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How the recession will affect my generation

April 1, 2008

I ran across an interesting guest post over at Consumerism Commentary where Penelope Trunk claims Generation Y is already recession proof.  I already wrote before that I don’t believe in recession-proofing, or at least, I don’t believe that it is much different than being financially responsible in the first place.  Her article explains why the recession may pass by without too much harm for me and many in my generation.

Like many my age, I don’t own a home, so I’m not losing any equity.  Despite my worries about my job, it is completely true that the industry really needs to get us young people trained, and I don’t seriously think that my job is in jeopardy.  While I am not sold on her suggestion of changing jobs every two years, I do agree that there is little company loyalty and one layoff doesn’t mean your life is over.  [My dream is to work at my company the next 4 years, then T and I will move abroad for awhile. If my company has international openings, I’m not unwilling to stay longer. ]

Our generation certainly isn’t completely recession proof, but we are better off than many others.  It may still be hard to find a job in a down market, particularly if you are brand new to a career.  Even with the demand for young talent, it seems my department has slowed down their new grad recruiting for the time being.  Fellow 20somethings, have you noticed any “recession” in your life?

I did want to point out this article, but I also wanted to say this:  After the Baby Boomers, they couldn’t think of a name for the next generation, so they called them Generation X.  We still didn’t have any ideas for their offspring, so they are generation Y.  At least a few sources tell me that the following is Generation Z!  It seems we are going to have to come up with an actual name for the next generation!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 2, 2008 8:11 am

    Both of us are 20ish just out of college. We had no trouble finding jobs in the “recession.” I started looking last January and got 2 offers by March, both very secure. He started looking in December-ish and had great offer by February. After starting he got a second offer, and we are evaluating it now. (no company loyalty- so a switch wouldn’t be a problem – but it would be a major life upheaval)

    We rent, and save, and so far I haven’t felt any thing from the recession and crisis everyone keeps talking about.

    I think the biggest thing with our generation is that we don’t expect government handouts to be around to save us. We don’t expect to get a pension from the company we work for. They are all “added bonuses” when they are available, and because of this we are more likely to save and invest on our own. It’s a byproduct of seeing the other generations get screwed by not taking matters into their own hands.

    Are we recession proof? Certainly not all of us, but I think a much higher percentage of us are more prepared to handle almost anything.

  2. April 2, 2008 8:29 am

    They actually do have a new name! The Millennials, though there is some argument about when this generation starts.

  3. tom permalink
    April 2, 2008 8:30 am

    @spillingbuckets – Good call.

    I think another added bonus when we retire in 40+ years (hopefully earlier) will be social security. I am not counting on social security in my retirement planning, but if we receive checks, I will welcome them (same with pension).

  4. April 2, 2008 8:57 am

    Great point about social security–can’t believe I missed it, actually. My parents were talking about how it was screwed, and I said something to that affect, how we weren’t counting on it at all, so it was less of a danger to us.

    When my last company phased out pensions in favor of a retirement contribution from the company (not a match, just a contribution), people like me were not affected–i think i’d earned like $15/mo or something. But older people without as much in personal accounts were hit harder.

    My current co. has pensions (for now), but you aren’t vested for 5 years, which doesn’t mesh well with our generation’s more nomadic existence. We are vested immediately in a 401k.

  5. April 2, 2008 9:00 am

    After I commented earlier I got this in an email from my Dad. It seemed to fit the topic of the post so I thought I’d share:

    Blurb: “Is the so-called “American Dream” as hard to find as coherence in a Paul Krugman column? Or is it still within reach (as our children* seem to think)? Why, oh why are they not properly dejected and dispirited? DON’T THEY READ THE NEW YORK TIMES?”

    *Our children here refers to 20-somethings/Millianials

  6. tortured eagles fan permalink
    April 2, 2008 10:27 am

    I wouldn’t put too much stock in Ms. Trunk’s articles or advice. Her columns were widely thrashed on yahoo finance before she ultimately left (or was fired).

  7. April 4, 2008 6:15 am

    I think Penelope Trunk is batshit crazy, in general, with her arm-waving and Grand Predictions and think the conclusion here is sort of, “Eh. Don’t spend money you don’t have and don’t try to predict the future.”

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