5 Things Gen Y Needs to Know and No One is Telling Them
You’re not the best thing sliced bread!: It’s ok to express new
ideas, to request new challenges, and to want to gain a promotion;
however, respect the politics, culture and communication practices of
your organization. Understand opportunities may present themselves – but
you won’t be the CEO overnight.
If you have needs, communicate them: Don’t get frustrated if your
organization doesn’t do everything the way you think is most beneficial
to success. Don’t assume those around you are mind readers. Speak up and
communicate your ideas for positive changes, and do so in a manner
appropriate for your organization.
You can’t do it all alone: Gen Y’s attachment to technology and
drive for quick success often impedes the capacity to forge
relationships with other generations. Some people from other generations
may place more value on face to face communication as a way to build
lasting relationships over time. Some day you will have your bosses’
job; however, not yet. Instead of focusing on what you will do when you
get their job, focus on building relationships with them now. You’ll
need support and mentoring as you progress in your career.
Pay attention to the culture: You’ll never find an organization
that offers everything on your “work life balance” list. Decide what’s
most important to you. Two of the biggest complaints employers have of
Gen Y is that they demand too much too fast, and they often leave the
company within a few years. If you understand the organizational
culture, you can determine if it matches your needs; it then becomes
much easier to avoid these and other obstacles.
Learn when to shut up: Open communication is a valued Gen Y trait;
however, that doesn’t mean say everything that is on your mind. This
doesn’t mean don’t be yourself. However, sometimes it’s best to keep
certain religious, political and social views out of the workplace. Be
cautious to not over criticize those you work with, particularly in
public. When utilizing forms of social media, be careful what you say
about your organization and those who work there.
So what is the moral of the story? Gen Y is a fast growing group within
the workforce. They are an innovative, talented, and ambitious
generation. Gen Y can be a positive asset if properly understood.
Understanding comes from communication. Gen Y needs to take some
responsibility for increasing cross generational communication and
understanding, and a first step in doing this is to acknowledge that
they too still have much to learn.