Wednesday, 26 November 2008

The changing dynamics of the workplace


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.

Image robbed from here. Thanks.

4 comments:

Code said...

Totally agree, I think young people today see work as an extention of their life and should therefore suit their intrests and look at carrer as something you should want to do, rather than have to do ... suppose this all sums up as lazy when the previous generation looks at it

Niyi Crown said...

The generation before before us were the people that settled in life. They are the people that are working jobs they don't actually like. They believed that it was OK as long as it put food on the table. This generation, our generation, refuse to think like this. We have seen our parents and have decided that we must do better than them. Settling is not enough. We are the generation that say "I wasn't born rich but I sure as hell am going to die rich" We're not going to work a regular job and get a regular pay check knowing that we hat what we do. We are the "spoilt" children. We will have it our way or not at all. We want to work the job we want to work or not work at all and that is what drives our success because not working is not gonna put Fendi on our feet.

Whathehelle Fontenelle said...

Exactly, and because of this I don't think a lot of adults will ever be able to empathise with what our generation is doing. Work is an extension of my life, hence why I love it so darn much! To Niyi, your last paragraph is pretty indicative of how a lot of people think though the option of not working seem svery limited. The fact that we are net-geners has meant that we view the world through eyes very separate from that of our fore fathers.

P.C. WILLIAMS said...

Damn Tarik! You are one stupidly clever boy!!!! I personally think that unlike the generation before, we realise that we have options and therefore we choose to create a career out of the things that we love doing so as to make it an extension of who we are rather than a job we do. This makes us better in a chosen field because there's a passion from within for it. That, my friend, is the key difference. We allow ourselves a lot more time to figure out what it is that we love and are passionate about and would like to make a living from. And we are able to do all this because of the system put in place by those before us to help sustain us till we can sustain ourselves. I don't think it's laziness, in fact i think its the opposite. It's smart and a positive way of thinking. A state of happiness is not one that can be bought but has to be achieved and thats why we are a happier generation than the ones before, because we take our time trying to grab hold of and keep what makes us happy...