I was listening to 1Xtra the other day as they had a week devoted to the topic of careers. Far be it for me to sit back smugly as I listened to scores of stories of unemployment, I was instead pertinently provoked by the persistent insistence that young people are lazy - according to a recent survey, 75% of adults think that young people don't work as hard as they did when they were kids. Having read Don Tapscott’s brilliant article in the guardian, and also Alex’s one here, I have come to realise that there is a serious shift occurring in the dynamics of how we work. The emphasis that future employers must place upon the new generation of workers, or the net-geners /echo boomers, will mean that there shall be drastic changes in the work place over the next few years.
Regarding the argument over the airwaves, it was quickly made clear that many current employers aren’t, or haven’t, adapted to this new way of working. This new way of working is inherently different, as Tapscott enforces in his article: “They've (net-geners) shaken up the game of politics, and now they may do the same in the working world. Their culture of work is challenging, to be sure, but I think it is the way to work in the 21st century. They enter the working world with distinctly different attitudes. Nearly seven out of 10 net-geners, for example, want to choose where and when to work, compared with four in 10 workers from their parents' generation. Half of them value family over money.”
I don’t believe current employees are prepared to make these dynamic alterations to the workplace so readily. It peeves me when it is reported that the young people of today are lazy, don’t want to work hard and diminish responsibility - young people are being satirized enough as it is. It’s not that net-geners don’t work hard, it’s just that they work in a totally different manner to the apparently, solid hard working, dedicated generations before it. Kid’s these days are readily prepared to work their full time job, do the nine to five, but to also venture out more. Kid’s want to benefit more from the talents they have actively accumulated and honed over the years, and financially profit from them. Look at the influx of young creative’s that have hit over the past few years – everyone now wants to create their own clothes, or is in a band, or is a photographer, paints, graffiti’s, models, is a stylist, hosts their own nights – the creative and entrepreneurial possibilities are endeavoring, yet endless. And this is all being achieved whilst still working solid hours in other jobs. The net-geners may work in a different manner from the baby boomers, and those before it, but never has a single generation shown such an almighty ambition for enterprise.