He's a sartorial Ryan Seacrest, a developmental Ferris Bueller, a professional Carlton Banks. (Not up on twentysomethings' media icons? That's the "American Idol" host, the truant Matthew Broderick movie hero, and the overeager Will Smith sidekick in "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.") At once a hipster and a climber, he is all nonchalance and expectation. He is new, he is annoying, and he and his female counterparts are invading corporate offices across America.
Who is this mysterious "he"? Well, according to this Fortune cover story by Nadira A. Hira—herself a member of the tribe—he's a member of Generation Y, that needy, work-shy group who grew up traumatized by Columbine while being overpraised by parents. Might you be, or know, one of these people? Fortune offers a few handy identifiers!
Big headphones A boombox for the ears, because even Jessica Simpson is better with bass (and they look good).
Jeans, sneakers, hoodie - and a jacket? Behold, the new corporate uniform.
He isn't a Gen Y if he isn't into "wellness."
It's how Gen Y does work. Who needs the office when you've got cafes, parks and your own living room?
Half-caf, nonfat, short, tall and sometimes not coffee at all, it's a Gen Y staple.
E-mail is only the beginning. Gen Y craves connection, and these gadgets are the fix.
A must for Gen Yers to chronicle their fascinating lives (and post them all over cyberspace).
The identifying mark of the Gen Y flock. Enough said.
Look around you. Is someone wearing big headphones? They may be an Gen Yer! Proceed with caution: They're likely to take your picture and put it on their blog!