How do I deal with these Gen-Y designers?

Dear Aunty B,

We work in the online industry and we simply cannot find full-time designers to work with us.

I just interviewed someone for a full-time job who told me they could only commit to about 10 hours a week because they were running two little businesses on the side.

When I pointed out they were hobbies, not businesses, and we all have hobbies but we don’t get it confused with earning a living, she got really snooty and implied that I would know nothing because I was a boring old man. (I am only 48 and like to think I look younger so what would she know!)

I also had one towards the end of last year ask me for a six-month contract as that is all he feels he can commit to at this ‘stage’ of his life. I nearly clocked him. I mean I have barely trained him to wipe his bottom and he would have been out the door although, actually, he is still with me and asked for his contract to be extended.

Aunty B, how are these Gen Ys ever going to get a loan from a bank, get a mortgage and build a business if all they think about is lifestyle? They seem to want it all yet won’t put in the hard yards, focusing on one thing, to get it.

How do I approach this in an interview when I feel that what I have to offer – security, great environment and a regular paycheck – doesn’t seem to be what they want! 

Honestly, these creatives are doing my head in.



Melbourne and Brisbane


Dear Deven,

Gee, you want to make my week worse? Every time I try to fathom the mind of a Gen Y and give them some gentle advice, they yell at me. But what the hell! You are quite right, of course.

When we were their age we had proper full-time jobs because we had one aim: to get a bloody house – because we could.

We also had no means of working outside the system because we were still sending telegrams to each other when we had something important to say.

Now, of course, and as you would know, the world has changed. You have to earn the GDP of a small country to buy property and technology has created a more freestyle culture.

So, if you want them, you have to enter into their mindset. Stop fighting it and go with the flow, brother. Make your workplace as attractive as possible. Ensure that your managers are not micromanaging bosses but instead know how to deal with your designers. 

But don’t give up on finding great young people who want full-time jobs. Keep looking! Also look for people outside the stereotypical young person. Maybe you structure the job so it is a four-day a week job and appealing to a young mum. There are lots of those who love the idea of a four-day week and the security that comes with that paycheck.


Be smart,

Your Aunty B


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