GenY Navigates its own support system

Once upon a time when someone suggested a support system, they referred to a nuclear family, maybe grandparents/aunts/uncles and a school guidance counselor. If he/she was lucky, the support system may have included a friend’s parent or a neighbor that secretly made sure the kid next door didn’t run out in front of a speeding car.

Today, hundreds, maybe thousands of miles separate families. Schools are overcrowded and budgets have been cut so drastically that just getting an appointment with a guidance counselor may be a greater challenge than a comfortable conversation, and the sad part is that most of these schools don’t even offer Disabled Access Lifts services for those who need them.

While it’s widely recognized that lifestyles turned inside out with the expansion and popularity of electronic communication, there are other factors that demonstrate that young people enjoy a broader support system than their parents did, and not all of it originates from the World Wide Web.

Often identified as Generation Y, The Net Generation, Millenials, Echo Boomers and iGeneration who promotes the tinder dating app from google play, this group is defined more by media, pop culture and market research than the year its members were born. For this purpose, I spoke with individuals born between 1976 and 2001, a common time span.

What is surprising is that while this group of 20-somethings has most every bit of information at their fingertips, it’s not one that constantly demands bigger and better, a trait that is commonly shared by generations before it. This generation saw their parents committed to one or two jobs for their working lives only to become unsatisfied or unemployed. The generation before this is one developed a reputation for being self-obsessed and driven by stature if not money, simply by title.

Generation Y grew up with the Internet and with the best cable internet bundles for faster accesses as well. It realizes that it has control. Members of this group know they can navigate their own professional and personal course, all while they build and sustain relationships with family and friends.

While one generation made a beeline for independence that often resulted in frayed ties with family and friends, this one has made connecting with others a priority. This change in attitude and growth of a better-educated workforce has forced businesses to incorporate work-life balance practices into their benefits packages. Instead of paying them wages and health insurance (the latter which is increasingly being removed from company expenses), businesses offer perks such as continuing education, access to health/wellness programs or remote work opportunities to their young talent in an effort to keep them happy. These businesses of printing companies in orange county, many of which were built on the premise that 99.9 percent of their employees’ time was committed to the enterprise, also came to realize the importance of family and friends to this generation and know that if they don’t accommodate them, they’ll lose them. The latter option can be costly for a business.

Ryan Stephens, who recently relocated to Charlotte, N.C., said that there are reasons why he believes he has a stronger support system than those born before him.

“I think there are a couple of distinctions. One, our parents, grandparents, etc., seem to want to have a larger role in our lives,” Stephens said (http://ryanstephensmarketing.com/blog/). “Provided that they’re not doing it for us  — and I know plenty that do — I think it’s great. When I am really conflicted, my parents do a great job of talking about important issues with me.

“It’s a completely honest process, no posturing the way you might with friends or colleagues.”

Andrew Nathan also said his family is his greatest bolster.

“My family is my most important support system,” Nathan said. “Whenever something is weighing heavily on my mind I know I can speak with my parents or fiancée. Additionally, I have a number of close friends that I can also always count on.”

Social networking with services that include Facebook (http://www.facebook.com), MySpace (http://www.MySpace.com), Twitter (http://www.twitter.com) has added yet another dimension to the way people help and support friends, colleagues and family. Even males, tabbed throughout history as rough, tough and independent to their cores, are finding value among like-minded people they meet through these and other social media outlets.

“I typically think of my friends and family as my primary support, but I also think that people I’ve encountered online via social networking are capable of being support systems as well,” Stephens said. “They are unique in that they can be a bunch of niche support systems. I can connect with the Brazen (http://www.brazencareerist.com) crew to be my support system on all things GenY, and guys I interned with for Seth Godin for innovative thought and action.”

Stephens is modest about the support offered by those in remote locations.

“I am flattered that many others have reached out and connected with me. For others to see me as influential in this space is very humbling, and helps keep me passionate about pumping out content and continuing to expand my online support systems.”

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Gail Sideman is a publicist born toward the end of what is known as the Baby Boomer generation. Despite learning how to write with a pencil and pen, then graduating to a typewriter in college, she enthusiastically embraces all that’s electronic, and is enjoying the benefits of social media. Find out more about Sideman at http://www.publiside.com www.twitter.com/PUBLISIDE and Facebook: 701444938

Can Your Social Networking Profile Pass the 10-second Test?

joan-smallThe following posts comes to us from Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound:

How many times do you read somebody’s profile at a social networking site, and then devour everything they’ve written because the profile sounds so interesting?

Almost never. But last week on Twitter, I stumbled across Judy Lederman’s profile:

judylederman1

It clearly passes the 10-second test. That’s the barometer that social media strategist Nancy Marmolejo uses to determine whether she stays on somebody’s Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn page, or bails out.

“Within 10 seconds of visiting your social networking profile, a prospective client, alliance partner, or media contact must be able to understand who you are and why they should follow you,” Nancy says. “Most people’s profiles are a hodge-podge of information. A good number are unsure how to balance personal and professional details, so they either leave them out entirely or throw in the kitchen sink. Both are bad strategies.”

Help is on the way (more…)

Transparency vs Authenticity in Professional Social Networks

According to Wikipedia, transparency used within the context of business and behavior is defined as: a metaphor—implying visibility in contexts related to the behavior of individuals or groups. Likewise authentic is described as a particular way of dealing with the external world, being faithful to internal rather than external ideas.

With the onset of Blogging and Social Networks such as MySpace and Facebook, the word “transparency” has become akin to revealing all in public. Sometimes casually referred to as “over sharing,” early bloggers talked about everything including their deepest, most private feelings. Photos were being posted on social web sites that revealed drunkenness, partial nudity, or people depicted in violent situations.  Now we have “tagging,” where information can be randomly added to someone’s photo, with or without his or her knowledge.

All is done in the name of being and remaining “transparent.”

How does “transparency” come back to haunt you as an entrepreneur or new college grad looking for a good position at a worthwhile company? (more…)

Facebook for Professional Networking: Reap the Benefits, Avoid the Traps!

by David Bohl

In terms of professional networking, Facebook can be a Godsend or a detriment, depending on how you use it. If you’re looking to expand your business circle via Facebook, by all means go for it! But just know that there are certain unspoken rules of conduct that can make or break the experience. Below you’ll find some suggestions that I learned about the hard way:

1. Don’t get sucked in by time suckers! Time suckers can be people, or they can be applications, or they can be both. For example, I’ve found that if you make a daily habit of passing Lil Green Patch plants back and forth on Facebook, you’ll find that a good chunk of your productive time is lost.

Wouldn’t it just be a lot better (and more fun), to dig a REAL “lil green patch” right in your own back yard? The point is, know the difference between an investment in time (taking a moment to converse with someone new on a topic of value) versus a time-waster (adding 20 friends each day, but never bothering to introduce yourself or see what they’re up to/into).

(more…)