The Secret to Gen Y Top Performers

The man looked about late thirties or so, the young woman with him early twenties, both well dressed, and acting like family, brother and sister, or niece and uncle, rather than a couple. They were both well equipped with fancy phones, laptops, and the like.

I didn’t mean to listen to their conversation. I couldn’t help it. They stood near me on the train-like transport from the gates to the baggage claim at Washington Dulles airport.

He: “So how do you like the new job?”

She: “I like it a lot. I’m really glad I switched.

He: “Why?”

She: “They care what I think.”

And that, in a nutshell, is why I like working with the Gen Y youngsters. Maybe I have a natural affinity to the Gen Y group because I’m 62 and there’s a jumping-generations phenomenon going on. Could be. Whatever it is, I find these ambitious, impatient, amazingly entitled early-20-something people a kick to work with. As in fun.

And, after all, “they care what I think” is a good thing to want in a job. She didn’t say the salary, perks, or whatever; she wanted to matter.


  • Mneiae says:

    We’ve been raised to think that 0ur individual contribution should mean something. It’s hard for us to put in work every day and not see the results.

    That said, the salary and perks still matter to us, but not nearly as much as they did to earlier generations.

  • Charles Robinson says:

    I’m not sure what “Gen” I’m in, but that’s the most important thing to me, too. If a company treats me as a human resource rather than a person I will soon be looking for another place to make a difference.

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