2008-02-21

Millennials and professional credentials

I found this article from the Dallas Morning News on Fark today.

Millennials need to get real about work world

Millennials. Can't live with 'em. Can't live without 'em.

That's what many employers tell me about the youngest generation in the workplace.

Advertising executive Owen Hannay, for one, has placed a moratorium on hiring people fresh out of college unless they've done a work-related internship or have an advanced degree.

Despite being one of those crotchety old Gen Xers, I'm not one to complain about "these kids today." It seems that every generation has predicted the complete and utter destruction of civilization will be the fault of the younger generation. This has been going on for thousands of years and isn't going to change anytime soon.

I'm sure there was an older generation talking about how useless the new generation will be because they were raised on affordable movable type, or because now that the New World had been discovered the next generation wouldn't have to do anything, and so on.

But this is my favorite part of the article:

He turned to Dallasite Cathie Looney, a nationally known speaker and generational expert, to help him understand this age group, the oldest of whom are 27 and just entering the workforce.

He's still not hiring them, but she's teaching him and his largely Gen X and late boomer staff how to work better with the younger folks.

"The biggest thing she does is help us understand where these kids are coming from," Mr. Hannay says. "Their orientation is so different from Gen Xers, who were the latchkey kids and are self-starters. These kids are fabulous at building teams, but they're challenged by responsibility and accountability."

All true, says Ms. Looney, a certified reality therapist and retired director of children and family ministry at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church. And many employers are backing away from hiring them because they're so high maintenance.

...

Ms. Looney holds degrees in elementary and secondary education from the University of Mississippi and a master's degree in counseling from the University of Arkansas. Her certification comes from the William Glasser Institute of Reality in California.

Ms. Looney sees the humor in both her name and her certification. "I chose reality therapy because I'm from Mississippi, and there is no reality in Mississippi. So I thought I might find out a little bit about it."

But she's serious about her mission and her message. "Reality therapy is about taking responsibility for your own actions. You can't change other generations. They are what they are. All you have control of is how you deal with them."



A certified reality therapist? Isn't that just an impatient landlord or those silly clerks at the grocery store who actually expect you to pay for food? I've heard of Wayfinders before, but this just sounds kind of silly.

This raises key questions.

  • What is reality therapy?
  • Is this an Episcopal thing?
  • Was there some great schism in the Reality/Fantasy therapy movements that brought this on?
  • Are there so many lousy reality therapists out there that they needed to create a certification process to professionalize the profession?
  • Does she not care that she just alienated the entire state of Mississippi?
  • If you were creating and Institute for Reality, or seeking one out as a customer, would you really want it in California?
  • Do I not care that I just alienated the entire state of California?
  • If you are going to be a therapist why wouldn't you change your name to something other than Looney?

Maybe this will all make sense after more coffee.

2 comments:

Amy said...

I've had three cups already.

Doesn't look like more coffee helps.

Off to deal with reality now...

joelg said...

Maybe I can put this in perspective for you. I commented about Hannay's attitude in the article:

Dallas Ad Exec Owen Hannay Won’t Hire Millennials - Face Looking for Nose