I just read an article in O Magazine. The topic, Gen Y. The title, Your Kids Are Different and It’s Okay.
The author? Let’s call him Dave.
Dave says that Gen Y is different in 4 ways.
- They think that they’re entitled to the good life.
- They want a good work-life balance.
- They’re “much more collaborative”.
- They’re “much more technologically savvy”.
Let’s focus on number 4. What’s Dave’s proof? An anecdote. (That means story).
A CEO had to migrate his company from one software platform to another. His IT Manager said it would take 2 weeks and $60K. How did he solve the problem?
“I gave a 22-year-old $100 and a case of beer, and he got it done in a day!”
Ho, ho! Now’s the time we’re supposed to laugh but let me ask you this: What’s that supposed to mean? That you can ask any 22-year-old to come up with a solution to your IT problems? That’s what it sounds like, doesn’t it? But any idiot knows it isn’t true. So, again, what does he mean?
Dave’s not saying that some young whiz-kid solved the problem. That would make the person unique and he’s saying that this story represents a generation.
I can imagine that some young people know more about some IT business than middle-aged pros. Here’s why.
- People who have no money figure out how to do things on the cheap.
- People who have jobs are busy doing mundane things and they can’t afford to try untested procedures so, they stick to the established way of doing things until another officially-approved technique comes along.
A young enthusiast, therefore, might know more about some things than a pro. For instance, when The Toronto Star, the biggest newspaper in Canada, began publishing blogs using Typepad as the platform, I was giving one of the journalists basic tips because her IT department was busy and probably had very little experience with blogs.
So, how many 22-year-olds can fix your IT system? The readers of O Magazine are being told that advanced IT skills are commonplace in Gen Y. My guess is that a lot of guys know how to find (and steal) games, movies and music online but nothing more.
Does that make you wonder about Dave’s other claims? It should.
Based in Toronto, the Recruiting Animal worked as a busboy and taxi driver before drifting into recruiting and a brilliant career as a pioneer of recruiter blogging. Although unrecognized in his native land, the Recruiting Animal has established himself as one of the world’s leading experts on resumes, job-hunting, social media and Generation Y. He is incredibly well-connected in the free world and beyond.