Interview with a Millennial: William

Following is a transcript of an interview dated 01/19/2017 with a random, everyday millennial named William. He was born in the early 90s and currently works as an inventory clerk in a rural setting.  The transcription was conducted online and reviewed and edited through email with the interviewee.

Interviewer: Good afternoon, William.  Will?  Can I call you Will?

William: Either is fine.

Interviewer: I’ll just stick to William then.  Thanks for allowing us to interview you.  Can you tell us a little about yourself?

William: I’m just going to jump right into it.  I graduated a couple years ago with an engineering degree.  I got a great job right out of school.  I worked for a year or so, but got laid off.  I couldn’t find a job since.  I moved back in with my parents, spent 2 years unemployed.  Recently I just gave up and got a job stacking boxes at a warehouse just so I can have some money.  My budget is all out of whack.  I got a bunch of student loans, a ton of credit card debt.  I’ve been paying nearly every cent I make towards it and at this current rate I’ll pay off my credit card in maybe 10 years and student loans… never haha.

Interviewer: Do you mind if I ask, why you were laid off?

William: It was a contract job.  Contract was terminated.  It was all of a sudden and it was a bit hostile.  I spoke with the HR lady that hired me for the job and she tried to find me something else, but after a couple of days she stopped replying to my emails and answering my phone calls.  So just like that I didn’t have a job anymore.

Interviewer: I see.  And the credit card debt.  How did that happen?

William: Well, I had some credit card debt when I was in school.  And when I got the good job, I spent some more.  Furniture and stuff.  I wasn’t out of control or anything.  I needed a bed, bookshelf, place to keep my clothes, couch, TV.  I probably spent more than I should have, but it was fine considering my salary.  It didn’t get out of control until I lost my job.  That’s when I started putting gas on it.  Groceries.  I lost my health insurance and started paying like $200 a month on prescription medicine I need.  I was making minimum payments and the interest kept piling up.  I went a couple months trying to find a new job before I just said screw it and moved back home.  Terrible, but I had no choice.

Interviewer: How did your parents react?

William: At first they were open to it.  My mom especially had empty nest syndrome, so she was excited I was back.  They were more excited than I was.  My dad was pretty gung-ho on me finding another job ASAP so he would make me apply to literally hundreds of places.  I told him that I already tried and I would apply to places twice and stuff, but he didn’t care.

Interviewer: Did you hear back from any of them?

William: No, not really.  Occasionally I would get a phone interview, but I wouldn’t hear back.  I tried it all.  Career fairs, referrals.  They just don’t take people with no experience.  And as time went by, at like 6 months of unemployment, I’m pretty sure that was a factor too.

Interviewer: Do you have any suspicions on why they weren’t interested?

William: Well, like I said, the unemployment and no experience.  I was in this limbo where I wasn’t a new grad so I wasn’t treated like one and I wasn’t an experienced employee so I heard a lot of people say back that they wanted 5-10 years experience and stuff.  If I had another year or two of experience, it probably wouldn’t have been a big deal.  It also doesn’t help that I have a bit of a nervous stutter, so its pretty much guaranteed that I botch every phone interview.  Its not bad, but it sure isn’t helping.  Social anxiety and bi-polar too.  That’s why my meds are so much.  I’m good at what I do, but not at interviews.

Interviewer: Well, enough about the past.  How is your new job as an inventory clerk?

William: Its better than nothing.  Its hard on me because its not what I went to school for.  But the guys are alright.  Most of them are older, but they are nice to me.  They make me do all the crap work though.  It’s good exercise I suppose.

Interviewer: Do you think there is a future in it where you can maybe end up in a management position?  Make a career out of it?

William: No, probably not.  I’m not hoping to stay there.  Even if I can’t find a job in my field, I’ll probably find something else someday.  I’m also bouncing around some ideas making an app or something.  Maybe go back to school for my masters and hit the reset button on this whole job out of school thing.

Interviewer: What kind of app were you thinking about?

William: I’m not a computer programmer, but I have a buddy who is pretty good at it.  We were thinking about a game, or maybe some type of educational thing for kids.  My sister has some kids and I was thinking how hard could it be to touch the screen and make a monster truck go or something.

Interviewer: What kind of degree were you considering going to school for?

William: I’m not sure.  I was thinking something for robotics, nanotechnology, or something like that.  It has to be a hot field.  If I’m going to want to be employed, it has to be an emerging field with a big future where they are snatching up college grads.  Wouldn’t hurt to go to a reputable school too.  I think part of my mistake with my bachelors degree was that it was a good, but a small school.  Since nobody heard of it so its not really doing me any favors even though it was good.

