mentoring gen next
If you really want to understand the issues facing Gen Next, specifically those about to graduate from college, you should read the NYT feature: The Graduates where eight college seniors write their essays about how they see the future. Its pretty amazing, and not just what they creatively and honestly write, but the hundreds of comments that follow the essays. It seems that for every commenter who relates and tries to understand, there’s another from the put-down folks who refuse to see anything but their own (generational?) perspective.
From the empathetic side, Anna Quindlen writes:
There’s an honorable tradition of starving students; it’s just that, between the outsourcing of jobs and a boom market in real estate, your generation envisions becoming starving adults. Caught in our peculiar modern nexus of prosperity and insolvency, easy credit and epidemic bankruptcy, you also get toxic messages from the culture about what achievement means. It is no longer enough to make it; you must make it BIG. Television has turned everything into a contest, from courtship to adoption. In a voyeuristic world, fame becomes a ubiquitous career goal.
So it got me thinking about how we, particularly baby boomer solo professional service firms (psf), can support, mentor, collaborate with and give feedback to these future leaders. I’m fortunate to be involved in a leadership coaching program where I work with similarly talented students as the essayists. But I want to do more to increase integral awareness of how breaking down generational barriers is good for me, us, business and the world.
After reading the essays, and the comments, I thought of using a traditional SWOT analysis as a tool for increasing generation awareness. Maybe I can find a Gen Next student to make one for the Baby Boomer generation.
Quindlen: An Apology to the Graduates: “You all will live longer than any generation in history, yet you were kicked into high gear earlier as well. How exhausted you must be