Twenty Something: Talkin Bout My Generation

by WL Author

Jason Dorsey, the Gen Y Guy, talks all things Twenty Something
By Ursula Lauriston

Jason Dorsey, The Center For Generational Kinetics

Name: Jason Dorsey
Age: 33
Relationship Status: Happily Married with Kids

Jason Dorsey, better known in the streets as the Gen Y Guy, is in the business of all things Twenty Something. Dorsey grew up in a small town in the heart of Texas and has made a name for himself teaching businesses how to understand and utilize the skills of the 79.8 million Gen Y’ers living in this country. That’s right Twenty Something’s, businesses are actually shelling out big bucks to learn how to better utilize you in the workplace. They’re also trying to figure out Facebook and Twitter and why the heck you’re always texting.

Twenty Something: What is a Millennial?

Jason Dorsey: Gen Y’s have big expectations and often have a sense of entitlement. Boomers tend to be their parents. Our friction is that Gen X has been waiting for Boomers to leave to be promoted but Gen Y is coming in and stealing these positions.

Gen Y’s living in the US we’re born between 1977 and 1995 and are between the ages of 16-34. There are 79.8 million of us and we’re going to spend over 200 billion dollars this year despite high unemployment rates.

We’re known for putting lifestyle and relationships above work. Oh, and most of us think we’re special, unique and not a Millennial.

TS: What are some common issues in a multi-generational workplace? What are Millennia’s doing wrong?

JD: The actual challenge we see is communication. One person likes to text, another wants to leave a voicemail. And the other wants you to look them in the eyes when they’re talking to you.

Most service oriented businesses, like a hotel for example, will have their greeter be the youngest, lowest paid, and least trained person in the building. This person is the first and last point of contact for most customers and can literally shape a customer’s experience. No company should leave such an important job to just anyone.

TS: What can millennia’s do to be more successful at work?

JD: There are three things millennia’s often overlook. The first– professionalism is heavily valued by other generations. They value a certain level of dress and a certain level of communication and language. In other words, dress professionally and don’t address your boss as “dude.”

Second, focus on building online networks. Whether it’s LinkedIn or Facebook, there’s a real value in having a group of contacts or advocates who you can easily engage. This is valuable because it’s where other generations go to check out what you do.

The third is asking for opportunity. Be proactive and ask for more work.

TS: I was reading your blog on and it mentioned that a 4.0 grade point average no longer means you’re getting the best intern/ employee. Why is that?

JD: Historically having the highest grades was viewed as you being the best employee. But there is enough research that shows that grades aren’t everything. So now they’re going for best fit over best grades. So if you have a 4.0 but a ridiculous facebook, you’re not going to get hired. Plain and simple.

Ursula Lauriston is the author of Twenty Something, a social diary blog where she sounds off weekly on dating, D.C nightlife and events, career etiquette, and more. During the day, Ursula stays in step with the pulse of DC with her work as a Communications Specialist at a noteable nonprofit. Follow me on Twitter.

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