- Generation Y trusts today’s technology to make personal connections.
- For professional connections? Not so much.
- That’s too bad, because until they figure things out, everybody loses.
A Pew Research survey shows a clear separation between professional networking and personal networking among Millennials. As an exploiter of personal social media—Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram—Gen Y far outstrips other generations. When it comes to professional-social platforms, though, there is not nearly as much engagement. Consider: 84% of Gen Yers use Facebook, but only 15% are on LinkedIn.
84% of Gen Yers use Facebook; only 15% are on LinkedIn.
One explanation for such compartmentalized networking may be the uncertain economic climate Millennials grew up in. The older end of this generation’s range—which, full disclosure, includes me—struggled to land that first post-college job in the wake of the dotcom crisis. The middle third had the same problem in the recession that began in 2008. Meanwhile, the youngest ones watched from the sidelines as these events unfolded. And that was scarring enough. As Alison Hillhouse, vice president of MTV Insights noted in a recent New York Times article: “More than three-quarters of 14- to 17-year-olds interviewed said, ‘I worry about the negative impact that today’s economy will have on me or my future.’”
A majority of 14- to 17-year-olds think today’s economy will have a negative impact on their future.
Jobs to this crew are things to be lost, not leveraged.