Archive for July, 2009

Use the generation gap to land your next job

While researching a project, I was lead to an artigen y blogcle that described challenges of a workforce full of generation gaps.  Reading about Gen Y was like reading a horoscope: insanely general in its description, but alarmingly correct.  I’m every bit a product of my generation, and that’s totally O.K.  Here are my tips on using the generation gaps to ace your next job interview:

1. Short-attention span: As I write this post, I’m flipping between browser tabs, watching a Harry Potter marathon and tweeting about it all.  Gen Y have developed short-attention spans because of our media consuming habits (first is was news-in-under-a-minute now it’s updates of less than 140 characters).  This is a plus, why?: Ours is a generation of multi-taskers.  In your next interview talk up your uncanny ability to switch between tasks at a moment’s notice.  Crises come-up, deadlines change, a reporter needs that fact sheet now.  Let your interviewer know that you can handle unexpected shifts in projects with ease.

2. Tech-savvy: We’ve logged hundreds of hours on Facebook and are often called on to sync older Generations’ iPods.  This is a plus, why?:  Our generation learns new technology easily, while knowing the in’s and out’s of current tech.  Plus, we know how to use the power of the internet to swiftly search for solutions to problems.  Let your interviewer know about how you’ve used technology to develop your career and professionalism.  Maybe you have a Linked-In profile or have started a blog.

3. We’re invincible and deserving: Refrigerators across America pay homage to A+ worthy algebra tests and tee ball trophies collect dust in unused bedrooms as shrines to Momma’s Boys and Daddy’s Girls.  Our parents loved us and we ate it up.  The unequivocal attention to our accomplishments (no matter how small) is a blessing and curse: Gen Y believe we’re as invincible as Superman, but our egos are as fragile as fancy china.  We believe we can do anything, but if we aren’t recognized for our results then we crumble.  This is a plus, why? Gen Y believe we can do anything so we’re unafraid to take some risks.  At the same time we thrive on recognition (and we believe we deserve it more than anyone else).  Let your interviewer know that you want to take on new projects and you are confident in your abilities.  The pitfall to avoid in this situation is earlier-mentioned ego.  Say something like, “I believe in offering recognition to my team members for achieving their goals and appreciate the same kind of feedback.”

Try to remember that each generation is different in your job interview.  You should read the article linked to above to learn more about the older generations’ way of working.