Y generation and the next gen recommendations

I was asked by career builder .com to give a real world comment on having a boss that is younger than you.

When your boss is younger than you, don’t say your favorite song is, “I Want You.” By Peter Frampton, or say you use to play his live album on your record player.
You will be met with a blank stare that tells your past is now part of the twilight zone of “old people talk.”

Former Boss on consulting project who was 22 and I was 46

Gen Y folks are disengaged. Do you agree?
There’s another e-word besides the economy that’s still the talk of Corporate America: engagement. As in the lack of, according to a recent study by BlessingWhite. Over 7500 respondents report that 25% of Gen Y folks in North America are disengaged. Good news: we beat China (33%), Southeast Asia (35%) and the UK with Ireland (at 30%). Why do you care? Because even in this economy, Gen Y’s will bolt when they are bored and organizations will pay to reduce turnover. Good news for generational experts who come up with internal strategies to plug into Gen Y’s passion.
I was asked by a media source for tips for things the upcoming generation needs to pay attention to and work on as they enter the workforce. I actually got a bit cynical in this piece so forgive me.

Having taught at the university level for many years I think young adults need to
1. Understand the basics of financial planning, saving, credit card debt protection and just organizing their lives for the future.
2. Use your great energy and enthusiasm to build your relationships and career. Don’t waste it being a complainer standing on soap box ranting. Instead of tearing down move to action, make changes and create the work life and personal life you want.
3. Relationship and job success don’t come easily. When you make a mistake apologize and don’t do it again. When someone else makes a mistake forgive them and make it easy for them to change. Don’t end a relationship because of one mistake.
4. Learn to speak comfortably in face to face conversation. Human interaction requires and understanding of body language cues to read others and that you give out cues and show your positive and negative emotions. Read a good body language book, (Success Signals by Patti Wood)model the body language of good hearted people that you admire. Go online and study the proper etiquette for eating, parties, and gift giving then memorize them and use them.

5. Understand and be comfortable with conflict. Know how to have a productive though difficult conversation. Realize it is inappropriate to email or text a criticism or slam and it beyond rude to end a relationship, business or personal via text, email or voice mail or on a phone call. If you have done so in the past, let it go and don’t ever do it again. “Everybody else does it.” is not a good excuse.
6. Understand that you can’t fast forward, hit the mute button, or hit save on a relationship. Real people need human interaction and nurturing and are not easily replaced just by hitting delete and
adding someone else to your face book.
7. Be respectful of your elders. That, “old foggy” in tech support may not know all you know about technology, but he or she may know a lot about life. Respect them, rather than treat them with condescension.
8. Keep up to date with where the business world is going and keep your skills current and be above be flexible. That is something my generation is having a hard time with. I know we may learn a lot about it from you.
Patti Wood, MA, CSPThe Body Language Expert