Generations Part 1: Gen Y is the Jack of All Trades
James Rubec, Content Marketing Specialist at Randstad Canada, shares his thoughts on the generational huddle he's grown his career within and his hopes for the new generation entering the workforce today.
I grew up with two older sisters and saw exactly how competitive, career driven and challenging life has been for Gen X. I’ve always looked up to those born in the early 80s, they’ve been my mentors, my leaders and role models, seeing their struggle taught me two things;
Enjoy life – While #thestruggleisreal, is it only a struggle if you aren’t enjoying your journey – I also grew up with John Hughes movies, to quote Ferris Bueller’s day off;
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around for a while, you could miss it."
I feel that a lot of Generation X missed it because they were terrified of the repeated crashes in the economy and the amazing longevity of the boomers. Getting out of school with debt is a great incentive to get your life moving, but what if you can’t?
Network in real life: Back before Facebook my sisters had tons of friends and they did things, real things like car trips and dinners and back yard bbqs. They didn’t need a Facebook event to make it happen, they just got out and did stuff. They followed through on their commitments not just on peoples’ Twitter handles.
Now I’m just happy to have them around to help steer the ship in real life while my generation is busy swimming in apps and technology.
Learn more about Generation Y, with From Y to Z: a guide to the next generation of employees.
Generation Y: Jacks of All Trades, but Masters of None
Growing up in Ottawa, I have a slanted view of my generation, there were a few fields people could go into – government, tech, pure academia or the trades. I know almost no one who works with their hands and that’s endemic of our society. I know one carpenter, one painter and they are experts in their trades – that’s also endemic of our generation.
Knowing how large the world is makes us demand the best from ourselves in all we do. Problem is we want to do everything and know everything. We all have a DSLR camera, we all have improvisational training, we all of degrees, we all have lofty dreams - we are unique just like everyone else. The Internet did this to us, at one point we’re DIY, at another we have no time to do anything ourselves. We work hard, probably too hard to be productive. We network well but know too many people to build on those relationships in substantive ways.
Provide valuable feedback to Gen Y
I think we’ll get better with age, with focus and a winnowing of our dreams. It is often said we’re constantly seeking praise and feedback, it's because we're asking the world around us “Is this any good, should I keep doing it, is it worthwhile?”
Provide that feedback, that input and give Gen Y all of the opportunities you can. They'll make it worth your while.
What do you think of your generation? What are you doing to be your best? Ask me anything on Twitter @JamesRRubec.
From Generation Z? Here are tips on building your first professional resume.