Generation Y refers to the generation that was born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s. Currently, due to demographic change, they are considered to be the most valuable professionals and thus stand for the future viability of organizations.

Numerous experts and magazines as well as the scientific community are concerned about how an employer can be attractive to Generation Y. There are also numerous debates about what a Generation Y really wants. There is talk of “howls and lazy furs” as well as of service providers. But what does the generation really want and what should it do?

Christoph Pause and Dr. Winfried Felser inspired me to this article.

What does Generation Y really want?

The question in the headline is actually quickly answered. Generation Y seeks meaning and needs feedback in its work. This is easy to say and even harder to implement.

In a comment on LinkedIn, Christoph Pause said: “Probably the term career is undergoing a change of meaning. the goal of many students is certainly not to sit on any routine surgical activity for a lifetime. But becoming and staying as head of department is no longer so attractive.

I think that’s what he’s doing. It’s specifically about generation Y people not wanting to have permanent routine activities. I also experience this in my environment and many even just want to become executives, so that home office becomes possible and can break out of the routine (daily business). It’s not a hidden fact that executives often have it better than employees. So time said: Work like a king uh, boss.

But is that the solution? Just becoming a boss? Christoph Pause goes on to say: “Many people I know are about being as effective as possible in different projects. Getting involved where your skills are particularly valuable, where work is fun – and where the result counts, not the time you’ve spent in the office.

His recommendation is that we should talk more about horizontal careers and make work more meaningful. I think he’s right. I experience many redundancies especially in my consulting industry, because the projects are not exciting and rather routine. In my current job, we solve something like this through personnel conferences, in which we are looking for exciting projects for the employees. The goal is continuous development and fun at work.

Reading Tip: Agile Career

What should Generation Y do?

But what exactly is Generation Y supposed to do in return? Dr. Winfried Felser says:“Dear young hopes, forget notes and asterisks and prefer to rely on new experiences and networks.” The content of his article is that it reflects. He shows his career from A-levels with 1.0 to the doctorate with 1.0 and defines this as a “vain end in itself” without “life sense”. He notes that great successes are generated through networks and contacts.

Afterwards I thought about myself a little bit. From studying with distinction to doctoral, start-up sales, specialist book and the manager before my 30th birthday. However, I have to admit that I enjoyed all this and that everything from startup to doctorate has been promoted by excellent mentors and contacts in the network. As usual, I was able to win 16 board members for my doctorate and ensure the quality of research. I was just the moderator but the content came from experienced contacts from my network. Mentors have also advised me on startup and career, and at the very end is my doctoral father, who has been catapulting me out of my comfort zone every day for 3 years.

I have to agree with Dr. Felser that he says that successful people of Generation Y do not determine the awards, but the network. In his article, he examines selected “young hopes” and draws the resumee: “They hope for great things, not because they build narrowly on their careers, but because they use platforms for special experiences and networks in their lives.”

Reading tip: Generation management

Image Source: Business Photo Created by javi_indy –

Genderhinweis: Ich habe zur leichteren Lesbarkeit die männliche Form verwendet. Sofern keine explizite Unterscheidung getroffen wird, sind daher stets sowohl Frauen, Diverse als auch Männer sowie Menschen jeder Herkunft und Nation gemeint. Lesen Sie mehr dazu.

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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