saving less for college and retirement…”

    It looks as if the one phenomenon explains the other. Could the low savings rate be due to the crushing college debt that Gen Y is trying to pay off?

    (2) The lack of concern for the future (Let the future take care of itself; feed the kids junk food and they’ll learn by themselves later to eat healthful foods; don’t worry about retirement; etc.) is a common trait of youth. When we are young we feel immortal. But if Gen Y shows more of this trait than preceding generations, this does not bode well for the future of our civilization. Maybe Gen X are the ants and Gen Y are the grasshoppers. We all know what happens to the grasshopper at the end of summer.

  8. Milena
    Milena says:

    @ Penelope – €“ I didn't use the words "dream" or "perfect" in my comment either. "Rags to riches" was a metaphor for "success story."

    I was simply asking if you could offer real-life examples of people who live the optimistic life you advocate (possibly experienced a turning point where this was so) and realize success in their goals in both work and life. For example: a moderately successful marriage/relationship, fairly decent amounts of sleep, kids that are somewhat well-behaved and possibly pay attention in school most of the time, a job they look forward to going to most days, and financial situation that allows monthly bills to be paid.

    I don't disagree with concepts such as customizable jobs or surrounding yourself with optimistic people. I'm seeing these ideas pop up a lot on websites, such as the bloggers on your new site. But I don't see them popping up in reality. I'm not so much interested in the "what" but the "how."

    You've been giving work/life advice for a long time, no? In your years doing this, you've no doubt heard from success stories. Who are the greatest testaments to your advice? If I'm going to invest in it, I better find out the track record, no?

  9. kristi
    kristi says:

    Great article! As a gen-x by birth (1970) but a gen-y at heart, I can attest to having most of these qualities as a parent, even though I became a parent for the first time in 1988. 5 kids later, I have little ones (2 girls under 5) and big ones (19, 16, 14) now… the big ones eat healthy when no one is looking and the little ones eat what they want, and yes, I do believe that the eating habits work themselves out.
    I spent a lot of years working as the “2nd paycheck”, menaing I was taking part-time jobs and not working on a career. I am so glad I had my kids to help me figure out a lot of life stuff before I went to college in my late 20s, post-divorce, and later started working on my career.
    I feel like my kids helped me leap-frog past “paying my dues” in my career. I certainly paid dues in college- single mom, 3 kids, worked full-time, classes full-time plus 2nd jobs and internships- all for 6 years straight.
    But less than 3 years after I graduated, I landed my dream job in the field I studied for. I work with upbeat, optimistic people, who come to me as the resident expert in my field, and I customize my work day every day, thanks to my wonderful boss- a Boomer who never got around to having her own kids.
    I often feel like rags-to-riches and continue to be thankful for what I’ve been given, and at the top of that list are my wonderful kids.

  10. Jerry
    Jerry says:

    I am a good example of Gen Y parenting that Milena is looking for. Wife and I are 28, and we have a 7 month infant son. The article does seem to describe us. We’ve been married for 8 years, graduate degrees, and work full time plus. We wanted to show our employers that a baby would not interfere with our ambition, so we chose a daycare close to work so that I could pick him up before they close and go back to work to finish up anything, and keep him with me or wife would come pick him up (trade off). It was crazy hectic during busy year end but we did it.

    However, the baby did make us refocus our energy and goals. I put off licensing exams this year and told my employer, and they understand even though I felt like a loser for not being able to handle it. A baby is a 2nd full time job!

    And just because you’re a part of a generation doesn’t mean we can’t still learn from things and plan accordingly while keeping our traits. For instance, I’m much more bold than my boomer coworkers towards my bosses. Not in a bad way, just more upfront and seek answers to my questions.

  11. Jim Eiden
    Jim Eiden says:

    This is funny. I am 42 , born in 1966. Some studies indicate I am last of baby boomers, other studies say I am first of Gen-X.

    But I don’t identify with either. I’m too young for some Boomer references, and too old for Gen-X.

    To be honest, I more identify with the Greatest Generation. I feel like I have more in common with them. Maybe it has something to do with how well I get along with my Grand Parents.

