See Liz Hoggard’s A London Life column in today’s Evening Standard, commenting on a recent report (not cited) which has apparently concluded that Generation Y and UK bosses are “speaking in different languages”. She says she can’t help admiring the new breed of “graduate divas”, who are ‘young [born after 1982], university educated, techno-savvy’ and ‘know themselves to be in great demand’. But if my daughter (young [born in 1985], university educated (Warwick) and techno-savvy-ish (knows how to turn the PC on) is anything to go by, they are not really much different to how Liz Hoggard and her contemporaries were in the late Eighties. And didn’t she think then that her generation spoke a different language to the older generation? I did in the early Seventies.
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One thought on “Graduate divas”
I’m so glad someone else wrote about this. I tore this article out of the Standard and it’s been sat on my desk ever since, daring me to write about it and I’ve yet to find the time!
I recruit grads and I can tell you this, in the current climate of economic decline grads will be in far less demand than they think. Even the good ones. The most successful graduates will be those that pull out all the stops to get relevant work experience onto their limited CVs – and are totally humble about doing it in the process.
The problem with Liz’s article is that some of it is simply not true. She says “…..they are clever and gorgeous. And unlike my inept generation, they have social skills……” Well, I beg to differ. Some do, and those grads will go on to do very well thank you very much. But a good 75% of the graduates I see are lacking in confidence, focus and basic office etiquette. I gave a talk at a university about getting your first job the other day and one of the students said “but, like, they want me to know about Word and Excel just to do work experience and you don’t use that stuff in the real world”. I gently informed him that in fact the real world does indeed expect him to have some basic word processing and spreedsheet knowledge. Before I started recruiting grads I had no idea how few of them know what happens when you go to work. Simple things like how to answer a telephone professionally, what “cc” means on an email, and how to write a thank you note to someone who has given up their time to meet you.
I’d also be keen to meet the grads that Liz Hoggard knows that have “facialits and trainers….”. I don’t have a facialist, or a trainer and I’ve been working for 15 years! Where are these lucky grads with oodles of disposable income?!
She laughs at how they are “brilliant laid-back” because they do things like start interviews with “you alright mate.” It’s no laughing matter I assure you. When I interview grads I spend 20 minutes interviewing them, and 40 minutes telling them what they SHOULD have said and how they SHOULD have behaved and what they SHOULD wear to their next interview. They need just as much hand holding as previous generations of graduates.