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Jun '12 - Mar '17

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    Are we not professional?

    Joann Lui
    Jul 24, '12 9:32 PM EST

    Hi Archinect,

    A few days ago, I heard about this very interesting news on the radio. It says that Generation Y is often fired after a year because of their extensive use of social media at work. That makes me wonder: Are we really that unprofessional? or are the majority of employers, being Generation X, do not understand how we work?

    First of all, I do know there are always exceptions where some people really use social media too much that they don't finish their work properly.  So we can't just group a whole generation of people into a specific type. But for the sake of this discussion, I did a quick Google search of what's the main differences between Generation X (born between 1961-1981) and Y (born between 1981-2000).  And here are the results:

    See the results after the break.

    View full entry >>
    (This will take you to my website.)


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    • curtkram

      i'm a gen-xer somewhere between intern and employer.  if i'm talking to you i would appreciate undivided attention.  if you're texting while i'm trying to talk that makes me think you don't care.  pretend to pay attention in conferences, and keep the phone off during movies.  the light is annoying to the rest of us.

      other than that, i think you guys are doing fine.  it wasn't my fault, it was the baby boomers.  sorry you had to enter the workforce with such a screwed up economy and general management structure.

      i've heard you guys need too much hand-holding and can't self-direct  your actions.  this might come from the idea that you don't have to compete because you were taught that everyone is a winner.  that might be my generation's fault.  sorry about that.  you do have to compete, and some people lose.

      also, it's not always adhd or a chemical imbalance.  just focus.  you'll do better, learn more, and learn faster if you can focus on the task at hand.

      Jul 26, 12 9:37 am  · 

      Hey curtkram,

      I agree that when people are talking to you, you should definitely give undivided attention. Even if it's just a friend or stranger, it's a polite thing to do. And I will never text in a meeting. But I don't think it's our generation's problem or your generation's fault. I went to see batman, and some 50-year-old lady was talking loudly on the phone behind me. But when I see someone doing that, I say "she" is doing it, not the whole generation.

      I am from Hong Kong originally, so I wasn't brought up with the "everyone is a winner" idea (as you probably have heard about Chinese parents..). I totally agree that focus is a good thing. When you text, you focus on texting. When you draw, you focus on drawing. When you talk to your boss, focus on the conversation. I just don't think defining us all as unprofessional is a good thing. Like in all generations, there are fast learners, slow learners, hard-workers and slackers.

      (And you are my first comment!) Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


      Jul 26, 12 6:49 pm  · 

      Hi Joann,

      It seems that you have said in one breath 'So we can't just group a whole generation of people into a specific type' and in the next you have group two whole generations into specific types  (love-hate relationship with technology/ like individual work)/  (expect technology/ team-oriented).

      I am more inclined to go with your first statement and not try to define personal characteristics by people's year of birth, otherwise social change basically becomes a kind of astrology!  I think that your comment that 'Like in all generations, there are fast learners, slow learners, hard-workers and slackers' is on point. : )

      I think that exploring other ideas about why Gen Y is getting fired after a year is more interesting - or maybe questioning whether young people getting fired after a year is a new or unusual thing?

      You picked up on a very interesting news piece and I think that some really interesting further discussion could be done on it.



      Aug 3, 12 10:31 pm  · 

      Gen Y gets fired after a year because that's about as long as an architecture firm can hang on to junior staff for these days. 

      Aug 16, 12 7:35 pm  · 

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