Generation Y – What’s Next?

Educators, Parents, Business and even GenYers themselves are all in need of information on how to prepare for the looming transition of over 70 million, 16 to Twenty-Somethings as they enter the workplace and the “real world”. This generation is different from any other that has come before. GenYers are tech savvy, multi-taskers, who can juggle e-mail, their Blackberry’s, talking on their cells and cruising the net all at the same time. They like change because that’s what they know, that’s what their world has been. On the flip-side of the coin, stats show that most are unsure of how to prepare themselves for transition into post-secondary education and the workplace. Questions such as “What’s next?” bog them down as they are overwhelmed with the possibilities they have to choose from and unsure of the directions they should take. They are told at the age of 16 or 17 to decide what they want to be when they grow up. But this concept is a difficult idea for GenYers to grasp when they see how fast change takes place. They know that an occupation they are interested in right now – may no longer be there when they have finished 4 years of post-secondary education. They have received mixed messages from educators and the education system, which hasn’t changed since the industrial revolution.

Educators are using outdated methods and trying to prepare students for a world that no longer exists. The result?…kids who are confused and unprepared for what employers and the workplace really expect. They’ve been told to stop doodling, be realistic, sit still and do as they are told. When in reality, successful companies are looking for creative, innovative, problem-solvers, who can act quickly and think for themselves.

Parents feel inadequate to help their kids make choices around careers and education and are exasperated by the boomerang generation – youth who leave home to work or go to school, then find themselves moving back home 2 to 5 years later – living in the same bedroom they grew up in. They spend their days and enormous amounts of time in front of the television or computer, playing video games and “talking” to friends on the latest social network because they don’t know what to do with their degree and feel paralyzed by the decisions they need to make or which directions to take.

Employers are finding themselves ill-equipped to handle an ever increasing multi-enerational workforce and the challenges of this new breed of employees. They realize that the GenYers are coming but most aren’t quite prepared for the experience of employing a new wave of workers.

“A new type of Career and Education Planning is vital to help GenYers find fulfilling career opportunities and to help them maneuver their way through an ever-changing work world.” says Bonnie Porter, President of What’s Next? Transition Strategies. “Success is no longer about answering the question, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ It’s about exploring, experiencing and growing through decisions. Knowing themselves, their passions and what they want out of life will develop confident, happy and successful, children, students, employees and most of all GenYers who know “What’s Next?” for them”. Students often express that they can’t find the help they need from their school guidance counsellors. Even guidance counsellors themselves admit to the challenge of working with a 500:1 student ratio. There is no way they can possibly provide the much needed one-to-one assistance focused on the individual.

Many are now seeking the help of a fee-for-service Career Coach who can help them prepare for and create their own unique career path. More and more individuals are finding this to be a valuable investment in their life, education and career. Given the way the world is changing they will not be content with just a job. Most want lives that are purpose driven. They want to accomplish goals and experience challenges and passion for their lives. Their instincts tell them that there is more than what they are experiencing now. It’s the reason students change their majors two and three times and that so many Christmas graduates come home without completing their education. They have settled for something less than what they really want because most have never decided what that really is and they didn’t know what else to do. They are unsatisfied and unfulfilled.

It has been said that each generation comes equipped with the gifts and talents they require to live in their era, to overcome obstacles and improve the world we live in. Generation Y have what it takes to courageously take the helm and lead. Unfortunately though, most are unaware of how to go about discovering what the “more” is for them. They end up feeling restless and unfulfilled, stressed and living back at home. They need help to define their preferred future and to recognize that they have the power to choose how to get from where they are to where they want to be. When GenYers take the step to determine what’s next?, they walk away with the confidence to create the career and life paths that will be right for them.