After several years on life support, the American economy is starting to show stirrings of life. But it's clear that even if unemployment numbers are dropping, we aren't soon likely to return to our parents' economy (or our grandparents', for that matter).
The generation of young people now entering the workforce are the first to have spent their entire childhoods surrounded by video games. And it seems they may be bringing some by-products of all that time with controllers in hand with them to their first jobs. In fact, just a few months ago, British researchers found that avid adult gamers can actually confuse real life for video games. Seriously.
Put more than one economist in a room and chances are slim they'll find much to agree on. However, lately there seems to be a consensus forming among economists that the economy's trajectory is heading up. That’s great news for struggling young people. But the question still remains how they will recover from having spent some important formative years mired in one of the worst recessions in decades.
If you aren't yet familiar with the Dunning-Kruger effect you’re missing out (and if you are, you’re bound to be pleased to be reminded of this old friend). It’s an idea that explains so very many aggravating things in the world of business, and perhaps the world in general.
Gen Y isn’t known for its loyalty. Some studies have indicated that as many as 70 percent of workers in this demographic will leave their first employer within two years of joining. So how can you keep your 20-something talent — aka the "Millennials" — and bring down the costs of high turnover?
As Boomers gradually retire and your organization hires more young workers, your office may change. The median age will drop, the average wardrobe alter and, with team-happy young people filling the cubicles, the place may be a bit chattier, but these are all relatively cosmetic shifts. Are there any more fundamental ways that Gen Y is changing the office?
What is the one thing you can be sure your youngest employees straight out of school know how to do? Anecdotal horror stories suggest that sometimes their knowledge of corporate culture isn’t up to snuff. Certainly they won’t be subject matter experts on your firm’s processes and proprietary tech, and a few might not even have honed basic work skills like communicating professionally in writing. But there is one thing they clearly couldn’t have gotten this far without – knowing how to learn.
It’s rough out there for recent college grads. With the group experiencing sky-high unemployment and even more rampant underemployment, those lucky few young people with a career track job are probably feeling pretty lucky. And a bit scared.
When the parents of so-called Gen Y (aka the Millennials) graduated from college or high school, they knew exactly what to do: Get a job. Their employers may have changed periodically as they climbed the proverbially career ladder, but the basic concept that adults had full-time jobs with single employers over periods of years was pretty much a given.