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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Gen Y

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Gen Y

Generation Y

    Generation Y’ers have overtaken the job market by storm and they have brought their own agenda with them. They aren’t hard to spot either. You may see them armed with casual attitudes, flip flops or earbuds stuck in their ears. To be frank, things are changing in the workplace. Fast. Current college graduates and the flooding pool of new and viable workers are redefining what it means to be productive at work. These changes mean big things for every player in the workplace, employee or boss.

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    But why should you be concerned? As we speak there are sixty year old employees working side by side with the twenty somethings. The generational transition between the Millennials and those who are currently in the work force is a dramatic one. For many workers in management as a Generation Y it can be awkward for them to manage older employees since they are so much younger. 22 year old employees report lying about their age to command respect from their colleagues who are 2-3 decades older.

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    Successful companies are adapting their management styles in order to meet the needs of these new employees.

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    Let’s get down to business

    1. Millennials ask questions. Lots of them. For those of you who identify with the population I speak of, you know what I mean. Talking back to your parents, questioning motives, gathering information and squeezing knowledge out of every facet of life. To the older generations this can seem disrespectful. To the young whipper-snappers, this is how they generate meaningful connections and relationships in the workplace. Be as understanding as possible when dealing with questions. Even if you’ve addressed the same question until you’re blue in the face, remain patient.
    2. No expectation of stability. Our new worker bees are not expecting to stay in one job for very long. In fact, the average worker should expect to occupy at least 8-12 jobs in their entire lifetime. Each of these jobs being no more than 4 years in length. This means there is a higher pressure on management to train their employees with higher efficacy. Utilizing procedures that train employees to communicate effectively like the TrueColors assessment will teach Y’ers to identify the nuances of navigating their new environment.
    3. Don’t wake them up before noon. Studies have shown that whether we like it or not, we are hard wired genetically to be either night owls or early birds. For a progressive company this means destroying the 9-5 philosophy. 2.8 million Americans telecommute today and the number is expected to increase. Telecommuters have the convenience of developing their own schedule and this philosophy can easily be adapted for Millennials who need more coddling in the daily scheduling department. Work load may not be the same every day. Try balancing out your hours or allowing your workers to set their own deadlines for projects. Working together one on one is the best way to create harmony with your boss.
    4. The fine line between work and play is now even finer. Expectations of flexibility on the job is at an all time high. Did someone say more vacation time? Yes, and sprinkling the hours of the day with variable productivity. Growing up with technology in hand created an expectation of instant gratifications in the workplace and with project feedback. Next time your team completes a project, respond as quickly as possible with a pat on the back or ideas for improvement. Immediate progress reports help to keep Y’ers on track.
    5. Cut the fat out of everything. Every aspect of the Gen Y work day is centered around doing only the most pertinent tasks. When efficiency is the name of the game, you’ll find that long and drawn out procedural strategic sessions will become more focused on getting the information necessary to proceed, then off to detox before beginning on the project. Encourage Y’ers to strive for the efficiency they crave.
    The future is filled with flexible work schedules, open communication, creative thinking and employee empowerment at all levels. It’s no wonder that companies like Apple and Google are so successful. Their models of business break free from the chains of bureaucracy by adopting a model that goes from the ground up. It values the opinions of people who seem unimportant in the grand scheme of things. How many good ideas are lost in other companies who do not allow all members of their team to contribute to the direction of the company?

    Applying the basics

    Consider these basics as an employee or employer. Especially in the current economic climate, businesses that are dynamic and scalable with their market environment are more successful. Not just by a little. Exponentially. Generation Y is the future of corporate America and the good news is, they are very talented. Learning how to direct the skills of these new workers from both sides of the spectrum will be the single most important factor to success from 2011, and beyond.
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    Last Updated on November 25, 2021

    Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords

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    Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords

    With all of the recent online services and companies falling under attack to hackers in the past few months, it seems only fitting to talk about password creation and management. There are a lot of resources out there discussing this, but it never hurts to revisit this topic time and again because of its importance.

