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Generation Next Changes the Face of the Workplace

Journalist Judy Woodruff reports on how young Americans are changing the workplace with new ideas on how the professional world should operate.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF, NewsHour Special Correspondent:

    At Muse Advertising Agency in Los Angeles, CEO Jo Muse finds himself in a generational tug-of-war between his older managers and the firm's young employees, including his own children.

  • JO MUSE, CEO, Muse Communications:

    Some of you ask for vacations in your first two months of working here. Now, you get — your bosses are boomers. They don't understand that at all. We're really used to people putting in their time before they get a vacation.

    I want to understand that better. Why do you think that you can work places for a couple months and then get a vacation, and unpaid? You don't care if you get paid. What's up with that? I don't understand it.


    The idea of working 10 years at a mediocre job to possibly have three or four weeks of vacation is not — everything that we've ever experienced, in terms of growing up, has been microwavable.

    Like, you get things now, and you work hard, and everyone wants — and what's successful, and what we're striving for is to be millionaires and fantastic successful by the age of 40.



  • JO MUSE:

    What's with this thing about time? You guys seem to think it's instant, and you throw the seniority thing out of the window. That's a serious issue.

    Well, if you come to work, we expect you to work for a year, maybe two, before you really get that designation of being a manager. But it seems that you think that, if you work really, really hard for six months, then you can get the same reward as someone who's put in time.


    Muse Advertising is not alone when it comes to employers trying to understand this younger generation. In many companies, it's now common to have four generations — those in their early 20s, Generation Y, working side by side with people in their 70s, the baby boomers, and the 30-somethings of Generation X.

    Inevitably, certain tensions arise. At accounting giant Deloitte and Touche USA, Stan Smith analyzes generational differences.

  • STAN SMITH, Next Generation Initiatives, Deloitte:

    Basically, it's baby boomers, Gen X and Gen Y. And the differences, I think, are well-known in some cases.

    I put it this way: The baby boomers are "work, work, work." It's a very important part of their live. Gen X is "work, work, I want to work some more, let's talk about it." And Gen Y is "work, work, you want me to work even more? How lame. I think I'll I.M. my friends and tell them how lame you are, asking me to work even more."


    From the sprawling federal government to large and small private firms, employers are trying to adapt and cater to their younger hires. Why? The law of supply and demand.