Interviewer: How’s the love life, Will?  Any plans on settling down anytime soon?

William: Haha, about that.  No.  That’s been getting progressively worse and more depressing.  The older I get it seems the more everyone is getting married or having kids.  If I’m not finding girls still in school or fresh out of school, I’m finding ones who have gone through divorces and already have kids.  Mostly its the ones who didn’t go to college that has them.  My last girlfriend for example, was married at 18, divorced at 21, and had 2 kids.  I’m not ready for it.

Interviewer: So, no kids any time soon?

William: No, not yet.  Someday.  But not now.

Interviewer: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 20 years?

William: Wow, tough question.  A few years ago I had an answer for that.  I would have said living a good life with a nice apartment downtown.  Going out with friends all the time.  Travelling.  Now, in 10 years I’d say I see myself back in school honestly.  That’s just my gut feeling.  Like, I’m going to do this thing for a bit to get my credit card thing straight.  Then with my Master’s I should be able to afford both degrees.  Hopefully.  Even if I got a job in my field tomorrow, I think I would still get my Masters.  Part time at least.

Interviewer: 20 years?

William: Married.  Successful.  Kids.  Dog.  Nice car.  Truck.  House.

Interviewer: Pretty standard American Dream.

William: Yeah, it just feels unobtainable nowadays.  Like, my dad had that working as a mechanic.  Nowadays its like, need a Master’s degree in Nanotechnology and have to be 40+ haha.

Interviewer: Well, I hope you do end up with that American Dream.

William: Me too.

Interviewer: Do you have any closing remarks before we conclude the interview?

William: I don’t think so.

Interviewer:  Well, thanks for letting us interview you today.  Good luck to you in the future.  I hope it all works out.

William:  Thanks.

 

If you are a millennial and interested in an interview, please mention it in the comments or email us directly.  We would be interested in hearing your story.

Interview with a Millennial: Lindsey

Following is a transcript of an interview dated 01/18/2017 with a random, everyday millennial named Lindsey. She was born in the late 80s and currently works as an Nurse Practitioner in a major US city.  The transcription was conducted over the phone and reviewed and edited through email with the interviewee.

Interviewer: Good morning, Lindsey.  Thanks for allowing us the opportunity to interview you this morning.

Lindsey: Thank you.  Its a pleasure.

Interviewer: So, Lindsey, do you mind telling us what you do for a living?

Lindsey: I was a registered nurse in a nearby hospital that I was advised not to mention by name.  BSN (Bachelors of Science in Nursing).  And I recently finished school for my Masters to become an NP (Nurse Practitioner).

Interviewer: Sounds impressive.  Is that a challenging field to be in?

Lindsey: Well, I originally wanted to be a doctor and started out pre-med for my undergrad, so I felt pretty confident throughout the program.  But it was still pretty difficult.  But it was more along the lines of what I wanted to do.

Interviewer: What do you mean by that?

Lindsey: Well, in my opinion doctors have a tendency to be too impersonal and disconnected to the patient.  Its my personal belief that NPs are more suited to cater to the patient more personally while also delivering a high level of care.  Because we had that experience as an RN.

Interviewer: So I take it that you like your job as an NP?

Lindsey:  Yeah, I love it.  I loved being an RN too.  Like, a lot of people have that one job they wanted to do as a kid.  And I’m lucky enough to have it come to fruition.

Interviewer: What do you like to do in your spare time?

Lindsey: I don’t have any.  I work pretty long hours.  And what I do have I spend with my family.  Married.  Two kids.  5 and a 2 year old.  They keep me pretty busy.

Interviewer: Is the 5 year old in school?

Lindsey: Yeah.  He just started Kindergarten this year.  2 year old is in daycare.  We also do the before and after care because both of us work.

Interviewer: How do they like it?

Lindsey: The Kindergartener likes it.  I mean, he prefers being home, but he is doing well.  My daughter loves it though.  She is more social.  They both learn a lot too which is good because it costs a fortune.  I’m just glad we’re getting something out of it, you know?

Interviewer: How expensive is it?

Lindsey: He’s in school now so he only does part time before and after care.  That runs us like $200.  She’s full time which is $300 something.  Close to $400.  But this is all new.  Last year he was $300 something and she was $400 even, because the younger they are the higher the parent teacher ratio and more expensive it costs.

Interviewer:  Wow, so that’s like $700ish a month.

Lindsey: No.  Week.  $700 a week.  We budget around $3000 a month for it.

Interviewer:  That’s insane.

Lindsey:  That’s just what it costs.  After tax dollars.  Oh, and we do have a FSA (flexible spending account) but its a laughable amount.  Like 5000.  I mean, what good is that when it costs literally 6 times as much.

