Gen @, Millennials, Gen Y… Whatever You Call Them

Posted on: 02/20/08 3:47 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Generation Y (or “Gen @” as I call them in my newest book) has been frequenting the business sections of papers across the world. People just don’t know what to do with this generation of young business people that are as old as their late twenties.

In this Dallas News article, ad exec Owen Hannay doesn’t hold back in his feelings about this generation:

It’s not that millennials lack the creative genius or technological know-how that he’s looking for. Far from it, he says. It’s more that they lack the real-world grounding it takes to deal with responsibility, accountability and setbacks.

“They wipe out on life as often as they wipe out on work itself,” says Mr. Hannay, who let go more than a dozen millennials from his 130-person staff over the course of 2006.

That’s when he stopped hiring them. “They get an apartment and a kitty, and they can’t cope. Work becomes an ancillary casualty. They’re good kids with talent who want to succeed. That’s what makes me nuts.”

The article goes on to talk about how this generation needs to be understood.

I’m always intrigued by Gen @ simply because they are one of the largest sources of our volunteers in youth ministry. Despite their bratty, narcissistic reputation, many employers and volunteer managers are finding them to be worth the struggle.

I have to agree. If you harness the passion and potential of these young professionals, you’ll find that you have a huge asset on your team. (Here is an excerpt from my new book THE NEW BREED on that very subject.)

One Reply to “Gen @, Millennials, Gen Y… Whatever You Call Them”

  1. I was a little less charitable about Hannay’s attitude. Each person and each generation has unique characteristics. The point is to play to people’s strengths.

    You may find my post interesting:

    “Dallas Ad Exec Owen Hannay Won’t Hire Millennials – Face Looking for Nose”

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