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Tips on managing 20-somethings
May 11, 2007 4:37 AM   Subscribe

Can someone with experience managing younger people (20-29), or young people with experience being managed, offer some helpful tips and some things to be mindful of?

So, I'm starting a new position on June 1 managing product development of a website for a major international brand.

In this job, I am inheriting at team of 6 young people (skill sets: production, design and technical), ages 20-29. I am about 15 years into my own career, and have some pretty extensive experience managing people in their 30s all the way through their mid 50s, but never have I before worked with a team so young. Having read a great deal on managing the so-called "net-Gen" of late, I'm a little skeptical that things are so different for this generation than they were for my own and those that came before, but this seems to be the general theme, so I cannot ignore it.

I would characterize my style as laid back, but demanding when I need to be, always attempting to build consensus, but happy to push people in a direction when consensus breaks down. I have always received high marks for mentoring people through difficult tasks, and if I have a weakness, it is that I can be a bit too empathic at times. I have in the past let connivers take advantage of my good nature, and in those situations, have had to double back to re-establish the manager/line employee relationship.

The team has been somewhat adrift with only a part time manager for the past 6 months (and a terrible, disorganized manager in the 6 months prior to that), so my boss (a company board member) has indicated to me that they need structure and strong leadership to refocus them. Implementing those things have always been a strong suit for me, so I am confident in my ability to do that, but it would be very helpful to me if people could offer any tips/advice specifically working with technical and creative members of this generation. Thanks in advance for the help!
posted by psmealey to Work & Money (30 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
The one characteristic I can think of that's unique to that age range is that they're still not necessarily great judges of their own capabilities.

As a matter of general mentorship, that means it's important to consciously establish that "Yes, you're good at that", and "You need to improve on that". Whether they're potentially overestimating or underestimating their abilities, you need to make sure for yourself. On that level, that's not unique to this particular batch of 20-30s. It's really just a matter of maturing.

As a matter of actual management, though, I've found that this group has been so well nurtured and encouraged as they've grown up, that they tend to be very, very confident. There's an almost enviable tendency to believe that they can do anything they put their minds to, which is _great_, on the one hand, but not necessarily _true_, on the other. I'm not even necessarily talking about arrogance--I'm just saying that folks who are in that age range today can easily sign up for more than they bargained for.
posted by LairBob at 5:01 AM on May 11, 2007


I'm a little skeptical that things are so different for this generation than they were for my own and those that came before, but this seems to be the general theme, so I cannot ignore it.

I am always skeptical of this sort of thing too, and I think you're right that there's not that much substantive difference between the next youngest generation and our own (I'm your age). But the thing is, in my experience, they are indeed media-saturated and have heard and absorbed the hype about generational theory, so their self-perceptions are in line with the standard tropes (and they sometimes will parrot them right back at you verbatim). Some of this may sound negative, but I'm just trying to be honest about a couple of generation-gap phenomena that have shown up in my career. Self-awareness and self-esteem runs pretty high, sometimes unjustifiably so. I've found that when doing evaluation conversations, their own perception of performance and value is sometimes higher than their supervisors'. Clear targets for performance are needed.

They sometimes reference their learning style and their individual work approach and can be very open that work is not their highest priority. When delivering negative information about performance, you may hear back "well, that's just the way I do things," or, as I heard once after asking someone to read a manual, "I didn't finish it. I learn best when someone is showing me something by breaking it down into small steps, one-on-one, rather than reading."

They are internally motivated. It's helpful to know what their career trajectory is, if they've got one. Once you know what sort of work they'd like to head for later in their career, you can help keep them interested by providing opportunities for professional development, tuition reimbursement, representing the company at an event, etc. But there are others who aren't particularly aspirational, who are content finding a job that is secure and comfortable enough, and in that case I'm not sure what motivators to use. Some of my younger staff show a distinct propensity to want to pick and choose their projects rather than accept assignments given out on the judgement of the boss. They are less eager to please than older workers. The good news is, compared to boomers, they don't demand as much structure and they aren't intimidated by authority, so the work environment can be more relaxed. It sounds, though, like you're going to have to implement some more serious structure than what's been in place. It's probably a good thing. The reality is that it's a manager's job to get people to a place of making the maximum contribution to the group. Ultimately there is work to be done. So given your stated management style, maybe you could look at your projects and make a point of setting clear goals, timelines, target dates, and really monitoring that progress and celebrating success as it comes.
posted by Miko at 5:14 AM on May 11, 2007


Do not patronize them, but even more, be careful that they can't misinterpret your attitude as patronizing. 20-somethings are hugely (over-)sensitive to this. As one, I have had colleagues a decade or two older visibly dismiss me when they learned my age, even if I had more years on the job than them. It's infuriating.

