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Millennials or Generation Y (Born After 1980)

With Gen Y, full time work is no longer the only source of income, identity nor influence like it was for Boomers. Nor is workplace, the only way to connect with a community. Rather, this generation feels connected with a global community through technology and may get their income through the Gig economy.

Brought up in small nuclear families, sometimes without adult supervision because both parents have to work, Gen Y can be very independent and savvy with technology.

They value ownership and expressions of their creativity and individuality. Explosion of the internet has also given them power such as own social media channels and influencers.

What companies can do

• Career wise, this group is unlikely to be as loyal as Boomers. With a shrinking workforce, they have no problems moving from one organization to another for higher salary and better perks.

•Beyond monetary incentives, Gen Z can be motivated by skills training, mentoring, feedback.

•Gen Z are generally value leadership style that are more feelers than thinkers. Organisational Culture such as collaborative environment, is extremely important for Millennials

•Flexible schedules as rewards, time off to embrace outside interests, and embracing the latest technology to communicate are also important for Gen Y.

•Millennials also thrive with structure, stability, continued learning opportunities, and immediate feedback. Structured path and career planning

• Millennials like to be heard. Factor in one-to-one communication. [Lisa Orrell]

Gen Z (born after 1995)

•Starting to enter the workplace.

•Larger than baby boomers or Millennials. •Motivated by social rewards, mentorship, and constant feedback.

•Want to be do meaningful and be given responsibility.

•Demand flexible schedules.

•Experiential rewards and badges earned in gaming and opportunities for personal growth.

•Expect structure, clear directions, and transparency.

•Majority prefer face-to-face communication.

• They see the world as a connected global marketplace and likely to see short stints overseas as part of their career development and work in a multicultural workplace.

In one workplace survey, research group Millennial Branding found 53 percent of Gen Z respondents prefer face-to-face communication over tech tools like email (16 percent) and messaging (11 percent).

What companies can do

To attract Gen Z, companies need to move beyond traditional recruitment methods and move into gamification, social media, especially with video, pictures and interaction on application process via blogs, Linkedin or Instagram.

Companies may want to provide more information during orientation, internships and job rotation or structured career paths. One company provided clear indications to Gen Z on

  • Where they will start
  • The short-term goals they’re supposed to meet
  • The skills they’ll acquire
  • Where they’ll end up in a year

The company also trains in sound-bites and offers short-term quarterly recognition in terms of rewards, not that different from the bonus points in computer games.

It also provides increased responsibilities half-way through its eight-to-12 month training program, knowing today’s young people will jump to a new employer for a better opportunity.

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An must-have is for leaders to pick up career coaching skills and more face-time with Gen Z to agree on goals and outcomes. While Coaching has become an essential leadership skill, companies can consider Peer coaching. Baby Boomers and Gen X may be roped in to provide mentoring for Gen Z teams. But gone are the days of command and control.

Have a friend at work? And why it matters.

Culture differences in HR

Retaining Gen X at the workplace

Humans tell stories for centuries. According to Christopher Booker (2004), these stories can be divided into 7 plots. 

  • Overcoming the Monster.
  • Rags to Riches.
  • The Quest.
  • Voyage and Return.
  • Comedy.
  • Tragedy.
  • Rebirth.

 

Other application of 7 archetypes in branding: Jereme Waite, Keith Browning

Pryor and Bright (who was recently in Singapore to talk about the Chaos Theory), identified the use of these 7 plots in career counselling.

These “archetypal plots” may help to identify the kinds of stories individuals construct, and represent “systems of meaning”. Such systems provide insight into how individuals interpret their experience and the amount of  influence and control they over their circumstances.

Pryor and Bright proposed that counselling application could be used in these archetypes to “identify the plots underlying individual’s stories and provide alternative plots as new ways to perceive their careers and process new possibilities for how to move forward.”  

Case Study 1: Clients who lost their jobs due to corporate retrenchment may come with a “Tragedy” as the dominant plot which block their capacity to see new opportunities. 

Pryor and Bright suggestion: “Overcoming the Monster” would help them see that employment is a challenge to be met than a fate helplessly acceded to. 

 

Case Study 2: A client who was telling himself a ‘‘Rags to Riches’’ story of single-minded discipline and sacrifice. However, the problem was that the riches never materialised.  But the goal-fixated thinking and action reveals the individual’s overestimation of his ability to control his life and career.

Career Counsellor’s suggestion with client: They decided to recast his story in terms of ‘‘Rebirth’’. This led Max to start exploring by networking to open up new possibilities. 

Pryor and Bright acknowledge that this is dynamic, and our narratives can gear toward closed systems thinking as change and complexity continue to impact one’s life. At such a point, we may need an adapted narrative. 

 

Last night at dinner, my friend A recounted the “Sliding Door” theory of her husband’s career change, one event led to another. Her metaphor coincided with my chancing upon Pryor and Bright’s application of archetype storytelling to career counselling earlier. “Sliding Door” archetype falls under “Comedy” or “Happenstance” (Krumboltz), how small seemingly confusing change can lead to something harmonious in finding one’s calling.  I began to see the usefulness of archetypical stories we tell ourselves.

Applying the practice on self, I became more aware of the “victim” tragedy story I tell myself. Not useful. Perhaps a “Rebirth” story or a “Quest” of our journey of self discovery.  My digital storytelling mentor Angeline Koh describes her journey from “Digital Immigrant” to “Digital Native”, a “Quest” of life transformation into the Tech space or maybe even “Rebirth”.  Such stories can be very inspiring for self and others. Angeline has launched a MLC on digital storytelling at Growbe, if you are interested to learn how to create your own story.  

Reflect

Find yourself stuck with so much disruption? Are you telling yourself a “Tragedy” Story?

Instead, can you reposition your narrative on a “Quest”? Or a Rebirth with new skills to career proof yourself?

What stories do you tell yourself? 

I am on a Quest to find more archetypes, and my next topic will be on Lolly Daskal’s “The Leadership Gap“.

Source: 

Archetypal narratives in career counselling: A chaos theory application. Pryor, R. & Bright B (2008) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/225608854_Archetypal_narratives_in_career_counselling_A_chaos_theory_application [accessed Nov 15 2018].

Pryor, R. G. L., & Bright, J. E. H. (2003). The chaos theory to careers. Australian Journal of Career Development, 12(3), 12–20