    Password management isn’t necessarily a difficult thing to do, yet it does seem like a bit of an annoyance to most people. When it comes to password management, you will hear the famous line, “I don’t really care about changing my passwords regularly. I have nothing important online anyways.” Let’s see if you have nothing important online when your PayPal account gets taken over because you thought the password “password” was good enough.

    In my opinion, it is an “internet user’s” responsibility to make sure that they keep secure passwords and update them on a regular basis. In this article we will discuss how to make your online presence more secure and keep it secure.

    The easy fundamentals

    First thing is first; creating a strong password.

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    A strong password is a mixture of alpha-numeric characters and symbols, has a good length (hopefully 15 characters or longer), and doesn’t necessarily represent some word or phrase. If the service you are signing up for doesn’t allow passwords over a certain length, like 8 characters, always use the maximum length.

    Here are some examples of strong passwords:
    * i1?,2,2\1′(:-%Y
    * ZQ5t0466VC44PmJ
    * mp]K{ dCFKVplGe]PBm1mKdinLSOoa (30 characters)

    And not so good examples
    * sammy1234
    * password123
    * christopher

    You can check out PC Tools Password Generator here. This is a great way to make up some very strong passwords. Of course the more random passwords are harder to remember, but that is where password management comes into play.

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    Managing your passwords

    I know some people that keep their passwords in an unencrypted text file. That’s not a good idea. I suppose that if you aren’t doing much online and are decent at avoiding viruses and such, it could be OK, but I would never recommend it.

    So, where do you keep your strong passwords for all the services that you visit on a daily basis?

    There are a ton of password safes out there including KeePass, RoboForm, Passpack, Password Safe, LastPass, and 1Password. If and when I recommend any of these I always count on LastPass and 1Password.

    Both LastPass and 1Password offer different entry types for online services logins (PayPal, Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, etc.), credit cards and bank accounts, online identities, and other types of sensitive information. Both have excellent reviews and only differ in a few subtle ways. One of the ways that is more notable is that LastPass keeps your encrypted password Vault online where 1Password allows you to keep it locally or shared through Dropbox. Either way, you are the holder of the encryption keys and both ways are very secure.

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    LastPass and 1Password both offer cross-platform support as well as support for Android and iOS (LastPass even has BlackBerry support). 1Password is a little pricey ($39.99 for either Windows or Mac) where LastPass has free options as well as premium upgrades that allow for mobile syncing.

    Upkeep

    You should probably change your passwords for your “important” accounts at least every 6 weeks. When I say “important” accounts I am referring to ones that you just couldn’t imagine losing access to. For me that would be Gmail, PayPal, eBay, Amazon, all my FTP accounts and hosting accounts, Namecheap, etc. Basically these include any account where financial information could be lost or accessed as well as accounts that could be totally screwed up (like my webserver).

    There is no hard and fast rule to how often you should change your passwords, but 6 to 8 weeks should be pretty good.

    Alternatives

    You may think that all of this is just too much to manage on a daily basis. I will admit it is kind of annoying to have to change your passwords and use a password manager on a daily basis. For those people out there that don’t want to go through all of the hub-bub of super-secure, encrypted, password management, here are a few tips to keep you safe:

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    1. Create a unique and hard to guess “base password” and then a pattern to use for each site you logon onto. For instance a base password could be “Ih2BaSwAa” (this stands for “I have two brothers and sisters who are annoying”). Then you would add something “site specific” to the end of it. For Twitter Ih2BaSwAaTWTTR, Facebook Ih2BaSwAaFCBK, etc. This is sort of unsecure, but probably more secure than 99% of the passwords out there.
    2. Don’t write your passwords down in public places. If you want to keep track of passwords on something written, keep it on you at least. The problem is that if you get your wallet stolen you are still out of luck.
    3. Don’t use the same passwords for every service. I’m not even going to explain this; just don’t do it.

    These are just a few things that can be done rather than keeping your passwords in a management system. Personally, with over 100 entries in my password management system, I couldn’t even dream of doing any other way. But those out there with only a few passwords, having a simpler system may be beneficial.

    So, if you want to be a “responsible internet citizen” or you just don’t want to lose your precious account data, then creating and maintaining strong passwords for your online accounts is a must.

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