And don't be surprised if the range of maturity is far broader than the age range.
posted by sarahkeebs at 5:20 AM on May 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


There's some interesting stuff from an article called " http://www.generationsatwork.com/articles/millenials.htm">Managing Millenials." It has some interesting things to say about that generation's expectation that you provide a lot of structure, having lived such such structured lives. It counters what I said above. Still, it feels like the structure the boomer staff wants from me (ie, very specific direct instructions) is quite different than the structure the 20somethings want.
posted by Miko at 5:27 AM on May 11, 2007


I am 27, and I have both managed and been managed by people in that age range. These are people who are early on their career, so getting figuring out how things work and how to get ahead are major priorities. Therefore, properly open dialogue is really important.

To take an example from my own case, I initially had a 25-year-old manager who would say things like 'The perceptions exists that...' and insert a perceived flaw that would I find hard to relate back to something I had done or not. When we discussed career path, it was about getting to an ill-defined 'next level' without concrete steps that would help me do that. And because the conversation moved in metaphors, I did not feel comfortable enough to say what I actually felt. This was very undermining and demotivational.

I have since moved to a new manager who will tell me straight out if something I have done is sub-par, or if something was particularly good. We can have honest discussions about how I am doing, and what I think. (For example, I will saw to Mgr II that a given meeting is waste of time and needs to be changed, whereas I could not trust Mgr I with that kind of honesty for fear it would be repackaged as 'The perception exists that you are overly negative when it comes to team building...').

When managing people in the age bracket, I've found that they want guidance on the mechanics of implementing a project etc, and also career discussion that not only talks about the next promotion, but helps them think about what they want out of the entire sweep of their career.

Hope this helps, and good luck!
posted by StephenF at 5:28 AM on May 11, 2007


The big thing I noticed is there are very few things my teams can be asked to do which are impossible. We've got so many resources and outlets that we can accomplish just about anything... given the right amount of time, money, and resources. And it's those last 4 words that have defined my employment for the past decade. Creativity gets us far in making 'magic' happen, but for the most part I have to work hard to get us to stop dreaming (or dreading sometimes) and figure out what is actually feasible, and that's generally easy but it'll sneak up on us when we least expect it.

Drives me nuts, frankly. It's hard to do that without tanking creativity along with it. The other one to watch for is problem realization. We tend to roll with things and don't recognize when something is enough of a problem to really confront it, so I'm constantly doing self checks (internally) to fight that.

Older folks tend to do this stuff naturally, and I'll bet they went through the same phase at these ages. I'm constantly running the Mom check with my mom since she's always got some dead simple yet brillant insight into our projects.

For reference, I work in an academic technology center at a major US college.
posted by jwells at 5:39 AM on May 11, 2007


So you're new to the department?

The best thing I can suggest is talk to them. A lot. This doesn't mean micromanaging, it means going out with the smokers even if you don't smoke, picking up pizza once in a while, and occasionally going out to happy hour even if you don't drink.

Some managers seem to focus more on where they want their team to be and what they want them to do, and don't seem to give a shit about their actual employees. The more you talk to them and ask for their input, the more likely they are to respect you and actually LIKE you. While this is important for all age groups, people under 30 are sometimes less than mature and will take it personally if you don't listen to what they have to say and address them without using terms like "leveraging synergies" and "making an ask."

Most technical and creative people don't like being told what to do %100 of the time, but they'll be willing to do things that they dont necessarily agree with if they know you've listened to what they have to say and address their concerns honestly.

In short, be the boss who gets shit done, takes care of his people, and isn't concerned with making himself look good. As a manager, you're supposed to be more concerned with your people than making yourself look good. They work there for a reason, and if you don't trust the people working for you or they don't trust you, it needs to be fixed one way or another.

Just don't forget that you're still the manager while doing it.
posted by onedarkride at 5:55 AM on May 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I noticed you said ages 20-29. I have managed our intern program for three years, with about ten college students at any given time. I've noticed a dramatic maturity difference between the ages of 20 and 22. This may pertain to college students only (not sure if your students are in college or not).