  12. Jerry
    Jerry says:

    Milena, we had a turning point in our lives. Both of us met as sophomores (she was junior) in college, after a year got married, and lived with my single mother. My parents divorced when I was 10. We wanted to build a life together, and moved out after living with mom took sour. Started in a 400 sq ft apartment with ugly blue carpet and homeless people all around. After graduating college, had lots of debt to pay off so worked towards paying down for a couple of years. We both found employment after, and lived with a roommate in a cheap apartment. Decided to move on our own, and coworkers kept pressuring us to buy a house to build equity. But instead of buying expensive homes, we bought a $50K house in bad side of town for a $380 monthly payment including tax/insurance. That greatly helped our debt paydown and savings growth. We still had no kids and only our pet cat. While living there got our masters degrees. Moved out of state once graduated. She got promoted and transferred, and I found another employer. We were separated for about 8 months (which I DONT recommend and will never do again.) That was two years ago, now we’re both 28. I’m very happy working where I am, she’s starting to get antsy and dissatisfied, and we had a baby last summer, which caused us to be a little more stable so we bought a house with a 20% downpayment using our savings, and the house costs 4 times as much as the one we had before, but we are still considered to live below our means. Our mortgage payment including taxes/insurance is only 21% of our NET PAY, not gross. Both cars are 8 years old and have been paid off for 4 years (which helped us save). Maybe we’ve just been lucky, but from where we started out, we feel SO successful, and 1000s times blessed. When all you ate was spaghetti, ramen, and mashed potatoes with chicken thighs every now and then, it will take a really hard economic recession to make us feel unsuccessful. But I am grateful that we started out that way because as they say, when you’re at the bottom the only way to look is up, and we’ve been going up ever since.

    And as for retirement? Not worried about it. It’s actually something we’ve been talking about recently, and before we wanted to have millions saved for it, but now don’t care as much. The baby has really changed us in that way, and we realize that we are just animals. What do animals need to live? Food and water. Add some love to that, and it’s all good. We don’t need extravagence and only reason we’re living like that now is to try it out. We’ve tried it out, and the excitement from having a large house has passed. So can’t wait to downsize eventually.

  13. Jerry
    Jerry says:

    Oh, and I should mention she was a foreign exchange student and we had to do the whole citizenship thing which took 5 years. So,we began on our own.

  14. Milena
    Milena says:

    @ Prolific Programmer – interesting observation. My family is european, and I’m 1 and a 1/2 generation myself, so there is still a lot of influence there. I’m trying to think if what you say is true.

    Europeans (in my experience) may not be bubbly and optimistic, but they tend to be dramatic, leaning towards hyperbole in their expression(like I do myself).

    A funny example my husband brings up about his italian family is they’ll say things like “The violin hanging on the wall began to play when Uncle So-and-So died!” They are very colorful, but bubbly, not so much.

    I think this was true in my own family. Optimism wasn’t emphasized, but neither was negativity. “Everything will work out fine,” was an oft-repeated phrase, but I don’t remember anyone feeling particularly cheery about it…

  15. Milena
    Milena says:

    @ Jerry – to be honest, it sounds like you and your wife have struggled a lot, and possibly still face challenges similar to what I would consider major roadblocks for myself, but you are like the poster child for optimism.

    Thanks for the insights!

  16. Miriam Salpeter
    Miriam Salpeter says:

    Penelope,
    What a great and unique spin…Generational parenting trends to inform career choice.

    I love the idea that individuals can look to generational research to *attempt* to predict their own values, especially since it’s impossible for a young person to really understand their workplace values (e.g., Is money more important, or is it flexibility?) until they have already made choices that may turn out to be wrong!

    As you suggest, as members of a generation, we’re all still individuals. Using this type of research to help inform choices is great, with the recognition that self-awareness is a denominator that may or may not be a common one.

    Miriam Salpeter

  17. GenerationXpert
    GenerationXpert says:

    I’m an Xer (born 1971). I work for a very forward-thinking company. When they hired me and another person (born 1970), we were introduced by our Boomer boss to an audience at my company’s international conference something like this:

    “We decided it was time to hire some Gen Xers. These two know the names of all their kids and don’t return work emails on the weekend.”

    Obviously, he was saying it tongue and cheek, and it really was a compliment. That was the day I realized that I really did get the perfect job and have the perfect boss. Not because they are really perfect, but because 1) It is understood that as an Xer I am different than my Boomer colleagues. 2) That difference is considered to be good. 3) They realize that when work doesn’t get in the way of your family, your work is better.

    So my point is that I agree with Penelope. I’m not sure I agree with all the reasons WHY. But I do agree with the three things to look for in your next job. I have all three and have never been happier.

