• Do well in the modern world: master the core skills you need for success

Skills for Generation Y

Information overload as an integral part of our daily routine

Whether we like it or not, modern technologies are changing the way we exist. People have to process large amounts of information daily, which sometimes results in information overload – i.e. getting too much information at one time and the incapacity to process it or think about it in a clear way.

Dr. Martin Hilbert and his team from the University of Southern California have calculated the extent of the digital age and information revolution. Their research has shown that “every day the average person produces six newspapers worth of information compared with just two and a half pages 24 years ago – nearly a 200-fold increase.”

Dr. Hilbert says, “These figures show that we are in the middle of the information age. When you think that 100 years ago people were lucky to read the equivalent of 50 books in a lifetime, but now most children have watched a couple of hundred movies. But the brain is a very plastic and very good at understanding and processing information."

He concludes that in spite of the enormous growth of information, we are far from reaching the saturation point, as we cannot even compare these numbers with the amount of information contained in the natural world.

These facts are particularly interesting if we consider them just as some information for broadening our views. But the truth is that those are the challenges which have fallen upon Generation Y, or Millennials - those born between 1980 and 2000. Handling an immense amount of data every day is only a small part of these challenges.

Millennials are holding all the aces

According to the statistics, Millennials are not only one of the largest generations in history but are also the most educated generation ever. It may sound inspiring, but there are more educated people than the demand for them. This phenomenon causes unemployment and underemployment among Gen Y representatives.

Paul Angone, the author of All Groan Up, wrote in his book, “The job hunt has become the Millennial version of the Hunger Games – without the cameras or any interaction with Jennifer Lawrence.” It is happening because “a degree still feels like a must, but it is no longer the automatic door opener.”

Rapid globalization, instant access to information, social connectivity has shaped Millennials’ outlooks. These factors affect the way they work, their consumer habits and their goals. Sarah Sladek, a marketing and media expert, explains, "This tech-savvy, globally-minded generation isn't joining, buying, networking, learning, or engaging like other generations." They are ready for a change.

According to Forbes magazine, out of the “Millennials with the highest education and professional focus levels, half say they will be looking for a new job within the next year and 90% plan to leave their current employer in the next three years.” It is not because they are unstable; it happens because of their desire for new experiences and faster advancement of career. The traditional corporate ladder doesn’t attract them.

According to a study by Forbes magazine and a website Elite Daily, 87% of Generation Y people use two to three technical devices daily. “Because of social media and access to a very large community, Millennials can become thought leaders and influencers in a very different way than what TV and radio did for previous generations,” said Mr. Pallas. “Millennials are the first generation with the ability to spread their ideas within society in a way that is truly unfiltered – and truly viral.”.

It’s time to take up the gauntlet of the future

The world moves on. Everything is changing. The evolution of work results in the obligation to adapt to workplace transformation. In the days of old, people used to work in the fields, and later at factories where manual labor was everything they did. What has happened?

Since the era of rapid industrial development, a significant number of people have become office workers doing primarily sedentary work. This change in nature of work, in turn, has lead to demand for physical exercise – going to the gym, doing aerobics or practicing yoga has become a part of our everyday lives.

So why don’t we take for granted the fact that now we are facing entirely new requirements? These requirements demand entirely new skills, just as sport was previously supposed to be only for athletes. We must try to put off our doubts and reconsider our preconceived notions in order to see the limitless opportunities we will have soon – if we can adapt to the new conditions.

Today, no matter what our age is, we have to adjust to the new standards and requirements. To be more precise, Generation Y does not have any other choice but to adapt because its representatives are the future of the world — being in the prime of their lives and being ‘blessed’ with unique abilities.

According to numerous studies, previous generations currently demonstrate better health and longevity, and by 2050 this will result in 2 billion people aged 60 or over. It is up to their representatives how to act – to try to reconsider their positions and move with the times, to go with the stream which is carrying them away into the unknown.

Laszlo Bock, the Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, said in his interview, “Google hires people of every age... our oldest Googler is over 80! The best advice is to make clear the impact of your work. Basically, for all your accomplishments use the format "accomplished X by doing Y as measured by Z. Please apply!”

It will never be like it used to be

The only thing you need is the desire to improve yourself. This desire will help you to start thinking differently; it will ‘upgrade’ your outlook. You are the one who can decide whether you want to keep up with the times - by relearning and getting new skills - or to get left behind. Do you want to stay ‘nostalgic’ for previous, easier days?

In the past, people would get their qualifications and work at a factory for the rest of their lives. Sometimes the corporate ladder provided them with promotion to higher ranks, and that was all it took for a successful career (as they considered it). However, in the modern world, we just cannot follow this direction because it is taking us nowhere. We cannot be focused on one discipline, as our parents or grandparents were; we need skills which will be the key to mastering any subject we want.

Acquire basic skills - get a skeleton key

We have to learn how to think. We try to attend many lectures and master many disciplines without being good thinkers. We take classes but cannot apply the knowledge we get to real life situations. We have to be good learners while learning. We have to be great decision makers while making decisions.

Doing something rough-and-ready is a waste of time. We have to look for new ideas, be creative, not follow the crowd, and do things no one has done before. This knowledge is not represented in the form of rules of formulas that we have to learn by heart, on the contrary, these are basic skills needed everywhere, in every field of professional and personal life.

All that we need for success in the modern world is a ‘skeleton key’ which unlocks all the doors we need to open. Everyone can have this key – the basic skills for effective learning and thinking.

Modern people have to be able to learn and relearn new materials, memorize, structure and recall necessary information, finding out the weak spots in their knowledge, and transfer those skills that are helpful and relevant across various areas of life. Y Skills Institute is ready to share these valuable tips for becoming a skilled expert.