I can't quite put my finger on it, but the maturity difference between those ages is greater than the difference between a 22 and 25 year old. Someone at 20 needs much more handholding. They won't know how to operate among adults (e.g., may want a "buddy" rather than a boss/mentor). They don't have the right workplace vernacular to define their needs in non-confrontational ways. They volunteer for much more or much less than they can actually do. They will stumble (like everyone else does), but are more likely to lose confidence in themselves quickly, since they may not have "failed" at something before.

For the whole age group from 20-24, I've had success in just being blunt with them about their lack of experience. Allow them to know that mistakes are okay and even encouraged if their intentions are good. I set the expectation that I'm going to help them adjust to the workplace, and that it won't be easy. I joke with them about the fact that their first task is to sit at a desk for eight hours without complaining. I strive to be clear about productive vs. non-productive activities. Still, I allow them significantly more leeway to pursue non-productive activities.

Many make poor choices (we all do when we're young), and one of those poor choices may be taking a job with your company. You have to be prepared to help them come to that conclusion.
posted by redarmycomrade at 6:09 AM on May 11, 2007


Talking to them would probably be the best way to go. My boss asked me how I preferred to be managed and then followed through, and it has mostly worked for me.

Supposedly the generation coming into the work force now likes constant praise.

As a 27-year-old though, I wouldn't want to be lumped in with a lot of other 27-year-olds. My personal background is different from many other 27-year-olds as my parents were pre-Baby Boom, and I spent 8 years of my beginning years in an old school catholic grade school. So please keep in mind that everyone is going to have different history.
posted by drezdn at 6:25 AM on May 11, 2007


One difference you might notice is with communications technologies. Those in their 40s and 50s are more likely to like to print lots of stuff out and phone people up for everything, whereas younger and more tech-savvy people may prefer IM/email/SMS/wikis.
posted by malevolent at 6:26 AM on May 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


One thing not yet mentioned is loyalty. You will find that the youngsters these days, while they may be loyal to you personally, their team members, or a project; will not exhibit the same level of loyalty to the "company". They are not "lifers", and will have no problem leaving your company, even if they don't have another job. They will not look on this as being "disloyal" or "wrong". Keep this in mind if you are planning anything long term.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 6:43 AM on May 11, 2007


As a 22 year old who has had to fight hard to earn the respect of older co-workers/managers for the last 5 years, drezdn's comment is eerily similar to my own history and feelings on the subject:

As a 27-year-old though, I wouldn't want to be lumped in with a lot of other 27-year-olds. My personal background is different from many other 27-year-olds as my parents were pre-Baby Boom, and I spent 8 years of my beginning years in an old school catholic grade school. So please keep in mind that everyone is going to have different history.

Forget everything you've read or heard about this generation and just get to know them without assumptions. In some cases you'll be pleasantly surprised by the level of professionalism, in other cases you'll be disappointed by a lack of maturity. But either way you'll quickly identify the strong and weak points on your team and be able to target them appropriately.
posted by saraswati at 6:50 AM on May 11, 2007


I'm in your new underlings' age group. I have one official boss and three or four managers who manage different parts of my daily work.

My great managers: tell me when I've done well, and tell me just as often when I've fucked up and exactly what the consequences are; incrementally provide more and more things for me to do as I perform well, and are demonstrating their trust in me when they do so; are mentors in the sense of telling me where I could go in the company, where I might want to think about grad school and why, how to best ask people to do things with/for me on projects, etc. Basically, they are very transparently investing time and money in me to improve my performance and contributions. In return, I'm very loyal to both them individually and to the company, because I appreciate the work they're putting in to me. (For example, I intended to leave for grad school this year, but I'm enjoying work so much I'm planning on sticking around for a while. I won't be a lifer, as BozoBurgerBonanza says, but they're definitely getting more years out of me than I originally intended.

My not-as-great (but not *bad*) managers: don't tell me if I've done well or badly and with them, I can do nothing but operate under the assumption that no news is good news. As a result, I'm not improving at all on the work I'm doing for them.
posted by olinerd at 6:55 AM on May 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm 25, and I think I'm a typical 20 something.

Short advice: people in their 20s don't want to "work their 8 hours" regardless of how much work there is. They want to have flexibility. If there's nothing to do, they don't want to sit there pretending to work like a lot of boomers would. They'll go on iTunes or MySpace and kill some time. And they're really not ashamed of it, as long as they aren't slacking. If you're a good boss, you'll let them do this. And let them know it's OK, as long as when there is work to do, they get it done, even if it means staying a little late. Make things based on performance and results, and you'll be OK.

