Plugged In - The Generation Y Guide to Thriving at Work
A book for members of Generation Y
Representing one third of the global population, Generation Y will dominate the workforce for the next forty years and beyond. Those of you who are members of this generation will have opportunities to experiment with careers, choose jobs you love, and to leverage your unique talents and viewpoints to change the workplace in unprecedented ways.
I suspect you already know this: you bring with you a wealth of talent, enthusiasm, and new ideas as you enter the workplace. Your comfort with technology, the global and multicultural perspective that has permeated much of your education, the way you communicate with your peers-all combine to provide you with strong work-related advantages. Without even trying, you will bring fresh perspectives to work because many of the ways you approach problems are fundamentally different from the way “it has always been done.” The world of work, whether in business, education, nonprofit, or government service, needs-and will ultimately welcome-the contributions you will make.
But chances are high that you will not find today’s workplace immediately well matched to your preferences and style-and not quite ready to absorb all that you have to give. I hope this book will help you bring the best of what you have to offer to work. I’ve tried to paint a realistic picture of how most organizations operate today – and to show how you can most effectively make a difference in the workplace.
My goal is to help you get “plugged in” to work that fits you, to valuable relationships with work colleagues of all ages, to your sense of self in the world.
This is a book for you.
Plugged In: The Generation Y Guide to Thriving at Work, Harvard Business School Press, October 2008
For specific advice on managing the changing workforce, Ask Tammy
Endorsements for Plugged In
A book for Generation Y’s:
“As the first generation to grow up digital, you are an irresistible force of creativity meeting an immovable object-traditional ways of working. This wonderful book provides invaluable insights on how to survive, thrive, and change how work is done. It’s your handbook for success.”
Don Tapscott, coauthor, Wikinomics
Praise from Gen Y’s
“I’ve read a handful of ‘what-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life’ books, and this is by far the best. It puts our lives and careers into real perspective against a context of the latest current events, cultural movements, and social trends. Tammy absolutely ‘plugs in’ to our generation.”
Michelle S. Ponstingle, On-site Recruiter, Manpower Professional
I want to thank you for writing your book, Plugged In. I have never been so compelled by a book that I felt the need to send a personal message to the author! I first heard about the book while listening to a podcast interview with Alan Kearns, whom I've been working with as my career coach.
I am a Gen Y'er born in 1982, and can completely relate to everything you have written. I have a BA in Commerce, an MBA in finance, and I am miserable at my current job. I climbed the corporate ladder very quickly, from intern to manager in just under 5 years. Not because I necessarily wanted to, but because I was in the right place at the right time, and had the talent to do so. I am with a large steel company, and my heart is just not in it at all. Between the very traditionalist corporate culture, the idling of our plant directly affecting my job, and a very difficult working relationship with a co-manager, I became depressed. I took a leave of absence so I can focus on looking for another job, so I can find the passion that I once had in university.
Reading your book has helped me understand what I am going through, and has given me the hope that I need to get through this time.
- Carla Sorowka (Carla is now Relationship Manager, DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University)
“Finally, a book written for Generation Y that recognizes our unique strengths! Plugged In encourages Gen Y’s to leverage their abilities to revolutionize the way work gets done.”
Andrea Wagley, Human Resources Analyst, Yum! Brands, Inc.
“This book is a must-read for Gen Y’s looking for guidance as we enter the workforce-or for anyone attempting to gain a better understanding of what drives our distinct generation.”
Tony Bontempo, Sales Capability Manager, Pepsi Americas
“This book bridges generational gaps in the workplace. The author actually understands where we’re coming from as Gen Y’s and suggests effective ways we can capitalize on our expansive skills and strengths in order to succeed.”
Katie Miller, intern, Arizona Small Business Association, and student, Arizona State University
“An impressive book that offers an in-depth look at the behaviors and expectations of my generation. It’s as if Tammy jumped into the mind of a Gen Y, combined it with her extensive research, and created a guide that prepares us for the years to come!”
Shaneshia McNair, Engineer, CPS Energy
“Erickson’s approach is refreshingly constructive, making this book a great read for both Gen Y’s and their colleagues. She has clearly taken the time to understand how my generation works, plays, and communicates.”
Silvia Gonzalez Killingsworth, Editorial Assistant, Condé Nast Portfolio
“Plugged In is an enlightening look at the events and situations that shaped many of Gen Y’s thoughts, behaviors, and interactions. Tammy shows how our own unique perspective can be an asset, encouraging us to move ourselves forward and ‘plug in’ to the workplace.”
Robin Barton, Executive Rewards Team, Textron Inc.
“A great read for Gen Y’s navigating through the Odyssey years (or the quarter-life crisis)! Tammy helps the Gen Y leader become a more productive contributor in the workplace and beyond.”
Mazie Tai, Solutions Program Manager, Corporate Human Resources, Xerox Corporation
“Plugged In is a thorough and informative look at the actions and behaviors of Generation Y. It will be a valuable resource to managers, companies, and employees for years to come.”
Lindsey E. Heyle, Human Resource and Development Consultant, Assurant Employee Benefits
“An excellent book that all generations can understand, appreciate, and learn from! Plugged In articulates and applies what Gen Y’s already feel but don’t know about our generation, offering pragmatic insights that can be leveraged for success in a multigenerational workplace.”
Dawn Scarrow, Total Rewards Analyst, Yum! Brands, Inc.
Praise from executives who know, hire and work with Gen Y’s:
“Plugged In is thoughtful, practical, and so much more than a career guide-it’s a life guide! It not only explains the forces that have shaped the lives of Gen Y’s, but also shows them how to use their unique beliefs and values to find their place in the world of work.”
Tammy Johns, Senior Vice President of Global Workforce Strategy, Manpower Inc.
“Plugged In is a valuable resource for today’s workforce. Tammy’s observations and analysis will provide a foundation for the careers of the newest ‘best and brightest’-and for their employers’ global hiring strategies as well.”
Lisa Brummel, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Microsoft
“Most organizations are still based on ideas and values the generation of Baby Boomers brought to work. This book will help the new generation entering work as well as their older bosses ‘plug in’ and find their way forward in the new organizational reality.”
Karsten Hetland, Vice President, Global HR, Nokia
“Gen Y’s need to read this travel guide to the workplace before embarking on the journey of their careers. And for the Ys’ managers, Plugged In is the most useful guidebook out there for understanding, getting along with, and productively employing members of the new generation.”
Steve Kerr, Senior Advisor, Goldman Sachs
“As What Color is My Parachute? illuminated the path for Boomers, Tammy Erickson’s Plugged In provides the definitive guidebook to and for Gen Y. With practical flair, Tammy convincingly celebrates how the next ‘greatest generation’ will transform the way work works.”
Carolyn Buck Luce, Chair, Hidden Brain Drain Task Force