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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.

  • YOUNG WORKER:

    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.

  • YOUNG WORKER:

    Thirty.

  • 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.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    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."

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    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.

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