The fakest job corporate America ever created was "Branding Consultant"—until now. Meet Anne Loehr, a "business coach" who will (for a small fee) explain the mysteries of "Generation Y" to a corporate audience. She knows your soul, kids.
Loehr is 44. She spent the entire decade of the 90s running hotel and safari operations in Kenya. Nevertheless, she has managed to master the subtle nuances of Generation Boomer, Generation X, and Generation Y. She uses her knowledge to educate the olds about "people born in the late 1970s or early 1980s." That's us, and you, creative underclass! Marvel at how she seems to know you personally:
"People say to me, 'Why do they talk like that?' Because they grew up on reality TV. Okay? It's not good, it's not bad. That's what they grew up on. They think it's okay to talk like that."
She has Richard Lawson nailed already!
"They saw 9/11," she says. "Connection is vital, they want to be connected all the time. People say, 'Why are they on Facebook all the time? Why are they texting?' They really want balance, too. They saw their parents go crazy in Generation X. They are not having that lifestyle. They are going to do it their way. They're going to go to yoga at 4, and the Red Sox game at 7, and do their work at midnight. It might be a good idea to let them go to yoga at 4!"
"If you can say you are 'green,' or politically correct or socially correct, whatever, that goes a long way with them. Nike, no way. Gen Y will not buy Nike — that big, ugly globalized company. This generation is very well-educated — both parents probably have MBAs."
She's speaking your language! Assuming both of your parents have MBAs. And her seminars get results. Her clients are learning to "walk the walk," as Gen Y says:
Xiaoyuan "Wennie" Hanson, 29 (Gen X/millennial), a financial adviser at Morgan Stanley, looks puzzled. She came to the seminar because many of her clients are "trust-fund babies who are Generation Y," she says, and she is slowly beginning to use words like "cool" and "sucks" to make better inroads with them
You can financially advise me any day, "Wennie." As long as you don't "suck!" Just keep Anne Loehr's Generational Cheat Sheet close at hand, and remember that if a Gen Y-er seems listless or unfocused, they're probably just thinking about AIDS or the "Internet boom/bust," two "Life-Shaping Events" of their generations. So get off our backs, and give us some money. We're going to yoga at 4.