Another piece of advice, if your workers would be interested in Blackberrys or Treos, get them one. I know 20-somethings are used to 24-7 communication. They'll probably answer emails at 10pm and get work done outside of the 8-5. We don't mind this, in fact we like it. It helps us get more done. An added bonus for us is that we can route our personal email through the Blackberry and always be in contact with friends, which is important to us.

Long advice: The best boss I ever had was:
1) Flexible - once I proved myself he told me he trusted me to get my work done, and as long as I was meeting or exceeding his expecations he didn't care whether I needed to leave a little early sometimes, or took breaks during the day to run an errand. He let me work from home if I needed to. Because he trusted me, I worked very hard to make sure I never disappointed him. Plus he was focused on performance, not time spent at a desk, so I always knew what mattered to him was results, and I made sure I provided them.
2) Honest with me - he told me when I had messed up, and when I was doing a great job. He even wrote me a little note every once in a while when I hit a milestone telling me what a good job I was doing. I think since people in my age group aren't necessarily motivated as much by money, or job security (because we don't perceive there to be any in this day and age) we work for managers, not companies. This guy had me "addicted" to his praise and mentoring. I'd follow him to the end of the earth. And when I hadn't gotten a note in a while, I'd work harder.
3) Generous - He set aside an hour a day for each of his direct reports on Friday morning, called it a drumbeat. He would talk through ongoing projects, walls I was coming up against, and do a "gut-check" with us. If he sensed we were too comfortable, he'd give us a new project. He always sought to keep us on that line just past comfort, but not all the way to feeling lost in a new challenge. He'd ask about our future goals, talk to us about grad school, see if we had any ideas for new business. He'd set goals for us and tell us he knew we could meet them, and brainstorm with us on how to do so. Then lunch on Friday we knew the dept was all going to lunch (there were 4 of us). We'd talk some business, and just bullshit and bond. Really, he challenged and encouraged us. He gave of his time and genuinely cared about our well-being and job fullfilment. He'd come over to my cube every couple days or so, just when I was feeling frustrated or overwhelmed and say "Is there anything I can help you out with?" This guys was a Senior VP, and really didn't need to be helping me with stuff, nor did I ever let him. But him asking always made me smile and say, "No, I've got it covered, but thanks." And then I'd realize I really could do it on my own, and I'd get to it.

Basically, we respected this guy so much that even though he treated us as equals, we never saw him as that. We definitely recognized him as a "boss" as well as a mentor. We were always trying to live up to his high expectations of us, which we saw as a complement. He's since left the company, but he still emails us every once in a while to check in, and he's still mentoring us, getting us involved in professional organizations, giving us advice on projects, etc.
posted by misswiss at 7:48 AM on May 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


Seconding misswiss. My best boss ever, thus far (twenty years and counting), was my first boss. I was a 20-year-old college dropout, and yet my opinions were frequently solicited and taken into consideration; my work performance was monitored but not in a micromanager kind of way. He understood that I understood priorities, and (in keeping with the preceding bit) he took seriously anything I had to say if, for instance, I felt priorities needed reorganizing for whatever reason. He expected a lot, and I was delighted to be treated with respect for my abilities. If he'd said "jump," to coin a cliche, I would have jumped immeidately and said "how high?" the moment I was airborne. To this day no one else has measured up.

So treat your kids as worthy human beings. Set reasonably high expectations and give feedback *constuctively* as necessary. Lay some basic ground rules (tardiness, dress code, limits on personal e-mailing and phone calls, etc.) and, once that's done, don't sweat the small stuff. Forget all you've heard about Generations X, Y, Next, and Whatever-the-fluck, and just be a nurturingly good supervisor. I believe people generally deliver what is expected of them, so if you set high standards, you're likely to see them.
posted by scratch at 8:16 AM on May 11, 2007


What misswiss and oilnerd said. Care about whether I get stuff done, not whether or not I "look like" I am working. Don't call me when you can email. Make me feel listened too. And let me know how I am doing.
posted by dame at 8:23 AM on May 11, 2007


People in their 20s (including me) tend to be quite tech-savvy, and may feel that they don't have the tools to do their job well if you give them crappy technology. Old, slow workstations, lack of blackberries (if they've been requested), not allowing AIM, etc. might be fine for people who have been doing these jobs for years and don't know any better, but your new employees are used to having good technology and using it to be more productive. Help them out with that, as much as budget will allow.

