I’m beginning to think Gen Y is the most overanalyzed generation in…a generation. BusinessWeek.com offers up this article – Why Certain Cities Attract Gen Ys. The big city has a general appeal to the Millennials which is probably true for most young generations. However, Gen Y does face a difficult career path due to tenure. Here is a surprising graph (emphasis mine):
The appeal of big cities stems from a simple economic fact: They offer thicker labor markets with more robust job opportunities across a wide number of fields. Getting ahead in your career today means more than picking the right first job. Corporate commitment has dwindled, tenure has grown far shorter, and people switch jobs with much greater frequency. The average American changes jobs once every three years; those under the age of 30 change jobs once a year.
I’m not sure where those numbers originated, but they are noteworthy. The days of starting a long-term career with a major corporation are fleeting.
Jobs are clearly important. Gen Y members ranked the availability of jobs second when asked what would keep them in their current location and fourth in terms of their overall satisfaction with their community. In both cases, the highest-ranked factor was the ability to meet people and make friends. Makes perfect sense, since Gen Y intuitively understands what economic sociologists have documented: Vibrant social networks are key to landing jobs, moving forward in your career, and one’s broader personal happiness.
Second? Surprising, maybe, but clearly networking is supreme for this generation. I wonder if the tools at are available today are part of the drive to network. I am astounded by the fact that Gen Y provides updates as to what they are doing at that moment (think Facebook or Twitter). I have tried to accomplish this feat and always come up lacking…I just can’t bring myself to do it.
Yet these young people are forging networks that a sure to become immense as they mature. The implications for selling are staggering – networks will become the top resource for prospecting. Decision-making within companies will be information that can be attained through one’s network. Heck, the decision-maker may be 1 step away within a network.
This sea change is happening in front of our eyes, but I’m not certain everyone is observing it.