Monday, August 26, 2013
We had a great time in Phoenix for the marketing conference over the weekend! Thanks to everyone who planned the event and especially to the speakers who took their time to prepare, attend, and educate our team!
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Now that I'm not the CEO of Brazen Careerist, I don't have to be the national cheerleader for Generation Y. I fantasized about this moment for years: the moment when I'd write the post titled, 10 Things I Hate about Generation Y.
But it's hard to hate people you hang out with all the time, and the truth is, I've spent the last ten years being a Gen Xer surrounded by Gen Yers. The pinnacle, I thought, was me spending my days fighting with Ryan Healy about work. But in fact, it turns out the pinnacle of my education on Gen Y is my arguments with Melissa about her peers that end in snippy impasse. Sometimes, I think Gen Y is lame and she won't admit to it.
But, I find, as I think about all the things I hate about Gen Y, that it's hard to hate something you know so much about. And in fact, I have become a way better person myself from studying Gen Y. I have noticed that my worst traits are the aspects of myself I least understand. And that is true of Gen Y, too.
1. Gen Y mistakes the speed of the Internet for their own speed.Gen Y are not risk takers, they are not conflict-seekers, and they are generally respectful of institutions and organizations. When Gen Y doesn't like something, you probably won't hear about it. They just won't show up. I have written before about the conservative nature of Gen Y.
But what I've noticed lately is that this nature results in Gen Y having a difficult time making decisions. They have had their parents making decisions for them for most of their childhood, and they crowdsource decisions as adults, so when they must make a decision that no one can really help them with, Gen Y often gets stuck. (This is a huge difference from Gen X, who thrive on counter-culture, I-did-this-myself diatribes, and from Baby Boomers, who make all decisions based on how can they look like they are winning against everyone else.)
2. Gen Y wants to look like a winner more than they want to be a winner.Gen Y is the most team-oriented generation ever. The American experience has been largely about individualism since the Declaration of Independence. So it's a big change for such a huge generation to be more oriented to the group rather than the individual.
The result of this way of seeing the world is that Gen Y is very, very non-competitive. They were in soccer leagues where everyone gets a trophy. They enter the workplace and they have little interest in leading in a hierarchical way. And they love to use the collaborative software that serves, unintentionally, to flatten the workplace hierarchy.
But Gen Y is consumed with their image. Online, they manage themselves like they are celebrities. They revolutionized the art of the self-portrait because they take so many. And Gen Y women are renowned for dressing up at work in great clothes regardless of how much money they make or what the rest of the office is wearing.
But I think what might be the best illustration of this trend is that they don't make enough money for a huge, lavish wedding, but they still want their wedding pictures to be gorgeous, fun and exotic. So they elope, with a photographer, and post all the photos of a great wedding on Facebook.
3. Gen Y misunderstands entrepreneurship.Gen Y is scared of being screwed-over by corporate America because they saw their parents give up everything for corporate life and then get let down. Gen Y does not want to repeat this in their own lives. So for Gen Y, entrepreneurship is the ultimate expression of their conservatism.
Gen Y thinks the safest route in employment is entrepreneurship, so in poll after poll, the vast majority of Gen Y-ers says they want to own their own business. But what they really mean is they want to have a safety net. They want to feel like if they get laid off they will not be left high and dry like their parents were.
In general, though, Gen Y likes working for someone else. Gen Y likes assignments, they like feedback, they like meetings, group efforts, and after-work happy-hours. These are all the trappings of people who work for someone else. Entrepreneurs are mostly lonely, anxious people, living on the edge of what’s normal. And when Gen Y gets an inkling of those feelings, they run back to corporate life.
Read the full article online.
Monday, August 12, 2013
A strong work ethic endears you to your co-workers and management. It offers you the opportunity to land promotions and earn raises. A strong work ethic requires you to focus on your daily tasks, complete them to the best of your ability and make a conscious effort to improve on your performance. Your work ethic starts from the time you wake up to the time you leave the workplace.
- Go to work on time each day. Arriving at the workplace late always starts your workday off badly and tells others that you’re not committed to your job. Take into consideration the daily traffic, weather and construction so you can leave and make it to work on time.
- Write down your daily tasks for each day of the week. Hang the list near your workplace and check off each task as you complete it. One of the foundations of a strong work ethic is completing your work, which may be difficult if you’re in a setting where you’re easily distracted, such as an office. Writing down your daily tasks lets you visually witness your progress and reminds you of what you still need to do.
- Improve daily. Rather than becoming satisfied with your results, take steps to improve your work and go beyond your typical performance each day.
- Complete projects and tasks immediately; don’t procrastinate. One of the trademark behaviors of a worker with a poor work ethic is to delay his work until another day, promising himself that he’ll complete the work another time. Procrastination usually leads to late or incomplete projects.
- Evaluate your work. To build a strong work ethic, you must identify your weaknesses and create a plan to improve on those weak areas. One of the best ways to evaluate your work is to create a list that summarizes the requirements and skills of your job. For example, suppose you’re a manager. Create a list that consists of “Communication Skills,” “Employee Relations,” “Time Management” and “Listening.” Score yourself for each. You must remain honest with yourself when conducting a self-evaluation.
- Develop a positive attitude. Positivity allows for motivation and high morale and promotes a willingness to perform at a high level consistently. Make it a point to remain friendly at work, smile at co-workers and remain upbeat about your day regardless of what happens.
Monday, August 5, 2013
Advice for both employers and Gen Y workers and job-seekers on dealing with negative perceptions and misconceptions about Generation Y, the Millennials.
- It's important to preface this article by stating that people are individuals and that while it is sometimes efficient for experts to place people into generational groups for analysis, in the end, even with certain common traits and behaviors, individuals must be judged on their own merits.
- That said, as a new crop of college graduates hits the workforce, it's important -- both for the job-seekers and for prospective employers -- to read this article. For the college grads, it's helpful to understand how hiring managers and future co-workers may perceive them. For hiring managers, it's useful to cut through stereotypes and misconceptions about this generation.
- Generation Y. The Millennials. The Tech/Net/Digital Generation. Boomlets. Echo Boomers. We've given this generation of people -- roughly those born between the late 1970's and the late 1990's and 72 million or so strong -- many names, but none so hurtful as the Entitlement Generation. They've also been called arrogant, self-centered, and possessing a short attention span.
- This article, playing off the infamous Rolling Stone campaign, discusses 10 perceptions of Generation Y workers -- and then corrects or adjusts those perceptions with the reality behind each. Also included in each of the 10 misconceptions is advice for both employers and for Gen Y workers and job-seekers.
- Generation Y Perception: Spoiled/Entitled
- Reality: To an extent, the folks in this generation do have a sense of entitlement, but it's not an entirely inherent personality flaw but partly the fault of Baby Boomer parents who coddled their children, constantly telling them how special they were and that anything they sought was possible, and rewarding them for every little thing, providing trophies and prizes simply for participating. These parents stunted their children's growth by proactively removing all obstacles and potentially negative experiences.
- So, yes, on the surface Generation Y workers appear entitled.
- The key for employers is approaching younger workers differently, providing constructive criticism that reflects confidence in them.
- Generation Y workers must realize that their bosses are not going to be like theirr parents, and that part of growing as an employee is learning from past mistakes and accepting constructive criticism.