Making the morning rounds in my RSS feeds, I happened upon a post from Penelope Trunk about Brazen Careerist’s Top 50 Companies to Work For list. Penelope’s post about how it was made is fairly interesting itself, but the list struck me as an oddity.
There are a lot of banks on the list. As well as other financial institutions. Somehow, I expected to see more tech companies. Google is at #4. Yahoo! is at #23. Apple and Microsoft? Not even on the list. Obviously there are things going n behind the scenes here that make these companies less than attractive to Gen Y. Wonder what that is?
But where is Gen Y actually working? Maybe retail, I thought. It’s where I got stuck, having made the boneheaded decision not to go to college.
Surprisingly, the only retail companies there were Abercrombie & Fitch, and Target at #11 and #48 respectively. Maybe this is less of a surprise to people in the US. A&F is not exactly my style, so I can’t speak for their culture at all outside of hearing that the dude who’s in all of their posters at their storefronts actually works at their %th Avenue store in NYC… Posing in front of his own fifty-foot tall poster all day. Thatt’s high-scale intensity right there. On the other hand, Target never impressed me when I was spending time in Minnesota. Outside of large-format Goldfish crackers, it was fairly standard, and no one ever looked happy. But that was eight years ago, maybe corporate culture has changed.
Or maybe it hasn’t. Many of the greenhorns I see coming into my store as recruits seem to have a totally different handle on the work environment than I do, and I’m only seven or eight years older than they are. I’m aware of a maturity gap – that much is visible – but in a lot of cases, there’s an attitude gap that can’t be explained by maturity.
Trying to teach “proper priorities” to someone not in your generation is like trying to explain Outliers to a kiwi fruit. Until you understand the nature of the gap, it’s impossible to address.
I don’t know if there’s an answer for this. Or even a direct action to be taken. But awareness is worth it, even if all it does is reduce your stress without making your task easier.