Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Doing the Switcheroo

Joanne Jacobs is airing complaints about Generation Y being impatient with their job prospects.
Generation Y college graduates are enjoying a strong job market, but employers complain they want it all now and switch jobs if they don't get what they want.
Consequently a lot of employers are losing money because they train people for their first two years of employment, often paying for graduate degrees, who then leave and take that training with them to a competing company. So the original company loses money.

Part of me says "Cry me a river." When I was growing up my Dad bounced from job to job every 5 to 10 years. He was an aerospace engineer and it was the nature of the industry. He was loyal to his company but they weren't especially loyal to their employees. That was the job climate my generation grew up in. Your company doesn't value you, so you had better value yourself and get the best job you can. I took a government job so I wouldn't have to bounce around between employers my whole career.

If you're a manager, you had better adapt to this because the kids today have already adapted. Either start paying your employees better in the short term (because they are certainly worth the money to someone else) or start putting contractual obligations on employment and training. When the government trains someone as an officer or a doctor, they require several years of service to recoup their expenditure. A friend of mine became a doctor through the US Navy and now he has to work 5 years as a doctor in the fleet. If you pay for a Master's, then inform the employee that this commits them to 2 additional years of employment or they have to pay you back.

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