Could you work for a Gen Y boss?
You might say that will be a rarity! Well …. Projections show that by 2014 millennials will account for 36% of the American workforce. In 2025, that number balloons to 75% of the global workplace.
I know, I know…you are saying that by 2025 you will be happily retired sipping on pina coladas by the pool. There are a couple things I want you to think about:
- The economy needs you to keep working. Particularly, the economy needs you to work past 70 years of age. The social programs of this country need you to keep working.
- More than 80% of boomers will work past 65 years of age. It should be no surprise to you that you will be working for a while past 65. Most baby boomers do not have enough money to retire.
What does this mean?
You WILL eventually have a Gen Y boss.
I now work for myself. My last two bosses have been Gen Xers. Both were nearly incompetent in managing people. They understood the business but when it came to managing people, well…. it was not pretty.
As a baby boomer, I learned to ignore them and get my job done.
Functioning in a workplace dominated by Gen Yers and having a Gen Y boss will be a very different experience for you.
Gen Y Characteristics
In my last post, Group Dynamics in the Multi-Generational Workplace, I wrote that Generation Y is very group or team-oriented. Thinking that you could ignore the group and just get the job done will probably not be acceptable. You will need to be a good team player even if your teammates are young enough to be your kids.
I also wrote in a previous post, Communication Style in the Multi-Generational Workplace, that Gen Yers have embraced electronic, just in time communications…whether this is texting, instant messaging, or using various social media platforms. Fully expect that social media-like platforms will penetrate the largest organizations by 2025. Collaborative communications will become normal. Face to face communications may be the exception and not the norm.
Can you work for a boss that will have less work experience than you, BUT will have skills that you need you to learn and adapt?
Most of us baby boomers feel fine if we did not see our boss for weeks on end. What will happen when you are in contact with your boss on a daily basis, some of it by text and other electronic means?
What if your new Gen Y boss is not ready to lead? This has become an increasingly common phenomenon.
Will you be ready to help them?
Please read the rest of the Multi-Generational Workplace Series.