Generation Y, Echo Boomers, Internet Generation, iGeneration, The Millenials, name them what you will but they are the talk of the town and for good reason.
A lot has been said about this generation, those born between 1980 and 1994. They are criticised as being demanding, impatient, selfish, lazy and bad communicators yet they are also being widely praised for being more socially aware, more tolerant and more accepting of cultural differences then any generation before them. Those not so quick to criticise however, are marketing and research groups. They are more concerned in investing their time and money into discovering the attitudes and attributes of this generation as they and many others are realising the impact that this generation is having and will continue to have on the economy.
It has been said that Generation Yers are best known for their ability to spend rather than to save. Baby boomers were asset-rich at comparable ages where as this generation are more impulsive spenders focused on today rather than tomorrow. With this in mind, the great "Australian dream" of owning your own land and home is somewhat of a treat rather than a necessity. This is due to two contributing factors. One, the attitude of this generation is more focused on enjoying life now and worrying about the rest later. For example, far more Generation Yers are prepared to pay exorbitant rents in inner-city suburbs than buying a property further out (away from their world). The second factor is the current housing market. It is much harder for this generation to buy property than it was for their parents and grandparents. Having said that, those past generations were more prepared to make sacrifices with respect to lifestyle etc.
So perhaps Generation Y is a generation that is impatient and "snobby" but can you blame them? After all, they've grown up in a world that past generations have created for them.
Some interesting statistics:
Business owners in Australia feel that members of Generation Y were found to be "demanding, impatient and bad at communicating" in a 2007 survey. However, the survey also showed that most employers praised the energy and charisma of these employees.
In a publication by Reynol Junco and Jeanna Mastrodicasa, they found that in a survey of 7,705 college students in the Us:
- 97% own a computer
- 94% own a mobile phone
- 34% use websites as a primary source of news
- 75% of students have a Facebook account
- 60% own some sort of portable music device such as an iPod.
There are over 4 million Generation Yers in Australia.
An average Generation Yer will have 29 jobs in their lifetime and seven different careers.
The biggest source of miscommunication in the workplace is not due to cultural gaps or gender diversity but generational gaps.