I've also found that a lot of us younger workers really appreciate knowing WHY we're doing certain projects certain ways, too. Technically the boss could come up and say, "You need to do this with this technology and have it done by this day," and an employee should do it, no questions asked. But man, it makes me a lot more motivated if I understand how this project fits into the greater business of our company, and why it has to be done in the certain way specified - especially if those specifics are not my preferred method of working. Do I deserve that explanation? Probably not. But it makes me work harder and helps me stay happier.
posted by vytae at 8:58 AM on May 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


As a 29 year-old working in a small office, and coworkers ranging in age from 38 - 80, I was a little freaked out by how accurate I found this article.
posted by Grundlebug at 9:05 AM on May 11, 2007


First, let me say that I really appreciate that you're making an effort up front my trying to learn about the generation you'll be managing.

I'm 27 and have ALWAYS been the youngest person at all of my 'real life' jobs. That was ALWAYS a negative, because it made people assume that I was immature and inexperienced, which was not and is not the case at all.

Do not assume that just because someone is younger than you or part of the millenial generation that they do not have a skill set (though it may still need to be refined) or that they do not have any valid thoughts or ideas to add to your project/department/company.

Realize that their modes and methods of communication are much, much different than previous generations. Communication has become much more casual and we would probably rather email someone than call them. It is not always a flaw, but sometimes it's hard to get the right meaning and intent out of an email. Explain situations where it would be more appropriate to talk to someone on the phone or in person.

As someone said above, we want to know WHY we're doing something, and please note "because we've always done this this way" is not a good answer. Be open to our ideas. They might suck, but they might not. We really might have a better way of doing something. Be open to that possibility.

Also, we do not respect the boss just because he is the boss. If he does something to lose our respect, he will have to earn it back--he doesn't just automatically get it because of his position of authority.

And no, we are not lifers. Why? Because we have seen what being a lifer will get us: not much anymore. Companies are no longer loyal to their employees, so why should we be loyal to them? Every job is just a stepping stone to the next.

Finally, try to get to know the people you're managing because each of them will be different. You may have an incredibly mature and responsible and professional 22 year old, and a slack off 29 year old whose only thoughts are about what bar to go to that night.

Treat us with the same respect you would give any other employee. Yes, we grew up in a different generation and we are very different in our working styles and our world views. But that doesn't mean we can't get the job done well.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 9:33 AM on May 11, 2007


I second vytae, I definitely work better when I know the "why" of what I've been asked to do. In my experience, workers in their 20s want to see the "big picture" and see how what they are doing affects the bottom line. Whereas older workers can work in "silos" with no contact with other departments and no idea why they are doing what they have been asked, 20 somethings have a hard time with this.
posted by misswiss at 10:48 AM on May 11, 2007


One tip I really like is the one about as long as they aren't missing deadlines, don't hassle them about surfing the internet or goofing off.
posted by dial-tone at 11:20 AM on May 11, 2007


I have never had a good boss.

I second what people say about being patronizing. Just because your employees don't know everything, don't assume they aren't smart and don't assume they know nothing. Create an environment where they can ask questions without being shot down.

My current boss thinks that all they must do to get us on track is hammer us to death by restating expectations. Her reasons to support why something should be done a certain way are extremely cynical. No genuine effort is made to support us in fulfilling those expectations, even though I work in an environment (a school) where staff really needs to be a team for things to go well. When expectations aren't met or aren't met on time, they group as a whole is adressed and chastised in broad terms, rather than discussing specifics with the specific people involved.

My boss is not very involved in the day-to-day workings of things, or is involved very sporadically. She tends to delegate rather than collaborate.

My boss also never says much of anything positive and is extremely focused on the negative. Whatever is said that is positive is extremely broad and vague, basically meaningless.

In short, don't be like my boss.
posted by mai at 11:29 AM on May 11, 2007


I have nothing new to add, but as a 29 year old with 8 years full time in the public sector I have to second these points:

1) If I am getting stuff done on time and doing it right, chill out if I'm on the net. *Especially* if I've already gone to you and offered to take on more work and only gotten fluff work/make work as a reward.