  18. Curmudgeon
    Curmudgeon says:

    >> Your generation is never a perfect mirror of you, but it's usually fairly accurate. Otherwise people wouldn't continue to pay for the research, right?

    You’re joking here, right? You’re a smart and educated person; you must know that neither statement is correct.

    1. Social research is either too exact to be generalizable, or too general to be useful.

    2. Research is funded for a wide variety of reasons. Accuracy is almost never one of them.

  19. Maggie
    Maggie says:

    “I was simply asking if you could offer real-life examples of people who live the optimistic life you advocate (possibly experienced a turning point where this was so) and realize success in their goals in both work and life.”

    I, like a few other posters here, was born in 1968 but identify WAY more with Gen-Y. Not only do I totally agree with what Penelope says in this post, I also think I’m a pretty decent real-life example of the whole have your cake and eat it too lifestyle. Granted, I had to walk through hell to get here–miserable marriage for almost 14 years, 8 of which were even more miserable because being true to what I wanted for my kids–being a stay-home mom–meant sacrificing my own personal happiness on many levels. As bitter as that sounds, I actually really am not; as much as that part of my life sucked, it was worth it to be home with my kids, and I’m more than making up for those empty years now.

    I don’t know what happened–I guess going back to work?–but suddenly I just changed my mind and realized you only live once and you may as well make the best of it. I got divorced, switched jobs, got remarried and am about to switch jobs again.

    Weirdly/coincidentally the reasons I’m switching jobs are the exact ones Penelope gives above–I can’t stand working at a place where you have to sit with your mouth shut while people stupider than you run things badly because they are higher on the totem pole; I want to work at a place that values employees and actually offers flexibility instead of just paying lip-service to it; and I want to enjoy the environment I spend half my waking life in. Yes, these places do exist and you can make the same money there as you can in a crappy, depressing place–you just have to trust that you can make it happen.

    Anyway, long story short: I will be 40 in 2 months, have two kids who have slept through the night since they were a few weeks old and do more than fine in school in spite of the fact that they never laid eyes on flash cards or Baby Einstein and don’t really eat vegetables, am stupid happy with my 2nd husband, and am confident that the interview I had this past week for a job at my dream company will mean that a month from now I’ll look forward to going to work every day.

  20. Rich
    Rich says:

    Is the parenting style/career needs correlation just a reflection of self-fulfilled prophecy? i.e. parents that pat themselves on the back for dumping their kids at a daycare that is ‘close to work’ are selectively choosing their success based on what they can actually accomplish, as opposed to what is truly best for them. At the same time in career development, Gen Y’ers (relatively new in the workforce) are celebrating flex time/flat corporate hierarchies/free flow of information because at this stage of their career that is all that is available to them.

    I am still under the impression that the Y’s will not change the way we do work, but simply replace the Boomers’ hierachy and structure. It seems that the research supports Gen Y’s optimistic “we’ll wait our turn” approach (biding their time with education and gadgets) as opposed to the Gen X “I don’t want to play your game, so I am going home” philosophy.

    Another point about Gen X vs Gen Y and family. Many of the posts seem to infer that Gen X is willing to sacrifice more (debt, career) for family, however I believe is that trends have less to do with values and more to do with cynicism and selecting a game we can win (parenting) with one we seemingly cannot (corner office).

    Great post!

  21. Robert
    Robert says:

    Penelope,

    I just reviewed your article in the Boston Globe and while I agree in principle with some of your statements. I want to stress that in today’s employment market everyone should be looking for opportunities that will make them more marketable in the future.

    I was also “given” advice by my mentor with this statement, “you learn in your twenties and earn in your thirties.” I disliked that comment then as I do now, and it stayed with me my entire working career. But, most of us will not be fortunate enough to work at a Google, Face Book or Microsoft and have single digits in our employee ID badges.

    To make the statement “that the best thing that you can do early in your career is move around to find out what you’re good at.” In principle has merit, but, what does the person want in their life to be successful? And yes, us Gen Xers do worry about the future, because our jobs and their skills change almost yearly.

    To conclude, somethings never change and the old dilema of should I stay or go at a company is one that alot of people face in their careers. What, I would strongly suggest is that people realize that the majority of leaders of companies stay at one company the majority of their career. So, depending on what the Gen Y wants from their employment experience, they better think long and hard about the possiblity of being labeled a job hopper.

