More on Generation Y in law firms

Finding the time to think is never as easy as it should be: the demands of a transactional practice leave little opportunity to step back and consider where a difference can and should be made. An email yesterday, which somewhat unusually I did not straight away consign to junk mail (the usual destination for unsolicited communication), took me to the Pennington Hennessy Blog and a short post on Generation Y, and from there to an excellent article in the FT (which had prompted the post), A to Z of Generation Y attitudes.

I have posted on this topic before, Graduate divas – don’t you love them (triggered by a Jordan Furlong post in Law 21), and it is, as some of my partners know, a particular hobby horse I ride. But that doesn’t make it any less important. What I found interesting in Alison Maitland’s FT article, is this,

Yet two studies into the attitudes of those Generation Ys that are in the workplace suggest that Carrie, Alex and their young professional peers are not as different from other generations as supposed – and not just because the recession has upset their expectations.

While craving excitement and challenge, nearly 90 per cent of Generation Ys describe themselves as loyal to their employer, according to the study Bookend Generations , published this week by the US-based Center for Work-Life Policy. In addition, nearly half of this tech-savvy and “connected” generation prefers face-to-face communication at work to e-mails, texts or phone calls.

But what sets them apart from us (and I am unashamedly a Boomer) is

the unprecedented pace of technological change, which shapes how they expect to work and why they resist boundaries; and the disappearance of the job for life.

Our challenge is how to engage with them.

What are you? A Boomer, Generation X, Millenial or Silent retiree?

At a dinner earlier in the week, the host (Chairman of a Business Angels Network) and I realised that we were probably the oldest two in a room of 50. It is not that we are that old (mid-50s) but that in the work we do clients and colleagues are getting younger. Law 21, one of the blogs I regularly read, has had a series of interesting posts in the past few days on the issues both of employing Generation Y and having Generation Y as clients. Law 21 is Canadian law blog, but the problems either side of the Atlantic are the same, and there is little difference in the way we approach the issues (or, as is often the case, don’t), and it is certainly not just technology but culture as well. Graduate Divas as lawyers.