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Real Business : Autumn 2008
REAL BUSINESS AUTUMN 2008 19 better pay, you have to give people some time to adapt to the changes in the workplace. It needs to be not 'all about me' and you need to understand both perspectives." The message seems clear. To really make an impact at a firm, longevity is crucial. Sheehan and Cox agree that employees do not start to make an impact until they have been in a job for at least a year -- with added benefits stemming from longer stints at a firm. While it can be healthy for your career to move around every so often -- careers can stagnate after five to seven years -- loyalty and commitment always impress prospective employers. If the lines of communication stay open between employers and employees, the potential benefits are great. As Gen Y becomes bedded down in the workforce, some changes in thinking are still needed. But for those willing to compromise, the rewards can be rich and fulfilling. n which means they are keeping firms more accountable," he says. "The firms sell themselves as great places to work -- but if firms don't deliver on their promise, Gen Y are jumping ship and going down the road. With the labour market being the way it is, Gen Y has the upper hand still." Cox says that with Gen Y, typical career paths are interrupted. Many get to five years atafirm--agoodstaythesedays--and say, "I don't really have the drive anymore." Patience and flexibility are key. For those who have their heart set on a partnership, and the lucrative career that goes with it, toning down expectations of instant success is fundamental to career advancement. Sheehan's message for Gen Y is that if you jump from one accounting firm to the next you will not be considered for a partnership role. In a recent conversation he had with a large firm, he was told the firm anticipated the need for 100 more partners in the next five years. "If you have stuck it out there, you are the one who will get the opportunity. I'm a big fan of playing the game -- suck it up, show some respect, and stick it out," he says. "Even though you could get a job, and get about their expectations of progression." Cox warns employers that with Gen Y, the days of the annual review are a thing of the past. He says that employers have to be much more proactive about managing staff and making the most of their human resou rces. "You can't treat people as a resource," Cox explains. "You really have to engage with them [Gen Y] on a weekly or monthly basis to get the most out of them." Author of Generation Y: Thriving and Surviving with Generation Y at Work and the recently released Flip!, Peter Sheehan says it is important not to generalise about Gen Y. He says that for the big accounting firms especially, many graduates are from overseas, and they bring different expectations. He says there's been a 17 per cent worldwide rise in demand for accountants in the years since Sarbanes-Oxley (laws that reformed accounting in the US in 2002 after a number of scandals), with the rise in demand even higher in Australia. "Gen Y are the only source of new accounting talent in an increasingly tight labour market. The flip side is that young talent can go from one job to the next -- NET GAINS Want to know more about how Gen Y is perceived by Gen X and Baby Boomer bosses? Peter Sheahan has plenty to say about the subject at www.petersheahan.com.au/ cpa/htm/htm_live.asp CSA602 Pursuing a career in governance can really accelerate your rise to the top. With today's corporate focus on transparency, diligence and compliance, an understanding of governance has never been so highly valued. Chartered Secretaries Australia's Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance is the only qualification that equips you with the skills and information you need to carry out a governance role. It is the only fully accredited postgraduate course focused on governance. It is provided by the nation's peak professional body delivering education, information and thought leadership in governance. Only CSA's Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance fully prepares you for a career in governance. More doors open when you study governance. Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance Semester 1 2008 starts 10 March. Take the first step today. Email, call or visit our website. education@CSAust.com 1800 251 849 www.CSAust.com