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5 Key Characteristics of Generation Y

With Gen Y fast approaching the front line of our workforce, it’s time to start thinking about what makes these guys tick. Unlike the Baby Boomers & Gen X’ers who have grown up in the 3D world, Gen Y have grown up with the Internet at their fingertips. The world to them is virtual and the possibilities are endless. The work of trend forecaster and futurist Anni Macbeth is fascinating to read or listen to so I’ve summarised some of her views below.

5 things to consider when understanding Generation Y:

  • Walk the Talk. You only have one shot to gain their trust, if you fail they will write you off for good. If they suspect for a moment that you are trying to ‘pull the wool over their eyes’, so to speak, they will be gone in a nanosecond.
  • Gen Y are multi-channelers and can focus fully on many variables at once, rather than us single channelers. (Mac brings up an interesting example of how a Gen X’er or BB if lost while driving, would pull over, turn down the stereo and look at the map. What does the stereo volume have to do with looking at a map?! Single channelers..)
  • They care & are committed to saving the planet
  • Most live under the radar of establishment
  • There is a sense of immediacy as they are on a faster journey and their expectations of services or relationships are higher

For more insights check out Peter Sheahan who became a millionaire at 18 by establishing himself as an expert on Gen Y. He was also named Australian Keynote Speaker of the Year in 2006.

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  • Stan Lee

    Ever been lost?
    Truly lost?
    If you had you’d know why you need to turn down the music to concentrate on getting unlost.

  • From Generation Y

    Yeah but, it’s easy to read and tune out the radio at the same time. I find that I only turn the music down when I become frustrated and any sound is just irritating. But I think what it means is that we multi-task without recongnizing it because it is just a part of who we are; always doing several things at once to get it all done before hand. We concentrate on totally diferent levels then our parents do. It’s a given when we spend so much time using crappy, slow technology – you try to do more then one thing while something else is loading. It teaches the exact opposite of patience.:):):)

  • Anonymous

    Gen Y would just use GPS… who even uses maps anymore?

  • Anonymous

    Yeah! That’s right… and we will use that GPS while the Radio is “All the way Turned Up.”

  • Anonymous

    Yeah! That’s right…We will use that GPS while the Radio is “All the way Turned Up.”

  • AuntieDL

    I believe that Gen Y’s probably get “truly” lost less frequently due to the information at our fingertips, it’s not meant to be insulting that someone in a different Generation would turn it down, it’s just showing how different things are between all the Generations. Not one better than the other, just different.

  • Steve

    False. While Gen Y peeps typically do more tasks at once, it doesn’t mean they are fully focused on them. Studies have been done showing that about 3% can actually effectively multi-task while 97% cannot. These were college students (Gen Y’ers)

  • Stanley Sessions

    This sounds like astrology to me. Let’s be careful with stereotypes, shall we? They have a bad history.

  • Stanley Sessions

    “Generation W” (“Baby Boomers”) have had to adapt to all the new technologies, events, etc. as well, and many of us are just as good at multitasking, etc. I see more similarities than differences among these arbitrary generational divides.