I was given an article to read the other day. Its entitled “The 7 biggest myths about generation Y” by Michael McQueen
Michael is an author, international speaker and social researcher on this very topic and the 7 myths he presents got me thinking.
Myth #1 They are self-centred.
There are a couple statistics presented here: 81% of youth aged 13-25 volunteered in the last 12 months and 69% consider a company’s social and environmental commitment when shopping. If these two are to be believed then there are a lot more engaged youth than I first thought.
Myth#2 They don’t think about the future.
Youths perception of the future is different and preparing for it has to be different. The key here is in the word ‘preparing’ rather than ‘planning’. Theirs is a vague future with ever shifting careers and skills required. Much better they equip themselves with the skills and contacts they need rather than trying to plan for a unpredictable future.
Myth #3 They have moral compass
From over here that may be the perception but McQueen talks about their understanding that there are no moral absolutes. Truth and morality and seen differently by each individual. This had left them being more tolerant and accepting of diversity than any previous generation.
Myth #4 The are disrespectful
I have heard this one time and time again. But reality paints a differnet picture. As far as Gen Y are concerned there is little respect for piverledge or power or authority. Respect is built out of being respected and out of a genuine relationship with the individual.
“being worthy of being respected is similar to being a nice person… If you have to tell them you are, then perhaps you really aren’t.”
Myth #5 They are lazy
This one is tricky. There is totally different mindset towards work with Generation Y. They have seen far too many heart attacks, strokes and failed marriages. They are being their careers with clearer picture about what work/ life balance is. They are committed to their work but not at the expense of family, friends and the relationships that truly matter.
Myth #6 They only communicate online.
It is true with Twitter, Facebook and MySpace, Pinterest and other online communities there has been a huger connection being made around the globe. But with the migration of people and the connecting through the internet Gen Y’s mideset is shifting towards real relationships with real discussion. Making connections with the older generation.
Myth#7 They don’t want to connect with older generations.
They have often been referred to as the Fatherless generation, with divorce on the increase and the blended family becoming the norm its hardly a wonder that so many wonder where their roots are and are crying out to make genuine connections with adults they can trust, look up to and respect.
But Generation Y is getting older. They are no longer filling our Primary schools and they are fast vacating our High Schools too. Do some of these myths still apply to this next generation? Are they the truly lazy? How are we going to address the students in our care? There is much to consider and reason enough to look for the good in our youth rather than assume the worst. What now? But what next?