Interviewer: Well, you an afford it, so that is good.  And it only is for a few years.

Lindsey:  Right.  That’s the way we view it too.  I mean, you have to.  We looked into full time nannies and au pairs and stuff, but they need the social element.  Things will be better in…. 15 years or so. [laughing]

Interviewer: How did you come up with that number?

Lindsey: They start school at 5.  We have 2 now and I want at least 1 more.  2 more actually.  But my husband says 3 is plenty.

Interviewer: So, you want a big family?

Lindsey: Yeah, I grew up in the country so I wanted to have a lot.  And have them young.  I feel like its a different mentality than most people in the city.  I see parents in their 40s and 50s.  I wanted to be done having kids by 35. Which makes sense I guess because we would be better off financially in our 40s.  Bigger home.  But I’m more concerned with the health of the child, so got to have them young.

Interviewer: Both are healthy?

Lindsey: Yes, very.  I’m very thankful for it.  We had some scares, but you know I’m in the medical field and I worked in a pediatric rotation.  And Oncology.  So, that thought is always at the back of my mind.

Interviewer: You sound like a very busy mother.

Lindsey: I am.  It’s hard you know.  There is just too much to do and too little time.  Being a mom.  A working mom.  Its really hard to balance it all out.  Between not spending enough time with the kids and making sure they are meeting all their milestones and the constant stress of having enough money.  I wish I could just stay home with them and be that really great stay at home mom, but I have student loans to pay.  And I do love my job and would miss it.  So, you see the struggle with it all, right? And wife.  On top of all that I have to make sure the relationship doesn’t fall apart.

Interviewer: I understand.  It does sound tough.  Does your husband help out at all?

Lindsey:  He does.  In fact, he was a stay at home dad for the second kid for the first year.  He even said it himself that being a parent is a full time job and he doesn’t know how people do it.  Its a tough job by itself.  Even more difficult doing both.  But he’s glad to be back at work.  He was losing his mind for a while.

Interviewer: He pulled it off though?  Baby number two is alive and well?

Lindsey: He did.  Baby is alive and well.  He knows what he is doing.  Some things we don’t agree on, but I never had any doubts.

Interviewer: And both of you are back at work full time now?

Lindsey: Yeah.  We both have student loans, so we really have to out of necessity more than a choice.  Even with the cost of daycare, its worth it.  We both have pretty high incomes.

Interviewer: You have a bachelors and a masters.  Was that expensive?

Lindsey: Very.  I’m well into 6 figures of student loan debt.  Its like having 3 mortgages.

Interviewer: The student loans?

Lindsey: And the kids.  And the actual mortgage.  Yeah, 3.  We don’t go on any vacations. [laughing]

Interviewer: I’m going to ask you a couple questions because I can see someone asking them in the comments.  Why didn’t you go to a more affordable school or limit your loans more?

Lindsey: I didn’t go to an expensive school.  I mean, it wasn’t a community college, but its not like I went somewhere crazy.  School is expensive.  Apartments are expensive.  Books are expensive.  And besides, if I went to a community college I might be unemployed right now.  Or inadequately trained.  So yeah, I paid more but I also earn more now so it helps offset that.

Interviewer: Could you have worked more before or during school to help lower cost?

Lindsey:  I’ve been working since I was legally able to.  15 I think.  And throughout school.  Minimum wage just didn’t do much to counter the cost of it all.  In High School I worked in retail.  In college, I was a waitress and I worked like every other day.  I’d come home with like 60 bucks here.  120 another night.  But that’s like food and gas money.  Tuition is thousands and thousands.  But look, what’s done is done.  I’m not asking for help.  What I am truly worried about is my kids.  I’m not saving for them.  By the time I’m done paying they’ll be going and I don’t know what it’s going to cost then.  $300,000?  Then a couple years later, another $300,000?  And another?  Something needs to be done and with our income its not like they will qualify for aid or anything.

Interviewer: Did your parents help you when you went to school?

Lindsey: They tried.  But barely.  They made my car payments and would give me like $200 a semester.  I’d try to live off that as long as I could but for example, it cost like $30 just to drive to school with the cost of gas and all.

Interviewer: Do you think the cost of education is a big issue for your generation?

Lindsey: Definitely.  I’m a success story though.  You have to remember there are people with just as much debt as me… mortgage size debt… and they are working at Starbucks.  Add in the cost of living.  Housing.  Family.  I can’t imagine trying to take care of my kids and making… well, you know.  A lower income.  It would be impossible.

Interviewer: Who do you think is to blame for the crisis?

