By: Shama Hyder
When I first launched my company, I was unsure of how people would respond to the owner (me!) being part of Gen Y. For the longest time, this remained a fear. I figured none of our clients had figured out my age, or they just plain didn’t care. Either way- I was happy, they were happy, and the business flourished.
Imagine my surprise when our biggest client announced to me “we chose you out of all the companies because you get the online world like NO OTHER. You practically grew up with it.” I was pretty stunned as I hung up the phone. Literally a week later, another client exclaimed how choosing us was a natural choice because I was at the helm. I noticed this to be a growing trend…and then it hit me. Being Gen Y was an advantage!
Here are the 5 secret weapons that Gen Y can leverage for success:
1) Adoptability: One of my favorite professors in college, Dr. Daly, once shared with us the biggest advantage of being young. He said it’s easy to get adopted. It’s much easier to find mentors and people to take you under their wing when you are Gen Y. Every generation wants to see us succeeed. That being said, you don’t want to become a mooch and take this adoptability for granted. Mentorship is always a 2 way street.
2) Their Second Nature = Technology. The internet didn’t come about when GEN Y was in the middle of a career. We didn’t have to learn the keyboard. Most of us grew up with it! Technology is second nature to most Gen Y’ers. And as the world continues to become more virtual, this continues to be an immense strength.
3) Less Baggage. More Support. Most Gen Y’ers are the result of supportive families and encouraging teachers. While some might deem us the “coddled” generation, we are also an extremely positive generation. And have less baggage compared to other generations. Strong support systems are the hallmark of our generation.
4) Your Own Definition of Success is Accepted. Every generation before ours has had success defined for them. A traditional family, a 9-5 job, one career, etc. Not anymore. We are the first generation to have the freedom of defining what success means to us. And, it’s fully accepted! Just like the favorite answers on our exams, the answer here is: there are no right and wrong answers.
5) Diversity Has Always Been Cool. We never needed on the job training to get along with others. We grew up with it! The world isn’t black and white-we understand that. And being a team player-well, that was pre-k 101. We don’t have to work at respecting other people’s beliefs…that’s just what we were raised to do!
What’s your take on Gen Y?