Thursday, July 26, 2007

Alternate Realities

Billy Warden, an account director at the marketing company Capstrat in North Carolina, learned all this anew recently when he was being interviewed by an intern who was working on a booklet about Gen Y and work. The topic was job interviews, and, as Mr. Warden remembers it, the 20-year-old was explaining “that job interviews are a two-way conversation, where the company puts out what they want and expect from me, and I put out there what I want and expect from the company.”

Mr. Warden didn’t think that’s what interviews were. “Maybe in 10 years you’ll get to state your expectations,” he said he told the intern. “Right now, you’re a box of cereal and you’re going to have to sell yourself and hope that someone decides to put you in their grocery cart and give you a try.”
The 20-year-old believed that interviews should be a two-way conversation for setting mutual expectations to make sure they are a good fit. The older person called job applicants a box of cereal. Who is more out of touch with reality? Can treating people as commodities be good business?

I read these two paragraphs to the 20-year-old summer intern sitting in my office. He pointed out that Billy Warden is in marketing, the business of pushing commodities. His world view is significantly different than mine. I guess there is a reason I went into science in the nonprofit world instead of marketing.

Read When Whippersnappers and Geezers Collide

1 comment:

  1. I agree that the dichotomy of generational priorities will be a growing conflict. While you know how I feel re: commodities=people, (my sig file reads: "nurture people, not products") I also understand the problems of old geezers (like me) managing the demands of the workplace hampered by pandemic narcissism inherent in young people (pre-pub research pegs it at 68%). I think there's validity on both sides and society will mature to accommodate both.

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