May 16th, 2014

Monty Python - Completely Different

Born in the Nineties... Graduating Now!

A friend shared an article titled “17 Things People Born in the Early 90s Are Currently Experiencing”. This got me thinking about 1990. I was fresh out of college and had moved to my first post-school job in Yonkers NY. That was the year the first web browser was written, and I BYOD’d with my Commodore 64. It would be ten years later before I really used the internet, and five years later before personal computers were on most people’s desks. I was twenty-five, a bit older than the typical graduate because I participated in the Cooperative Educational Program with Georgia Power. The Baby Boomers were solidly entrenched in the workforce, with the Silent Generation (1925-1945) holding the top managerial positions. The First Gulf War started in 1990. The world in 1990 was ready for change, and I believe that we are there now again.

Today’s college graduates are also facing a world of transitioning computer technology. The foundation has been set, and the now unrealized fruits will come about in five to ten years. The ever present Cloud will make today’s computers, tablets and smart phones will look as dated as my Commodore 64. Privacy from , and access to, the internet will be prevalent as flush toilets and home electrical service.

Today’s work environment is about to go through a massive upheaval, and today’s graduates will be there to see every blow. The Baby Boomers are retiring. My generation, the Gen-X group, are moving into the top managerial roles. Today’s graduates are challenged to fill the voids left behind. This transition of responsibilities has great potential for the go-getters, but those no strongly motivated may be left behind because our current computer boom is not inherently generating jobs. Knowledge will be power, so please find a niche that business finds valuable.

Lastly, I am really scared by the social-political aspects of the world today. I am in a position to look back and say, “it was a simpler time in my day, back in 1990”. There are social and political undercurrents that are in the process of shaping a potentially dark future. Fanaticism is becoming the acceptable norm. My birth decade saw protests, but they were not empowered by the political and financial backing that the new revolutionaries possess. I can honestly say that I am glad I may not be around to see the outcome, and I hope the graduates of today the best in the turbulent decades to come.

A tsunami is coming the way of people born in the early 90s. The undersea earthquakes of technology, generational dynamics, and social-political movements, are unleashing a wave of changes. Seek high ground, be wary of hanging out on the beach, and prosper as the world transforms around you.