Lindsey: I don’t think anyone is to blame.  Or no single cause.  Its a large, systemic, and complex issue and it would be a mistake to try and pin the blame on any one thing.  Let’s look at it this way.  I’m in the health field.  Complex illness is usually never just one thing.  There is genetics, lifestyle.  A lot of factors.  And no matter how many times I tell people there isn’t a magic pill.  Its usually a multi-faceted approach with medication, lifestyle changes.  Diet, exercise.  Preventative care to avoid getting sick in the first place.  Or to catch it early enough so it doesn’t balloon into a large problem.  When it comes to education, we have a large problem.  Cost has gotten out of control.  Kids need to be better educated more on large, financial decisions.  Having 18 year olds with no concept of personal finance sign large loans is a disaster waiting to happen.  The government needs to step in.  Demand is inelastic so it needs to be governed.

Interviewer: Inelastic.  For readers and myself who might not know the definition, can you explain?

Lindsey: Oh, sorry.  Yeah, its an economic term.  I could be wrong.  Its been a long time.  My husband would know.  It means that the price doesn’t matter, the demand stays the same.  Gas, for example.  Everyone needs it to drive.  If the price goes up, people still need gas and pay it.  Education, it doesn’t matter how much it costs to be a nurse.  Some kid will pay it.  To the point of bankruptcy.  Books too.  There were mandatory books for courses that would be $200 a book.  You had to pay it.  What choice did you have?  Inelastic demand.

Interviewer: Sorry to change the subject, but you mentioned your child care and school loans rivaled your mortgage.  Do you mind me asking about your house?  So you own, not rent?

Lindsey: I do.  My husband and I bought a townhome before kids.  Just a small thing.  3 bedrooms.  It’s okay for now but we would really like to move into a real house someday.

Interviewer: Real house?

Lindsey: [laughing] Yeah.  You know, like a regular, normal house.  We have this tiny townhome.  The commute is great, but you know.  I want a yard for the kids.  I played in dirt and made mud pies as a kid.  I want my kids to have a life like that.

Interviewer: So you want to move out of the city to a more rural area?

Lindsey: No, not rural.  We want to be close enough to the city to have access to things.  Plus its more diverse and I really like that.  The culture.  Its healthy for them.  Suburbs I guess.  Outside the city enough to have land but not be isolated if that makes sense.  If you go too far out in the country like where I grew up it puts you in a bubble and you don’t have a good concept of the real world.

Interviewer: I understand.  So do you see yourself in a house like that in 5, 10 years?

Lindsey: We have to.  We have 3 bedrooms right now.  That’s enough for us and the 2 kids.  I want another one (kid) in the next 2 years so we need another bedroom.  I mean we could bunk them, but I don’t know if they’d ever sleep.  I would really like a 5 bedroom but its out of our price range.  We’d have to move like an hour and a half out of the city to have that.  I’m thinking a nice little 4 bedroom with some land and a reasonable commute.  Oh and an in-law suite for my mom because we can’t afford 3 kids in daycare.

Interviewer: [joking] …but I thought you said you wanted 4?

Lindsey: [laughing] Yeah, well, my husband might be right.  3 might be it.

Interviewer:  I won’t tell him you said that.

Lindsey: Yeah, please don’t.

Interviewer: I think this might be a good spot to the end the interview.  Do you have any closing remarks you’d like to make?

Lindsey: Not really.  Eat less carbs and more vegetables.  Exercise daily.  Get your kids vaccinated. [laughing] I think that about covers it.

Interviewer: Well, thanks, Lindsey.  It was a pleasure talking with you today.

Lindsey: Thank you.

 

 

If you are a millennial and interested in an interview, please mention it in the comments or email us directly.  We would be interested in hearing your story.

Interview with a Millennial: Bridget

Following is a transcript of an interview dated 01/18/2017 with a random, everyday millennial named Bridget. She was born in the late 80s and currently works as a chef in a major US city.  The transcription was conducted in person and reviewed and edited on scene with the interviewee.

Interviewer: Good morning, Bridget.  Thanks for allowing us the opportunity to interview you this morning.

Bridget: Its not a problem at all.  Not everyday you get interviewed!

Interviewer: Yes, well, Bridget, tell us about yourself.

Bridget: Let’s see.  27 years old.  Single. Currently work two jobs.  I have my own apartment, but only because I recently broke up with boyfriend and I’m expecting to have a friend from home move in with me in a couple weeks.  I have a cat named Lila who is my princess.  I think that’s about it.

Interviewer: You mention working two jobs.  What do you do?

Bridget: Well my real job is line cook.  I don’t think I can say the name of the restaurant, but its a pretty nice restaurant.  It doesn’t pay too well so I also work at another little restaurant.  It’s pretty popular across the country.  Kinda like fast food but not really.  Can’t say the name but everybody’s probably heard of it.  Its pretty laid back and they let me pick my own hours which is good because the other job is really demanding.  Like crazy hours.