2) I cannot emphasize this one enough - the communication thing is *huge*. I once had a boss who didn't get why I wasn't on the phone all the time. The conversations would go something like this: "I asked you to contact so-and-so and you haven't called them." "No, I emailed them." "Oh, you *have* to call them!"
Why? If it isn't something I need to know yesterday, why is a phone call better? 90% of the people I have to contact are sitting at their desk with the email always open, so it's fine. It's second nature for me to communicate this way. Friends rarely call, we mostly text, or IM or communicate by other means. It's completely second nature.

Ditto with the paper/electronics. "I need to see your file on X." I don't *have* a paper file. I have a folder on the common drive and on flashdrive. This doesn't make me unorganised, it just means I kill less trees.

That's not to say everyone should adjust to me. I've learned to do things other way too. Just something to consider because it was a huge frustration for me at first and just mind boggling to my boss.
posted by aclevername at 12:11 PM on May 11, 2007


As a youngin', the first thing that comes to mind is . . . Emphasize the importance of a phone call. I consider myself superior with putting together a functional email (oh wow, a useful subject line!), but I'm still hesitant on picking up the phone and making relationships. Us twenty-somethings are embedded in email/IM/text and its hard to get out of that mode once we're stuck in it.
posted by nemoorange at 2:26 PM on May 11, 2007


What everyone else said about not being patronising, listening to their input (especially if you're new to the department and they've been doing things their way for the last six months -- trying to make a lot of changes to the system that they've probably cobbled together themselves isn't going to go over so well), and also making sure that they have access to the technology (instant messaging, email, internet) that they feel that they need.

Tying in with both the motivation and loyalty things, for a lot of people in this age range (which, I should mention, includes me) our jobs are not our lives. Don't get me wrong: I want the company I'm working for to succeed, I want them to be profitable, I want them to be a player in their industry. That said, the best way to motivate the people I know is to offer something that benefits us, not the company. I read somewhere once that if you want to motivate a boomer, offer them a promotion; if you want to motivate a 30 or 40 something, offer them more money; and if you want to motivate a 20 something, offer them a day off. Offering incentives (gift certificates, time off, blackberries/palms) that have use outside of work are huge motivators for this age bracket.

Also worth noting is that the desire to be seen as unique and creative is especially strong in this age group. It seems to me like many, if not most, people of this age have some sort of creative hobby or sideline job. Even in the threads above, this manifests to some degree: "I wouldn't want to be lumped in with a lot of other 27-year-olds" and similar comments. (Please note: I am not saying this is a bad thing -- I do it all the time. I'm just saying that it seems to be a trademark of this generation.) It is my general experience that acknowledgement of people as creative and thinking individuals will always be a stronger motivator than acknowledging them as hardworking memebers of a team.
posted by meghanmiller at 3:29 PM on May 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thank you all for your thoughtful comments and advice.

I have to admit being slightly amused by the posts by some of the people in the demographic I have asked about. They see themselves much in the same way as my peers and I did when I we were their age, though we encountered a much more autocratic group of managers, in that my first two managers (still the best two I ever had) were WWII and Korean War vets that were pretty crusty and unyielding on a lot of things, unless you could make a good case to the contrary.

I largely think this commonality is a good thing, in that they are not so different from my own peer group, and I've always found the ability to put myself in someone else's shoes to be tremendously useful to me as a manager.

Thanks again!
posted by psmealey at 8:33 AM on May 12, 2007


Don't lie or try to cover your ass. We're not stupid. Ok, some are, but not everyone.
posted by onepapertiger at 5:14 PM on May 13, 2007


Ditto on that 20 vs. 22 thing. I deal with a lot of interns who are either near the end of college / fresh out, and a lot who have been out for 1-2 years, and it's amazing what a difference that year makes.
posted by salvia at 6:42 PM on May 14, 2007


I'm 28 and now managing people my age or a bit older. One thing I really took away from my previous managers, and am trying to pass along, is how to take a few extra minutes and think about the proper way to solve a problem. Not just go with the first, and fastest option but to think about the possible future outcomes. I know when I was 22 and starting to work, I always wanted to impress with my speed and being fast didn't always make me very productive in the long term.
posted by m3thod4 at 12:01 AM on May 15, 2007


I just found a Fortune article on this very subject. The timing makes me wonder whether this thread helped inspire it, though we're not mentioned.

I have to say, the writer is awfully insulting to Gen-Y-ers, even though she is one. Still, she's got some good points.
posted by vytae at 8:48 AM on June 7, 2007


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