Posted by: goalpath | October 26, 2009

Career Wars: Generation Y (The New Kids) vs. Generation X and the Baby Boomers

Penelope Trunk, the Brazen Careerist, wants employers to view potential hires in a non-traditional way. Penelope has built quite a following over the past decade writing career advice to generation Y. She has written a book (Brazen Careerist, The New Rules for Success), she has a syndicated column and her blog has over 40,000 subscribers. She firmly believes that traditional career path fundamentals are outdated and instructs her Generation Y followers to pursue a different path. She believes that traditional career sites are out of touch with the new web 2.0 reality and are a waste of time for young career minded individuals. Given that the older job seekers have longer resumes and deeper backgrounds, she has come up with an alternative way for Generation Y job seekers present themselves to future employers using Web 2.0 networking.

Since the younger Generation Y workers are less experienced than their older Generation X and Baby Boomer counterparts, they have fewer opportunities to secure jobs or advance their careers using the old paradigm of wisdom and expertise gained from years of past employment. Penelope believes that your value to a company should be based more on your ideas and potential than your background and experience. She also believes that the best way to present your self is through social networking. In the past, a lot of young job seekers have been burned by their own content residing on social networking sites like Myspace, Facebook and Twitter. Inappropriate content was their undoing in most cases.

Before the web came about, Baby Boomers relied on newspapers and personal networking to advance their careers. In the early days of the internet, Generation X used Monster and Linkedin to network and find the job they wanted. In every case, the preceding generations have embraced new technologies if they didn’t want to be left behind. Since traditional career sites focus on experience, younger candidates don’t fare that well. Generation Y feels more comfortable with conversation based networking, so social networking is more appealing to them as a way to connect with employers. Older careerists had better begin to embrace Web 2.0 if they expect to remain competitive in the job market.

In a recent press release, the Brazen Careerist articulates its vision: “Brazen Careerist is a Generation Y-targeted career site that uses social networking to showcase job seekers’ ideas and potential over their background and experience. Brazen Careerist “levels the playing field” for Generation Y by reversing the disadvantage these candidates have faced on other online career sites where experienced Gen Xers and Baby Boomers appear more employable. For recruiters and hiring managers, Brazen Careerist will offer unique deep insight into the critical thinking skills, ideas, knowledge, and peer influence of high performing Generation Y candidates whose potential would not be discoverable from an online resume.” You can learn more at

So, will the Generation Y kids ultimately beat out the older more seasoned Baby Boomer and Generation X job seekers in securing the best jobs with the best companies? It is way too early to speculate on that, but my advice to the older career minded individuals is this: you better embrace the new technologies and Web 2.0 sites or you will be left out in the cold for sure. If you are not on, then get cracking and start networking. If you consider yourself an expert in your field or profession, then start writing a blog and build a following. Most companies are looking for thought leaders and if you can turn a phrase and have some really good ideas about your profession, share them and you will benefit in more ways than you know. You can go to  and set up a blog for free.

Another major consideration for older job seekers is compensation. More and more companies that have been hit hard by the recession are looking at ways to reduce their budgets and younger, less experienced employees are much less expensive to hire than their older counterparts. So my second piece of advice is to be more flexible when it comes to salary and benefits. Once you demonstrate your value to the company, the compensation will take care of itself. Your potential employer will appreciate your contribution to his bottom line and won’t forget you when the economy turns around.

A final note about Penelope Trunk. She was born in 1966, thus making her a member of Generation X and proving that you don’t have to be a member of Generation Y to leverage social networking and Web 2.0 for your own financial gain. Clever individuals can achieve significant success regardless of age. Go Penelope!

Got a opinion? We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. If you are a Baby Boomer, and haven’t yet joined my web community,, please do. It is free and only takes a minute to sign up. You can participate in our polls on major issues facing America and Baby Boomers. You can also join in our discussion forums or even set up your own blog at our site.



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