Interviewer: How many hours do you work a week?

Bridget: I have no idea.  I’m salaried so I don’t think about it.  But the other job I only work 4 to 8 hours a week.  You know, just one night or shift on my day off, just to help out with the bills.

Interviewer: Like a weekend job, or you mention day off as in singular?

Bridget: Yeah, no weekends.  That’s our busy time.  I get one day off in the middle of the week.  I wish I didn’t have to but I’m saving up for a car.  Easily 60 hours a week though.  Easily.

Interviewer: Oh, that’s fantastic you are saving up for a car.  Does that mean you’ve been getting around without one?

Bridget: Yeah, I mean I mostly use public transportation.  But its really hard to carry groceries and like, I never get to go home and visit my family, friends.

Interviewer: You mention needing the second job to help out with bills and also to save for the car.  Do you mind telling us a little about your financial situation?

Bridget: I’m not going to get a car.  I wish.  Most of my money goes to rent.  I had like a grand saved but my boyfriend moved out and I’m stuck paying for a month rent by myself.  And rent is like 2 grand.  So there goes all of it.  Let’s see what else.  I have like 40,000 in student loans.  I have a credit card but I never use it. Rest of my money goes to getting to work and food.  That’s from my first job though, you know.  The other is like, money in my savings.  Or at least I try.

Interviewer: Two grand is pretty hefty rent.  Is that typical of where you live?  Do you think you can find cheaper?

Bridget: Typical.  Its a pretty expensive city.  Its not a nice place, but its not terrible either.  Not like my last place.  It was dangerous to go outside at night and had bugs and stuff.

Interviewer: And how much was that place?

Bridget: $1500 a month.

Interviewer: Have you considered living in a different city?

Bridget: Yes and no.  I mean, I did live in a different city.  Rent was cheaper but the jobs paid less.  And there wasn’t as many.  And nobody was hiring.  And I also lived back at home but my parents had to drive me because there was no buses or anything. Its just not worth it.  It sucks here but at least its a good restaurant, I have my own place, I can afford my student loans.  I just don’t know if I can keep this up… all my life.

Interviewer: You’ll be okay, I’m sure.  What are your career goals?  Where do you see yourself in 10, 20 years?

Bridget: 10 years I see myself exactly where I am.  Other than housing and food and stuff, the rest of my money goes to student loans and I’m on some sort of extended plan.  So its like 20 or 30 years until its gone and I can finally afford anything.  But like, I don’t know.  I want to be a head chef or open up my own restaurant someday.  I probably won’t be at the same place.  Oh, and single still [laughing].

Interviewer: You don’t think you’ll meet the right one in the next 10 years?

Bridget: No.  Not with my hours [laughing].  Unless he works with me I’ll never get to see him.  Plus I look like I never slept in my life and I got no money. So I’m not sure who would want that – I’m a real prize! [laughing]

Interviewer: Well, you might be a head chef someday or have your own restaurant.

Bridget: Yeah, I don’t know about that.  Head chef maybe.  But its tough.  There’s just too many.  I like to think I’m good, but there’s just too many.  And they are older.  And not to play the gender card, but its mostly men.

Interviewer: Do you think that can work to your advantage?

Bridget: Maybe.  Ideally, yeah.  But realistically, I don’t think there is a huge push for change behind the kitchen doors.  Most restaurant owners are jerks too. And drug addicts.

Interviewer: It’s a good thing you didn’t share the name of the restaurant.

Bridget: [laughing] Yeah I know, right?  But seriously, its a thing.  I’ve seen it in most restaurants.  The owners are all well-off and drugged up.  I guess the kitchen isn’t much better because we are all stressed out beyond belief.  But I guess you can say the whole industry has a drug problem.

Interviewer: Do you do any drugs?

Bridget: No, I can’t afford it [laughing].  I used to drink a lot, but I stopped because I was gaining too much weight.  I smoke sometimes.  Cigarettes.  I’m not a smoker, but I do when I work.

Interviewer: I want to jump back to education if you don’t mind.  You mentioned you had a lot of student loans.  Did you regret your choice in major?  Would you go back and change it if you could?

Bridget: I didn’t go to college, so no.  It was culinary school.  A pretty good one, but not the best.  I regretted not going to a better one because I might have a better job maybe as a head chef, but my loans would be more so I don’t know.  I didn’t do too good in high school so I’m not sure if I could do college, but I sometimes thought about being a nurse or something.

Interviewer: Did you ever consider going back for nursing?

