Born in the mid-1980's and later, Generation Y legal professionals are in their 20s and are just entering the workforce. With numbers estimated as high as 70 million, Generation Y (also known as the Millennials) is the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce. As law firms compete for available talent, employers cannot ignore the needs, desires and attitudes of this vast generation.
Below are a few common traits that define Generation Y.
Tech-Savvy: Generation Y grew up with technology and rely on it to perform their jobs better. Armed with BlackBerrys, laptops, cellphones and other gadgets, Generation Y is plugged-in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This generation prefers to communicate through e-mail and text messaging rather than face-to-face contact and prefers webinars and online technology to traditional lecture-based presentations.
Family-Centric: The fast-track has lost much of its appeal for Generation Y who is willing to trade high pay for fewer billable hours, flexible schedules and a better work/life balance. While older generations may view this attitude as narcissistic or lacking commitment, discipline and drive, Generation Y legal professionals have a different vision of workplace expectations and prioritize family over work.
Achievement-Oriented: Nurtured and pampered by parents who did not want to make the mistakes of the previous generation, Generation Y is confident, ambitious and achievement-oriented. They have high expectations of their employers, seek out new challenges and are not afraid to question authority. Generation Y wants meaningful work and a solid learning curve.
Team-Oriented: As children, Generation Y participated in team sports, play groups and other group activities. They value teamwork and seek the input and affirmation of others. Part of a no-person-left-behind generation, Generation Y is loyal, committed and wants to be included and involved.
Attention-Craving: Generation Y craves attention in the forms of feedback and guidance. They appreciate being kept in the loop and seek frequent praise and reassurance. Generation Y may benefit greatly from mentors who can help guide and develop their young careers.