Are these precocious young adults known as Gen Y, really as bad as everyone makes them out?  According to a beautiful, spiritual friend of mine they are “new souls”,  who are lacking in the substance department, enjoying relatively easy lives,  which is possibly getting on the nerves of many of us “older souls”.  Yes either that or they’re just lazy brats!

Now just to clarify who falls into the Gen Y category, it’s anyone aged from about 17 to 28 years old, born from 1979 through to 1990.  They are famously known as the generation who expect everything, and are prepared to give zero!

A self confessed Gen Y hater I know,  who works at a major tv network recounted with disgust how they advertised a Senior Director’s role was recently where two Gen Y staffers who’d been at the network for less than 3 months, fresh out of uni immediately applied for the role.  When the amused HR department informed them they were unsuccessful in their application, they both demanded to have a face to face explaination of why they had not qualified for the role.

*Simone, from Goodwood, who runs a small marketing agency in the city tells me, her and her partner employed two Gen Y girls “who spent their days emailing, msning, myspacing, texting and spent most Monday’s at home due to their ‘big weekends’.  The final straw came when they were busted slagging us off via email as they sat next to each other, only one seat away from us.!”

These are two of the typical Gen Y stories when it comes to working alongside or employing them.  But are we overlooking what their benefits may be?

The one thing that this generation of girls and guys are unquestionably brilliant at is marketing themselves!  They might not be the hardest workers in the world, but through growing up from a young age with mobile phones, computers, ipods, reality tv, getting themselves seen and heard, ie marketing themselves, they are guns!  Most of them would rather lose a limb than imagine life with a myspace account.

Is it any surprise that these youngs adults and kids, who have grown up in the most intense marketing environment in our history have ended up as mini marketers themselves?  No one knows how to communicate more often and more ways than this generation.  It’s no wonder they think everything else in their worlds should happen as quick as it takes to send a text, because that’s the world they’ve grown up in, which is very unlike the one the rest of us grew up in.

So are there any positives for an employer when looking at these ‘tick box’ of terrors?  Well, you’d have to agree due to their impatience and lack of loyalty, they’ll always be looking out for the next best thing, therefore keeping you abreast of your competition.  Look at Gen Y poster girl Paris Hilton for instance.  She’s a shameless self promoter, who changes her boyfriends as often as she has a spray tan, and has allegedly copyrighted the lame expression, ‘that’s hot’, and has made a buckload of cash in return.

Surely we must be misunderstanding these so called obnoxious creatures and not utilising them the right way.    Big companies have been investing millions and millions of dollars every year on all sorts of research and marketing campaigns all with the aim of spreading their message and keeping their fingers on the pulse.  So what could be perceived as a painful little creep, listening to his ipod on work time,  whilst texting and emailing everyone he’s ever met, could also be seen as doing exactly the same job as what you’ve been spending a whole lot more money on, if harnessed the right way.

What this generation lacks in depth or work ethic, they make up for in commercial brand understanding and viral marketing awareness because they’ve grown up living and breathing it.  No many of them don’t have the makings of the next Dalai Lamai, but if he ever wanted to spread the word of Buddha to a wider audience, these little upstarts could probably teach him a thing or two.



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