Bridget: I don’t want to be a nurse [laughing].  I want to be a chef.  I just said nursing because one of my friends from High School is one and she has a house and family and stuff.  You know, living a normal life.  I’m not actually interested in it.  And its probably too hard and costs too much.   This is what it is.  I’ve come to terms about it.

Interviewer: So, you are more interested in the lifestyle that comes with a higher paying job and not the job itself?

Bridget: Exactly.  Like, I don’t know how they can afford it.  It just seems so foreign to me.  Houses are like a million dollars in this city so I’ll never own one.  And having kids.  Unless you are a doctor or lawyer or something…

Interviewer: I see.  You mentioned you came to terms with it.  Can you explain?

Bridget: I think we have to find our own happiness.  This is my situation.  I’m poor.  I’m tired.  I won’t have anything.  So I got to find it when I can get it, I guess.  I’m happy though.  I like my job.

Interviewer: That’s a good attitude to have.  Not a lot of people can say the same.

Bridget: They could though.  They just have to accept it.

Interviewer: I think that’s great advice to end the interview with.  Do you have any last words?

Bridget: Sure. Be happy with what you have… but vote for politicians who can fix student loans.  Oh, and insurance.  Because its getting ridiculous.

Interviewer: Do you have insurance?

Bridget: No.

Interviewer: Anything else to add?

Bridget: No.

Interviewer: Okay, well thanks Bridget for taking the time to do the interview with us.  I’m sure the readers will love reading what you have to say.

Bridget: Thank you! Bye everyone!

 

If you are a millennial and interested in an interview, please mention it in the comments or email us directly.  We would be interested in hearing your story.

 

 

The Death of Traditional TV: A Marriage of Internet and Television

Over the last decade, television as the world once knew has been changing.  It has to in order to survive.  With the widespread adoption of high speed internet and the infrastructure to support streaming videos online, it was a marriage destined to be.  One that is long overdue.

Generation Y, preferring the utility of a computer over the simple function of a TV, has been pushing for some time for a user friendly product or solution to blur the lines of cable television and internet.  A lot of attempts have been made, and some have been very successful, but the world is still in need of a disruptive, game-changing breakthrough.

TVSome argue that the issue is not with the devices, but with the overall content and delivery.  Too many hodge podge solutions with gimmicky names, clunky interfaces, boring and limitedcontent with high prices tags in no way satiates the media hungry millennials.  This often leads to multiple subscriptions and devices and often leaves them desiring more.

When that “more” comes around, it will likely sweep the industry take down many big players with it.

Maybe it won’t happen with Gen Y but with Gen Z, who is growing up smartphone and tablet in hand with on-demand videos.  A world of scheduled programs and intermittent commercial breaks seems like a foreign and antiquated process.  As they grow into young engineers and entrepreneurs, these aging companies will be directly in their crosshairs.

With most people owning multiple devices capable of connecting to the internet, the biggest surprise seems to be that the seamless internet and TV marriage hasn’t happened yet.

Do you prefer television or computers?

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Echo Boomers and the Power of Democratic Voice

The truth is out there and Generation Y is willing to find it!  The echo boomers, as the power users of the internet of the last decade, have decided as a mass on how to shape it.

What have they created?  With the power of the internet, they created the voice of society.  To some it may seem more like multiple voices.  And they might be yelling.  But its a voice that didn’t exist before.

With millions of voices from every generation asserting every little fact or opinion they have on everything, they turned the internet to a mine full of rich information.  They also showed us how to use this information for good and for evil… as well as confirmation bias… and conspiracy… for love… for hatred…and everything in between.

As the world rages on with fiery debate on every single topic under the sun, eventually and inevitably, over enough time, the world will sort things out.  Is the dress black or blue?  What does it mean to be patriotic?  What is freedom?

What used to take hundreds of years and generations of lifetimes to sort now comes at the power of light speed with a thousand minds collectively pushing and pulling.  Homosexuals who have struggled for centuries have found resolution from acknowledgement in society to marriage rights in a relatively short period.voice

The “truth” and what is “right” is subjective, but collectively society will decide one post, rant, tweet, or blog at a time.  Not everybody agrees, but people are being heard and that is what matters.

As the debate continues on, the only thing that is certain is that the power of the internet and more specifically, social networking, has had a profound impact on society.

Do you engage in online debates?

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Generation Y as Consumers: How Echo Boomers are Shaping the Future of Advertising

You see an ad for a good product and how wonderful it works.  It happens all too often – some guy on TV showing you how their product is superior to another, how their ingredients are fresher, their engineers smarter, etc.  Is it true?  It doesn’t matter says Generation Y.  We don’t want it.

