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The Trophy Kids Grow Up: How the Millennial Generation is Shaking Up the Workplace

The Trophy Kids Grow Up: How the Millennial Generation is Shaking Up the Workplace

Ron Alsop

ISBN: 978-0-470-44728-4 November 2008 Jossey-Bass 272 Pages




The first wave of the Millennial Generation—born between 1980 and 2001—is entering the work force, and employers are facing some of the biggest management challenges they’ve ever encountered. They are trying to integrate the most demanding and most coddled generation in history into a workplace shaped by the driven baby-boom generation. Like them or not, the millennials are America future work force. They are actually a larger group than the boomers—92 million vs. 78 million.

The millennials are truly trophy kids, the pride and joy of their parents who remain closely connected even as their children head off to college and enter the work force. Millennials are a complex generation, with some conflicting characteristics. Although they’re hard working and achievement oriented, most millennials don’t excel at leadership and independent problem solving. They want the freedom and flexibility of a virtual office, but they also want rules and responsibilities to be spelled out explicitly. “It’s all about me,” might seem to be the mantra of this demanding bunch of young people, yet they also tend to be very civic-minded and philanthropic.

This book will let readers meet the millennials and learn how this remarkable generation promises to stir up the workplace and perhaps the world. It provides a rich portrait of the millennials, told through the eyes of millennials themselves and from the perspectives of their parents, educators, psychologists, recruiters, and corporate managers. Clearly, the millennials represent a new breed of student, worker, and global citizen, and this book explores in depth their most salient attributes, particularly as they are playing out in the workplace. It also describes how companies are changing tactics to recruit millennials in the Internet age and looks at some of this generation’s dream jobs.


1: The Trophy Kids.

2: Great Expectations.

3: Apron Strings.

4: Take Your Parents to Work.

5: How Am I Doing?

6: Checklist Kids.

7: Master Jugglers.

8: Free to Be Me.

9: Recruiting in Cyberspace.

10: Dream Jobs.

11: A Generous Generation.

About the Author.


""Ron shares some great insight on what my generation demands from companies and how companies can recruit millennials. Whether you are a ‘trophy kid’ or not, this information will be useful for you as you interact with millennials now and in the future.""—, October 11, 2008

""The Trophy Kids Grow Up by Ron Alsop will give you a sense of the average millennial—a worldly, technologically savvy, confident and driven individual—and tell you how to adapt to this rogue workforce. The author also highlight the stark differences between the millennials and the baby-boomers that shaped the current workplace. Millenials are changing the nature of the workplace: Alsop will tell you how to get ready."" —, October 10, 2008

""In his book The Trophy Kids Grow Up, Ron Alsop explores the helicopter parents phenomenon. He realizes that parents do—and always have—been their children's career advisers.""—, August 13, 2008

""Alsop, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, explores the emergence of the 80 million strong millennial generation into the workplace and the resulting ramifications in this insightful and in-depth look at Generation Y. Born between 1980 and 2001, ""millennials"" are a new breed of student, worker and global citizen, with distinctly different—often paradoxical—values and motivations. Millennials have a high sense of entitlement but are also philanthropic and community-minded; they set a high premium on career success but are incorrigible job-hoppers and rarely exhibit loyalty to any particular place of employment; their commitment is to self-determination and to garnering as many skills as possible before moving on in pursuit of their ""dream job."" Based on data collected from interviews with student recruiters, particularly in management consulting, and at accounting and investment banking firms, Alsop explains how companies can take the lead in understanding and reaching out to Generation Y and what organizations can expect in their new hires. This well-crafted book will help companies adapt to meet the desires and demands of the millennial generation and retain the best talent."" (Oct.)—Publishers Weekly, August 11, 2008