This year Independent Sector is providing more opportunity for NGeners!

Posted on July 8, 2009. Filed under: Emering Leadership | Tags: , , , , , , |

Are you an accomplished young professional already serving as a nonprofit leader?

Are you ready to magnify your impact through dynamic collaboration with your peers?

Recognizing that the leaders we need tomorrow are poised to contribute today, Independent Sector is pleased to introduce the American Express NGen Fellows Program. This exciting new program will offer 12 young professionals from Independent Sector member organizations a rare opportunity to magnify their impact and accelerate their careers. The program, which includes complementary registration and lodging for the 2009 Annual Conference, will build the capacity of these emerging leaders through tailored online and in-person programming and special networking opportunities.

American Express NGen Fellows will be a diverse and talented group selected from under-40 staff at Independent Sector member organizations.  Visit the Independent Sector website to learn more about the benefits of participation in the fellows program, the selection process, and how to apply.  Applications are due August 14, 2009.

The American Express NGen Fellows Program enhances Independent Sector’s NGen: Moving Nonprofit Leaders from Next to Now program, which is designed to expand and improve the nonprofit talent pool by developing the leadership skills and networks of emerging leaders.  Free to all under-40 conference attendees, NGen offers targeted workshop sessions addressing topics important to emerging leaders and opportunities for rising young professionals to connect with leaders of all ages. Register for the IS Annual Conference today!

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Social Citizen’s Top 10. #1: Generation Y v. Millennial a new distinction

Posted on May 14, 2009. Filed under: Top 10 April 2009 | Tags: , , , , |

Originally posted February 4, 2009.

from .Larry Page

from .Larry Page

Last week I attended a training on generations.  The trainer discussed the four generations in the workplace (Traditionalists, Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y) and how we can all work with the different work styles.  During the training, the trainer also mentioned another generation, the Millennials.  She described the phenomenon of the division being created between individuals in their 20s and those younger.

She described the two generations as quite similar, but with a few very distinct differences.

Generation Y is tech savvy, optimistic, confident, diverse, individualistic and realistic.  Generation Y doesn’t like to waste time in meetings, loves work/life balance, being effective, and multi-tasking when ever possible.

Millennials, as described by the trainer, are tech savvy, diverse, and individualistic, but this generation seems to have different expectations.  We are seeing kids  wanting something for nothing, putting off work as long as possible, and really being into celebrity.  Think of anyone you know who is a teenager or even younger do they fit any of these characteristics?

Although the division isn’t purely formed yet, I can see what the trainer is talking about.  Although my brother is over 20 I can see distinct differences between his friends and mine.  I also hear from other friends with younger brothers and sisters that they see a difference.  There is a strong difference in work ethic especially.  I’m not necessarily calling the so called Millennials lazy, but the way they work is different.  Everything I do I am thinking about how it will fit into my future plans, how will what I’m doing affect my mission for making a change, will what I’m doing matter.  Right now I don’t feel like my brother and his friends have plans for their lives.  Many his age are going to school just for fun, and thinking they want to be a star chef or superbowl hero instead of getting a steady job.  This is just one example, I am sure there are many more.

What do you think, are you seeing the differences in the two generations?  Do you think the trainer is on to something here?

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Social Citizen’s Top 10. #2: Generation Y, Y are we so difficult?

Posted on May 12, 2009. Filed under: Top 10 April 2009 | Tags: , , , |

Originally posted November 2, 2007.

I was reading a blog today, and they mentioned the Web site Making Business Sense of Generation Y. So, being my Generation Y self I had to check out what the latest Baby Boomer was saying about our Generation. As I was reading the consulting pages and articles written by the owner Amy Lynch, I came to realize that our generation continues to get a bad rap.

I will admit that I sometimes have trouble getting along with Baby Boomers, but they are my parents, mentors and coworkers. I work with individuals of their generation every day and I hope to make our working environment better. We were born in different times and like working with another gender or someone from another ethnicity it is important to find out how each of us works and plan accordingly.

I know I am not the only Generation Yer that feels this way. I know many that are working hard to get ahead, want to work within our organizations and make the professional environment today flow without generational issues.

In Amy Lynch’s article “Managing Generation Y” she describes our Generation:

Raised by Boomer parents on a diet of praise and self-esteem, Millennials are the Next Big Thing, and they know it. They show up to work with lots of answers.

Hierarchy? Only if it helps us get the work done.

Need it yesterday? No problem.

Technology? We eat that #@%! for breakfast.

Which brings us to workplace demeanor. Could use some serious polish.

Millennials multi-task and multi-career. Cross-train them; they call it a reward. Give them four jobs to do at once, and they swim like fish in fast water. Twenty-somethings exude impatience, confidence and ambition; and with the Boomers growing gray, they are our high-speed, high-maintenance future.

She does name some general characteristics of the Generation as a whole, but I feel sarcasm at every step of the way. She goes on to say,

Ready for a nice surprise? Generation Yers are idealistic. They want big-picture purpose. Save the planet, build better cars or create ways people can spend time with their families, and Millennials buy in. They flock to companies where they can feel like “paid volunteers,” joining because something significant is happening there.

Build a first-rate website and lay out clear career paths (Millennials had resumes when they were 8), and you’ll recruit this Internet Generation.

Keeping them is the problem. Having experienced change all their lives, Millennials attend orientation expecting to leave you soon.

I do not want to discredit her whole conversation, because she then goes onto state some suggestions on how to work with our Generation. But I can not help but feel like she is saying that we are the only problem. That Generation Yers are impossible to work with and that we are creating larger issues for organizations and corporations that are trying to stay afloat in today’s economy.

I would like to point out that the Baby Boomers, whom are now complaining about our work habits, are the ones who raised us, Lynch does agree on this. There has to be a solution for us all to work together, we have live together for decades.

After participating in NP2020 with the Johnson Center for Philanthropy, I came to realize that there are an overwhelming number of Generation Y professionals that are in the same boat I am. We are being pegged as not hard working, tech loving, complainers and Baby Boomers tend to write us off. (Side note: there are some Baby Boomers that do not feel this way that I am forunate to know and work with, but it is not the majority)

I only see room from here to grow and work together. Those of us who attended NP2020 are already working on solutions for the future, like developing strong mentoring networks and professional development sessions where all generations are forced together to develop nonprofit solutions and make their organizations better.

The true fact is that generations have been working together in professional settings for decades and a solution should be easy to find. I challenge both generations to stop generalizing and start working on an individual basis. Baby Boomers sit down with a member of Generation Y that you work with and ask them how they feel about their environment. Generation Yers, sit down with your Baby Boomer supervisors and ask them how you can work even better with them in the future.

I hope to see many more large avenues like the NP2020 Conference in the future so that we may have forums with multi-generational bodies to talk about and solve these issues we are having with one another.

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