Believe it or not, product superiority is a pet peeve for many Gen Y’ers.  Echo Boomers want more than claims that they are better.  Why?  Because EVERYONE’s product is great.  The snake oil salesman thinks his potions are the best in the world, the vacuum cleaner salesman – best vacuums in the world.

How do we differentiate what is a good product from the lemons?  Reputation and confidence in the product.   Generation Y expects you to put your product out there.  Do we want to hear how great it is?  No – we want to watch TV, visit our website in peace.  The LEAST you can do is entertain us a bit.  Don’t sell it to us, make us remember your brand and we will investigate it on our own, gather community and social feedback, and attempt to make the best possible decision based upon other’s experiences with the product as well as the company itself.

bad_burger.jpgFor many advertisers, they think just throwing out lifestyle-centric ads will turn echo boomers onto their products.  No, it takes more than that.  An example would be McDonalds.  Notice how they aren’t trying to convince people that their products are superior to other chains.  Instead, they are showing people having fun and living a certain lifestyle of people eating their food.  While this is in the right direction, it still doesn’t hit Generation Y dead on.

Generation Y also requires a product that speaks for itself.  While McDonalds is trying to re-image their brand, the products do not align up to the lifestyle advertising.  People KNOW its good tasting – but we also know its processed and bad for you.

On the other side of the spectrum, Chipotle has successfully convinced its customers that a 1000 calorie burrito is healthy simply due to fresh, locally produced, non-GMO ingredients.  The product follows the company’s beliefs.  Add in trendy music, modern color palette, and a web site with trees, blue skies, and artistic photographs of their food, and you have a company aligned for success with an entire generation.

good_burgerAs millennials demand a quality product from a quality company, there is also a growing willingness in the American economy, partly attributed to millennials, to pay a premium price to get it.  After decades of racing to the bottom, bringing you a 20 pack of underwear for 5 dollars and a dollar cheeseburger, there is a reversal in attitude.  The $10 burrito is suddenly worth it.  The premium is an investment in a superior product as well as their own beliefs.  Generation Y believes they can shape the future by buying an iPhone.  Its more than a product; its about the vision and direction the company is going.  They believe in Apple, not just their product, but what they are capable of.

As for companies like McDonalds – unless they find their identity in the world, not just as a company for profit, but as a responsible participant in the world – they will never be as relevant as they once were.

Are you willing to pay a premium for a product and company you believe in?

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Poll: Do You Have at Least 3 Months Income in Savings?

Generation Y doesn’t seem to be saving money.  This could be because of many reasons – cost of living is high, wages are down, unemployment is high, debt is skyrocketing.  Do you, Generation Y, have at least 3 months of income in your savings?  Please only vote if you are from Generation Y to preserve the integrity of the poll.  Feel free to discuss the topic in the comments or forum.

Do You Have at Least 3 Months Income in Savings?

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36 Facts About Generation Y in the Workplace and Beyond

More and more attention is starting to be paid to the working and spending habits of the biggest generation since the Baby Boomers: Generation Y.  There are 36 facts in the article at the bottom of the page.  I’ve pulled some of the more interesting bullets out to summarize, but I’d suggest reading the full article below.

Education:

  • About 40% of all young adults ages 18 to 24 were enrolled in either a two- or four-year college in October 2008.
  • So far, 1 in 5 Millennials are college graduates. An additional 26% are currently in school and plan to graduate from college, while an additional 30% are not in school but expect to someday earn a college degree.

Work Ethic:

  • About 37% of 18- to 29-year-olds have been underemployed or out of work during the recession, the highest share among the age group in more than 30 years.
  • About 60% of younger workers say it is not very likely or not likely at all that they will stay with their current employers for the remainder of their working life. (In contrast, 62% of Generation X workers say it’s likely they will never leave their current employer while 84% of Baby Boomers expect to remain with their current employer for the rest of their working life.)

Debt & Financial Outlook:

  • More than one in three young workers say they are currently living at home with their parents.
  • 31% of young workers are uninsured.
  • 7 in 10 young workers do not have enough saved to cover two months of living expenses.
  • In 2008, 67% of students graduating from four-year colleges and universities had student loan debt….Average debt levels for graduating seniors with student loans rose to $23,200 in 2008.
  • 60% of workers 20 to 29 years old cashed out their 401(k) retirement plans — typically a big financial no-no because such a move squanders retirement assets and forces the recipient to pay a tax penalty — when they changed or lost jobs.

Technology & Online Habits

  • 93% of teens ages 12-17 go online, as do 93% of young adults ages 18-29.
  • 75% of Millennials have created a profile on a social networking site.
  • 1 in every 5 Millennials have posted a video of themselves online.
  • 41% of Millennials use only a cell phone and have no landline.

Lifestyle, Civic Engagement, Family:

  • 1 in 4 Millennials are unaffiliated with any religion.
  • In 2008, 66% of Millennials voted for Barack Obama for president, compared with 50% of those 30 and older, the largest disparity between younger and older voters in 40 years.
  • Just 2% of Generation Y males are military veterans. (At a comparable stage of their life cycle, 6% of Gen Xer men, 13% of Baby Boomer men and 24% of Silent Generation men were veterans.)
  • 21% of Millennials are married (half the percentage of their parents’ generation at the same ages).

Please read the full article here at 36 Facts About Generation Y in the Workplace and Beyond.

10 Ways Generation Y Will Change the Workplace

Generation Y is reshaping the world.  Let us take a look at the 10 ways Employee Evolution thinks Generation Y will will change the workplace:

1. We’ll reduce executive compensation for underperforming companies. Generation Y will not allow excessive executive compensation for sub-par performance.  This was probably going to happen anyway with the transparency of Generation Y, but the fact that the recession highlighted this topic is icing on the cake.

2. Discussing salaries will be completely normal.  Transparency will continue. As Gen Y continues to work our way up the ladder, their salaries and lifestyle will be transparent to their peers and coworkers similar to how transparent their lives are already on social networking sites.

3. Employees will be more loyal than ever before.  While Generation Y notoriously jumped between employer to employer, once companies find out how to market their company’s culture to Generation Y, they will be some of their most loyal employees.  Companies that adapt will be held with respect and pride.

4. There will be less mass layoffs, but more pay cuts.  Generation Y is a team-based generation.  They want to win or lose as a team.  They will do what is necessary to survive as a team.

5. We’ll truly get over the “punch clock” mentality.  By the time Gen Y is ready to retire, people won’t even know what a punch clock is.  Work may still be demanding, the the hours will be flexible.

6. Independent contractors will become part of the team.  Contractors are everywhere.  They are cheap and experienced.  As this trend of contracting continues, the lines between employees and contractors will fade, and everyone will be considered part of the team.

7. Corporate branding will work in conjunction with personal branding
.  Generation Y is all about lifestyle.  Companies that adapt and re-brand themselves to market their culture will find themselves successful in the future… especially with the new technology and marketing ventures that Gen Y will pioneer.

8. Leadership will be a team effort.  As a team-oriented group, Generation Y will not stand by and watch one person insert his will on the company. Generation Y will restore a democratic voice to business and politics.

9. We will really know people before we hire them. As Gen Y becomes responsible for hiring decisions, you can expect some innovation in employee checks before the job offer.

10. Entry level employees will be students and teachers.  Right of passage is a thing of the past. As Gen Y grows up, cross-mentor programs will be instituted. Old will teach young and young will teach old.  This will ensure a lifelong education rather than the Peter Principle of being promoted to your level of incompetence.

Read the full article here at Employee Evolution.

Generation Y Doesn’t Want Cars

Generation Y is passing on cars compared to previous generations.  There are a number of influencing factors ranging from financial reasons to lifestyle reasons.  There are three main reasons why purchasing an automobile may be placed on the backburner for the echo boomers:

  • Generation Y finds cars expensive.  With the recession delaying the careers of many millennials, student and credit card debt up to their ears, and a rising cost of living across the country (gas prices – yikes), Generation Y may be reluctant to jump into a purchase that will add a couple hundred dollar monthly payments to their budget.  While some people see Generation Y as being financially irresponsible, it is quite the opposite.  Generation Y is making lifestyle choices to situate their financial situation.
  • Generation Y wants a more free lifestyle.  Why spend two hours in gridlock everyday?  Why buy an overpriced home and be locked into a 30 year contract when you can rent an apartment close to work, walk or take public transportation to work, and pack up and move on with your life in a year?  Generation Y is opting for a more liberating lifestyle where they can be flexible with their time.  They want to live in areas with good public transportation, close to all their amenities, close to work, and have the freedom to move if they change employers (which they do – often).
  • Generation Y wants to help the environment.  Cars are big polluters.  Echo Boomers are more likely to take public transportation, car pool, or live in a walkable distance to work than they are buying a hybrid.  While this isn’t the main deciding factor on buying a car or not, it is a low-priority, lingering concern that may be used to justify their lifestyle decisions.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean Generation Y doesn’t want cars – it simply means that they are capable of adjusting their life due to the circumstances.  If traffic improves, if prices come down, if the disposable income of Generation Y goes up, expect to see some more cars on the road.  Until then, automobile makers take note – this new generation is not afraid to defy the status quo for a more efficient lifestyle.

Read a similar article here at Kiplinger.

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