Friday, 28 December 2012
Coaching Generation Y
The Gen Y market is a massive generation, even larger than the Baby Boomers.
They are graduating from universities in a down market and facing as much as 50 percent unemployment. Now is a ripe time for coaches to work with this generation.
The Baby Boomers are not retiring as fast as expected because of the economy, leaving both Gen X and Gen Y somewhat frustrated, according to Bonnie Hagemann, CEO of Executive Development Associates.
Hagemann said there are a few to explore:
* Going after their dream job with gusto. “It will help if they are willing to relocate, potentially even start their careers with an international assignment,” she said.
* Getting an advanced degree. Many are choosing this route if they have the financial staying power.
* Start a small business. The Baby Boomers had to do it and Gen Y will too. “They can start a micro business or a multi-level marketing business which both require little up-front investment and have potential for good payouts.”
Anecdotal and empirical evidence suggest that Gen Y is emerging from college without critical thinking skills and without a firm handle on the requirements of a 21st Century workplace, said Dani Ticktin Koplik, founder of dtkResources. “Raised by my generation of over-involved parents, these kids have only been told how great they are and that the world is theirs. Without really having to work for it,” she said. “So they come into the marketplace with an outsized view of their initial value and a sense of being entitled to a ‘balanced’ life.”
From the employers’ point of view, they’ve spent the last few years cutting fat and expecting more from everyone with less. “Millennials entered college when the world looked one way, and graduated when it looked quite different. Not only has it been a challenge getting them to understand the new reality but their learning curve is way too shallow,” said Ticktin Koplik.
Ticktin Koplik is producing a Millennial career event on January 8 in NYC — From Bubble to Boardroom. The one-day free event consists of high-profile speakers who have lived the skills dtkResources is teaching and who embody many Millennial values, skill-based workshops, live interactive demos and networking.
Ticktin Koplik decided she had to do this on a bigger scale to intensify the national discussion on making these kids (and, by extension, our economy) competitive in the global environment.
Al Auger, consultant on “In Search of a Profitable Life,” thinks Gen Y have a good sense of work-life balance. “Although they are smart and balanced with life priorities and motivated more by living a life and not chasing a dollar, if they are not careful this attitude could be their very undoing,” he said. “They grew up in the economic boom times, and instant gratification mentality which could make them easily frustrated in a different environment or job or even this new slower less instant gratification economic time.”
Here’s how Auger believes coaches could assist Gen Y in keeping their edge and not falling prey to themselves:
1. Remind them that things take time and that it’s ok to take the time and stop. “It’s ok to stop and take time to figure out that which they want most to do with their lives. The bad news with this is that Gen Y fights the instant gratification fix,” he said. “The good news is that they are great and not being motivated strictly by the dollar so they will be able to find their true path without that bias.”
2. Get them to always question their motivations in whatever it is they are doing. This could be Gen Y’s toughest challenge as they fight the instant gratification, Auger said. Their self-assuredness gives them the power to question everything and everyone (employers, parents) but they have great trouble with questioning themselves.
3. Flexibility is a great characteristic of the Gen Y, but it only works if they can do one and two above. “The old mentality of get a good job stay there for years and retire with a great pension failed miserably and the Gen Y knows it,” Auger concluded. “They have the greatest ability to tap the flexibility of changing career paths with ease, so encourage that flexibility and creativity to become what they really want.”
Bottom line: The current economy presents opportunities for coaches to help the Gen Y market find their true career paths.