It was the worst of times, it was the best of times in these cities to which we, Gen-Y, are living.
Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the Baby Boomers were described as flower children. They were radical, they wanted world peace, heck, they wanted to change the world. They were obsessed with the environment and hugged trees. This was a generation that felt they were entitled. Most of all, what was up with the fashions: bare bellies, shaggy hair and Twiggy eyes.
But wait a minute, does any of that sound familiar to you? Are the Boomers describing themselves when they describe us? I mean I donâ€™t think my parents are so badâ€¦ I donâ€™t know what they were like before I was born, but I think they turned out okay. So why canâ€™t I?
On that note, while the recession is a hindering factor in the job hunt for so many Millennials (80 Million Strong anyone?), maybe it isnâ€™t such a bad thing?
Someone told me that I sounded more than frustrated recently and that maybe my hurt for the current state of affairs ran deeper that just frustration. I cannot say that they were right, but I cannot say they were wrong either. I feel like we have choices, and we make them the best that we can given our circumstances.
Karma has a funny way of going full circle and life has an even funnier way of working out. Go on a outlandish philosophical thought with me for a minute hereâ€¦
The recession is trying us: our pockets, our freedom, our livelihood, our day-to-day activities; you name it.
We cannot be left behind or we will stay behind. Therefore we have to be efficient. A lot of 20-somethings in the work place are efficient. When it comes to technology weâ€™ve pretty much got it â€œdown.â€ I know Iâ€™m ready and Iâ€™m more than willing to automate and tech-create everything in front of meâ€¦including grocery shopping (not a fan of those carts, sorry future-husband.)
But hereâ€™s the thing, it isnâ€™t laziness â€“ itâ€™s a new level of efficiency. If itâ€™s one less thing to do, imagine how much more you could get done. That is how we think; this is how I think.
If you left it up to me, Iâ€™d colour-code everything, organize and make my day efficient, playful and oh so worthwhile.
There is a balance, I believe itâ€™s there â€¦ no, I know itâ€™s there.
The Learning Curve
Spend enough time with us, get to know us or just pay attention to us and youâ€™ll soon realize, that like each generation, we’re no different — we want information and we want to learn. But there are some stereotypes that still hold true. I once wrote a piece called â€œWelcome to the Age of Geekâ€ and I meant it. But little did I know when I wrote it, how much I really reinforced what the â€˜expertsâ€™ are saying about my generation; myself.
We want information instantly, we crave it and treat Twitter like a pseudo-RSS feed. We spend at least two-thirds of our time connected to something â€“ anything: a Blackberry, an iPhone, our laptops.
We crave information. We want it. Weâ€™re willing to help you get.
Work. Play. Work. Play. Play. Work. Play. Work.
We were forced to multi-task as children and trained from a young age to battle multiple projects and extracurricular activities. This is something our parents didn’t have the luxury (or curse, depending on your POV) of participating in when they were our age. We did all these things, while, maintaining an â€˜Aâ€™ average in school. I think our parents did more than just turn a lot of us into a generation filled with a good chunk of overachievers.
I think that they created kids, that are now adults, who can really get that work-life balance down. Technology, especially, is a driving factor behind this. But itâ€™s something we are comfortable with.
It breaks down to efficiency, but not the old Ford model. No, Iâ€™m talking about a new hybrid, optimistic efficiency, where people are people and work is work, but they can meet happily in the middle.
Iâ€™m ready, are you?
Being that we are a generation of information seekers, a lot of us, including myself, as not settling for Plan A and Plan B anymore. Weâ€™ve move on to Plan C.
I network on Twitter, I follow-up on LinkedIn, I blog, I Facebook â€“ Iâ€™m getting creative and trying everything in my power to land â€œthe job.â€
Maybe someone will see me? Maybe they wonâ€™t? But at the end of the day, Iâ€™m trying. Iâ€™ve gained this new, hybrid glass of perspective.
I once said, â€œcreativity squashes riskâ€ and you know what? I still believe that. I still believe that even in the worst of times, these best of times we live in â€“ we can do it, I can do it.
Not everyone is the same, and I get that, we should hire based on talent, rather than age — but generally speaking…
…is the recession actually beneficial to Gen-Y?
We had to be efficient and come up with a â€œPlan C,â€ considering â€œBâ€ hasnâ€™t worked. This â€œPlan Câ€ is forcing us to learn and push ourselves harder. By being our toughest critics weâ€™re trying to make our way in the world.
I donâ€™t want to be the exception to the rule, I want to be part of the rule. Maybe itâ€™s rose coloured lenses that Iâ€™m gazing out from underneath and thatâ€™s so Millennial of me. But I want to be a Muskateer, â€œall for one and one for all.â€
Weâ€™re asking questions, so we donâ€™t repeat the mistakes of the past. Most of all, weâ€™re trying to be 20-something while taking on responsibilities that are supposed to come at a later age. Weâ€™re starting businesses at 19 and marketing ourselves on a whole new levelâ€¦
The hope is one day, sooner rather than later, someone will answer the question, â€œHi, my name is Gen-Y, will you hire me?â€ with a â€œyes.â€
Sasha Muradali runs the â€˜Little Pink Bookâ€™ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida (â€™07)Â and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami(â€™08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her @SashaHalima.