Gen Wise Perspective

Gen Y's perspective (pun intended) on our journey through work, life, and everything in between.

Archive for the tag “work ethic”

What are common misconceptions about Gen Y employees? (Pt. 2)

A few days ago I shared a Q&A on the misconceptions of Gen Y employees from someone who manages them. In my attempt to prove a point, I asked a few people the same list of questions.

We now have part two of the series. This Q&A was answered by Angelica Colantuoni. Angelica is currently the VP of Digital at Weber Shandwick in Chicago, and allegedly a reader of Gen Wise Perspective (I’m still not convinced anyone but my mom and Kim read this blog).

So what did Angelica have to say?

1. Does age affect your decision when hiring employees?

Not at all.

2. Do you base an employee’s job role/position on their age?

No.

3. Do you consider someone at a “junior level” less competent than those at a “senior level”?

Not at all. Everyone’s different and brings different strengths to the table regardless if you are junior or senior.

4. What is your overall opinion on age as it relates to an employee’s capabilities/performance?

My overall opinion is that age doesn’t necessarily equal maturity. Lately, I’ve seen more signs of immaturity in those with years and years of experience than I have with people who are just starting their careers.

5. Are there things you think younger generations excel at over others?

I still think that this is an individual thing rather than a sweeping generalization that millenials are more digitally savvy (for example.) We’re all individuals and we all excel in different areas….this isn’t based on age.

6. What is the biggest difference in managing Gen Y employees over others?

From my experience, it’s the desire to get promoted at lightning speed. We all want to get promoted and I suffered from that a bit too as I was starting out but it seems the time frame has gotten shorter as to when they want to get promoted to the next level.

7. is an advantage to assigning junior level employees to projects over senior level employees?

I don’t see an advantage one way or another. Whoever is going to have a smile on their face and make me laugh as we do the assignment together is who I would gravitate towards.

8. What is the number one thing you would say that junior level employees can learn from senior level execs?

Curiosity. I think the most successful execs out there have a natural sense of curiosity…for news, trends, business, etc…This makes your career and life much more satisfying.

9. What surprises you the most about your junior level employees?

I would have to agree with Gini on this one. I’m always surprised on their dependence/relationship with their parents for help with decisions. I’ve seen parents get involved in some reviews because they weren’t happy with the feedback that they received. That’s just crazy to me.

10. Anything else to add on this overall topic? A personal experience you’ve had?

I don’t have one personal experience to share but overall I think it’s all based on personalities and work ethics. I’ve found lately that I tend to have a better working relationship with those that can have fun at their job and not take themselves too seriously whether or not you are 23 or 63. And, honestly, there are very immature and self-absorbed senior level execs out there that take themselves way too seriously. They could take a lesson or two from some Gen Y employees…..

 

And yet again we see it’s about “personalities and work ethics,” rather than age itself. Yes, Gen Y clearly has some flaws (doesn’t everyone?) but they aren’t necessarily ones that make us incapable of performing a job well.

Stay tuned for parts 3 and 4 of this series. I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts on the subject, so please feel free to share them in the comments.

Also, if you’re feeling ambitious about answering all of these and would like to get involved, just let me know and we’ll extend this into a longer series 🙂

Is Gen Y’s behavior really such a bad thing?

Photo from ThomasTalksTech.com

Of course to some extent each generation has its own characteristics, but Gen Y’s always seem to be discussed negatively. It’s starting to get on my nerves, which is why I was thrilled to see David Teicher providing some clarification on our generation in this AdAge article earlier this week.

After I read David’s article I realized a main part of this problem: we’re just not on the same page as other generations. This probably happens every time a new generation comes up the pike. So let me remind you: Just because we do things differently doesn’t mean that it’s wrong.

Many of the “issues” brought up about Gen Y are the same as incompetent behavior that occurs with people of any generation–It just comes out in a different form.

For instance, a Millennial might send an email with “UR” instead of “your,” but is that really any worse than someone from a different generation using “you’re” when they’re trying to say “your”?

My point is that the problems with work ethic and the way people approach their jobs (or job hunting) occur across the board. It has nothing to do with our generation in particular.

I think the main thing that sets our generation apart is that we’re digital natives. Technology drives the way we communicate/interact, socialize, approach our work…basically how we do everything. But here’s the thing: our entire society is shifting toward digital. So maybe Gen Y is actually ahead of the curve, huh?

It’s something to think about.

But please, embrace what Gen Y has to offer because there are many hardworking, innovative, intelligent and well-spoken Millennials out there. I promise. Work with us instead of going against us and blaming our faults on our age. Maybe, as Nancy Lublin suggested in her Fast Company article, we need to be managed differently. Isn’t it worth trying to collaborate? Wouldn’t that be much more productive?

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: