Do You Want To Work With An IT Trophy Kid?

by drjim on March 5, 2009

Are You Ready To Have The Millennial Generation In Your IT Department?

Are You Ready To Have The Millennial Generation In Your IT Department?

Even though the world currently looks like it is upside down, there is a much larger change going on that will have a much longer impact than this temporary financial crisis: the arrival of the millennial generation into the IT workplace. Are you ready?

Just to make sure that we’re all talking about the same thing here, the millennial generation were born between 1980 and 2001. With the baby boomer generation getting ready to walk off into the sunset, the millennials are the new kids in town and they are getting ready to shake things up.

Ron Alsop who writes for the Wall Street Journal has taken some time to study what this arrival means for all of us and he’s written a book with his answers in it called The Trophy Kids Grow Up: How the Millennial Generation is Shaking Up the Workplace. He’s discovered some eye-opening things that all IT Leaders need to be aware of.

If we had to describe the millennial generation’s view of work, the word that everyone seems to use is “entitled” – they want it all and they want it now. What are they asking for? How about: higher pay, flexible hours, promotions within a year, and more vacation/personal time. Why do they think that they’ll get it? Studies show that nearly half of the millennials have a “…moderate to high superiority beliefs about themselves.

What’s up with these guys / gals? Where did all of this come from? Blame it on the parents (and teachers and coaches). This is the generation that was constantly told that they were the best, the ones that got trophies even when they didn’t win, and were rarly criticized in order to not damage their self-esteem. Now they are in your IT department…!

But hold on. Remember that the millennials have a solid grasp of cutting edge technology – it is a part of their life outside of work. They tend to work very well in teams and they get along well with baby boomers because they remind them so much of their own parents.

These are hard workers who will get the job done as long as an IT Leader points them in the right direction. How best to do that will be covered in another post…

Do you have millennials in your IT workplace (are you one of them)? How is is it going so far – smooth running or choppy waters? Do you feel that their (your) expectations are in line with what the company can offer? When the economy improves, do you think that they’ll stick around or will they leave? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.

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