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By Sarah Newton

I was recently asked some really fascinating questions regarding social media and youth for an interview. I have posted them below – what do you think has social media changed today’s youth?

1. Do you believe that social media sites have placed a pressure on our youth to perform or behave in a certain manner?

I think what social media has done is given our children an ‘always on’ perspective; they all feel that they are one YouTube away from being famous. However, I don’t think this is a pressure as such; I think it allows them to be more creative and express themselves more. Unlike before, social media teenagers can now play with identities and ways of behaving on line that may be different to who they are, to see how it fits them. They no longer have to play these things out in real life. I think there is a pressure to be always connected to our friends, so that we don’t miss out, but I don’t think the feeling is any different, just the medium used.

2. Do you feel that Facebook has driven young consumers to increase their clothing and cosmetics consumption?

No, not at all. Youngsters will always be interested in these things and actually they stay in much more than going out, so they may have less clothing. What it has done is make them feel pressured to always look good, but you can position a photo or webcam to only pick up the bits you want.
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By Sarah Newton – @sarahnewton

These are some tips I recently wrote for the retail sector and thought they would be useful to share.

Sterotype One -Teens are Lazy

Tip – resume - Ensure it looks professional and is all formatted and spelt correctly. Any gaps in your previous experience (like a gap year, for example), ensure you mention them and what you did and what the experience taught you. Include all and any hobbies, even baby-sitting that you may have done and link the hobby to the job, for example playing World of Warcraft teaching you a valuable skill of building a social team to support you.

Interview - Dress correctly, smart and professionally (you may think smart jeans are OK but most adults think that means you don’t care). Look people in the eye and smile, show them that you like people and are able to be engaging.
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By Lindsey Wright*

With the flexibility of online coursework, it’s no wonder why so many students are choosing web-based education programs. Having the freedom to complete work on their own time allows students the opportunity to tend to their daily schedules of work and parenting. Thanks to online education, more individuals are able to get the education they need without compromising their financial or familial roles.

Moreover, there are no restrictions as to what university is chosen. This provides students with opportunity to communicate with others on a global level, allowing them to be exposed to different ideas and viewpoints. With these positive elements that go hand-in-hand with Web-based education programs, so it’s not surprising that enrollment levels are skyrocketing. This recent trend may sound promising, but will it create an atmosphere where the traditional college setting is less valued?

Better Opportunities Lead to More Productive Workers
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By Carol Phillips*

Millennials are the first generation to be educated at a time when knowledge is both plentiful and accessible.

Educators are struggling to make the shift from a model that was intent on helping students acquire knowledge through a prescribed path (a path that had been tried and tested over centuries), to one where it’s not necessary to know the answers, only how to find them. Indeed, the key skills today are knowing how to discern credible sources from those that are less trustworthy.

The benefits of information democratization are undeniable. One only has to look at the DIY’ing of “elite” professional services (legal, health care, finance, academic etc.), to understand that free flowing information is a terrific thing.
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By Carol Phillips*

Ask a teen how they are doing and they will nearly always answer ‘busy‘. For most teens, this is a true statement.  High school teens and college students alike are chronically tired and complain of stress.

How much of this round the clock activity and pressure is avoidable is different debate, one which has strong arguments on both sides of the fence.

An interesting series of essays among experts recently posited that some of the pressure, especially that due to homework and extracurricular activity, is unnecessary  (“Stress and the High School Student”, New York Times, 12.15.10).

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By Sarah Newton

I recently found this article talking about Gen Z and their entering the workforce. I thought it was interesting on two fronts; one because we are beginning to talk about Gen Z and two, because it appeared to be giving out the wrong information. So I thought I would share my counter thoughts here for you.

If Gen Y is most defined by their approach to social responsibility, then Gen Z is defined by their knowledge and use of technology. They’re the first generation exposed to being connected throughout their lives online.

An obvious one, don’t you think, but hold on. Are they really defined by technology or is it deeper? Is it what technology has done for them, the fact that it has made them creative, innovative and collaborative and has challenged and tipped traditional power structures. When we say they are defined by technology we miss the point; they are defined by what access to technology has allowed them to do and become.

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By Carol Phillips*

“Oh man, I’d make a career out of the Muppets if I could. That’s my real dream job…” — Jason Potteiger, comment on The Next Great Generation Blog

When the Founding Fathers wrote “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” I think they must have had Millennials in mind. For the framers, ‘happiness’ meant the freedom to pursue prosperity and wealth as each individual saw fit.  Millennials are turning the pursuit of happiness into their life goal. Their biggest fear is having to sell out or trade off their passions for an ordinary job, an ordinary life.

Millennials seek to be extraordinary, or to use their word for it, “awesome”, in every area of their lives, but especially their careers.

Of course, every generation strives to be great. What makes this generation different is the intensity of their commitment. Chip Walker describes their aspirations this way an article last year:

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By Sarah Newton

I found this great post written by Josip Petrusa which was aimed at marketers, but I thought it would be also useful to share here with my thoughts.

Quick Ways to think like a Millennial

1. If it’s slower than a text message, it’s too slow.

Youth want quick feedback, not a long drawn out process. So instant feedback on the spot is better than a long meeting in the office.

2. We’re highly optimistic, seemingly regardless of the situation. Don’t deceive us, but do give us something to be optimistic about.

Let them know where their prospects are and where they could be heading without over exaggerating or lying. Also, tell them the truth as much as you can, they really value honesty. Make the work environment an enjoyable place as much as you can and have a Make Their Day policy; do something every day to make someone’s day.

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By Sarah Newton

There is no doubt that the work force has become so much more diverse in every way. From the amount of different generations, the retirement age higher than ever and the gap between young and old and their beliefs of and use of technology have created some big canyons that employers have a challenge crossing. So it is great to see a book addressing this.

According to Bob Weinstein, from Troy Media, the book “Generations, Inc.: From Boomers to Linksters – Managing the Friction Between Generations at Work” offers the following six tips on dealing with generational conflict:

1. Understand work styles. Traditionalists and baby boomers don’t like to be micromanaged, while Gen Y and Linksters (born after 1995) crave specific, detailed instructions about how to do things and are used to hovering authorities.

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