    Sure, it’s acceptable to go back so many years on a resume that you send to a company. And YOU may not have to give a full employment history of your career. But, what if you did and you are now in your early thirties and have had many jobs? How do you explain that and compete in a tight market? Skills and abilities will always win out, but, what if those are even between candidates? Then your career changes might be used as deciding factors in you getting a job or not. Good luck and make your choices with your future in mind.

    BTW my first ten years of my working career I worked at twelve companies. Some as a fulltime employee and others as a contractor. Until, I found my ideal position-as my own boss!

  22. Shefaly
    Shefaly says:

    @ Prolific Programmer:

    Milena makes a few points about Europeans but neither your observation nor hers about dramatisation applies to ALL Europeans.

    There is nothing called a European! There are the Dutch, the French, the Italians, the Germans, the Brits and the Finnish and lately, the Polish, the Czechs and so on. Europe is a continent, a collection of nations (nations being used here as it should be, a group sharing a cultural identity) which are so different amongst them that they had to be separate countries. So I doubt if any such generalisation is apt.

    However I must agree that Europeans (by residence or origin) in general appear less Prozac-ed out than some Americans appear to be. There can be drama but also cynicism and not always open, effusive praise. There is the expectation to be better everyday though better does not mean more money.

    I make this observation as a non-European (by origin) living in Europe, who has also lived and worked in the US and a few European countries. Yes, if you go by stereotypes, I am a cynical Gen-X. :-)

  23. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    I realized how the flow of information has really changed parenting styles through a conversation with my mother (I am Gen Y, my mother is Baby Boomer).

    My mother was very depressed when I was growing up, and it had a huge impact on me. Facing similar issues in my 20s, I am frightened that I will pass on the same anxiety to my own kids (when I have them). I’ve found that reading blogs, books, really whatever I can get my hands on, is shaping how I will parent some day.

    When I asked my mother why she never thought to research what was happening to her and how her depression could impact me, she said nothing was available back then.

  24. Chris Bauman
    Chris Bauman says:

    Miriam….Great ending – ie The 3 things to look for in your next job which Penelope has illustrated perfectly in her post. The trick here then is asking the right questions at an interview and not relying on pure luck. Asking the right questions about what is really important to ‘me’ will have a big bearing on whether you are happy ….

    Note – I guess these are the types of questions that I wished I had asked and mayby I would have ended up in a company like Miriam when I was first employed. Thankfully I left that company a long time ago.

    Qu – Am I required to be contactable on the weekend? Are there any activities that are conducted as an organisation on a regular basis? Who is my immediate supervisor – can you tell me about them? I would love to see a post on the types of questions that you should ask and the follow up comments. A lot of time we are so focused on just getting a job that we forget the relevent questions that affect our lives. Random thoughts.

  25. david rees
    david rees says:

    Maybe its just me (born 1970) but I have 2 sons ages 4 and 6 and we raise them much more in line with your GenY description.

    I always hated products that were blatantly “educational” as it implied that you could not learn things from life and your experience.

    We let our kids play too many video games and eat less healthy than we would prefer (though not for lack of trying) but hey – they are kids.

    In my view, it was always the boomer parents trying to script every aspect of their kids lives and trying to make sure everything was “educational”.

    But whatever…

  26. Wally Bock
    Wally Bock says:

    Great post, Penelope, and wonderful “re-purposing” of research. Let me suggest another purpose that I don’t think has been mentioned so far. Most of us “boss” like we “parent” and vice versa. If your research is reading the generational values right, then Gen Ys as bosses will be high on information flow, learning and customization. Not a bad mix when combined with an appreciation of teamwork and high achievement.

  27. Wally Bock
    Wally Bock says:

    Congratulations! This post was selected as one of the five best business blog posts of the week in my Three Star Leadership Midweek Review of the Business Blogs.

    Wally Bock

  28. jonathan edwards
    jonathan edwards says:

    I’m the father of 2 boy gen y-ers…you describe the shallow, consumption-driven nature of their world very well…having said that, I think the manifestation of their self absorption in the workplace is a refreshing and beneficial change from the hierarchical, pay-your-dues world of my working youth (I’m 55)…fortunately (I think), I’ve managed to convey the concept of the benefits of investing rather than spending to them fairly well, and they both have thriving little portfolios of their own, which bodes well for their retirement…

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