Are Gen Y's Aspirations So Different?

Last Updated Sep 3, 2008 6:52 AM EDT

There was a big debate in the pub last night over the BNET feature about Generation Y.

In brief our debate hinged on whether "millenials" are genuinely different in their psyche to previous generations -- if you're not sure what I mean, Global Millenial's collection of visuals will give you an idea of how Gen Y is viewed.

Or maybe it just looks that way because they've spent the last few years in a exciting smorgasbord of opportunity, economic plenty -- and are the first generation to enter the workforce since the most dramatic revolution in technology in human history.

As the economic plenty seem to be drying up we're likely to find out.

Generation Y may look different from the outside with their instinctive and creative use of technology to create opportunity, but I believe that their hopes and dreams ultimately link back to the stuff that is important but that we forget.

  • Career security comes from having choices. This comes from more people wanting to pay for our time than we have time available to give them, and being more employable year on year.
  • Career satisfaction comes from having meaningful and stimulating work.
  • Joy comes from having great people in our lives who don't give a stuff what job title we have or what we earn.
Some things we all still share -- whatever our generation.

What do you think? Is public perception of Gen Y out of step with reality?