Gen @, Millennials, Gen Y… Whatever You Call Them

Generation Y (or “Gen @” as I call them in my newest book) has been frequenting the business sections of papers across the world. People just don’t know what to do with this generation of young business people that are as old as their late twenties.

In this Dallas News article, ad exec Owen Hannay doesn’t hold back in his feelings about this generation:

It’s not that millennials lack the creative genius or technological know-how that he’s looking for. Far from it, he says. It’s more that they lack the real-world grounding it takes to deal with responsibility, accountability and setbacks.

“They wipe out on life as often as they wipe out on work itself,” says Mr. Hannay, who let go more than a dozen millennials from his 130-person staff over the course of 2006.

That’s when he stopped hiring them. “They get an apartment and a kitty, and they can’t cope. Work becomes an ancillary casualty. They’re good kids with talent who want to succeed. That’s what makes me nuts.”

The article goes on to talk about how this generation needs to be understood.

I’m always intrigued by Gen @ simply because they are one of the largest sources of our volunteers in youth ministry. Despite their bratty, narcissistic reputation, many employers and volunteer managers are finding them to be worth the struggle.

I have to agree. If you harness the passion and potential of these young professionals, you’ll find that you have a huge asset on your team. (Here is an excerpt from my new book THE NEW BREED on that very subject.)

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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One Response to Gen @, Millennials, Gen Y… Whatever You Call Them

  1. I was a little less charitable about Hannay’s attitude. Each person and each generation has unique characteristics. The point is to play to people’s strengths.

    You may find my post interesting:

    “Dallas Ad Exec Owen Hannay Won’t Hire Millennials – Face Looking for Nose”
    http://www.unmassed.com/?p=54