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9 Common Misconceptions About Gen-Y Employees

9 Common Misconceptions About Gen-Y Employees

Gen-Y employees are entering the workforce at astounding rates. Many of them are looking for a full-time job or simply for the perfect internship opportunity to boost their resume and embark on the journey towards a fulfilling career. However, some employers have found this group difficult to deal with due to generational gaps and miscommunication.

Generation-Y

    No one likes to see the way they are used to dealing with the workplace change so suddenly but as millennials begin to enter part of your workforce, you must realize that if you wish to remain competitive and productive, you must keep an open mind, be willing to make some changes, and clear up these common misconceptions:

    1. They are only interested in making money.

    While it is true Gen-Y employees are coming out of school with $1 trillion in student debt, money is not their highest motivating factor. Millennials have chosen their field of study hoping to gain a career. While money is a good incentive, chances are your Gen-Y employee is hoping to learn and grow from the opportunity you are giving him or her.

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    2. They are difficult to train.

    Many employers make the mistake of thinking Gen-Y employees are inexperienced or need to be walked through step-by-step. They don’t want you to teach them how to do their job step-by-step. Most millennials value the joys of learning from experience. They’d rather have someone they can go to with their questions than a micro-manager holding their hand.

    3. They switch jobs often because they become bored easily.

    Yes, it is true on average Gen-Y employees are switching jobs every two years. However, this isn’t because they are bored or can’t find a place to settle. Keep in mind millennials grew up with tools, such as the internet, and many more opportunities to travel abroad than past generations. Gen-Y have a thirst for life, a need to experience new things and they hope to do so while they are young. (No, it’s just that they want to try more things while they still can)

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      4. They have no respect for leaders in the workplace.

      Gen-Y did not grow up with parents who demanded to be respected. The idea that one should automatically respect superiors is alien to most Gen-Y employees. They don’t want to just mindlessly follow someone because they are told to. Instead, Gen-Y employees want to know they can trust their authority. They want to feel the person they are under is capable, hard working, and deserves his or her position. You can’t demand deeply-rooted respect from a Gen-Y employee; it’s something you must earn.

      5. They will not accept constructive criticism.

      It’s not that millennials can’t take yearly or monthly reviews. Most of them prefer to have praise be given on the spot, or corrections being made on the spot. They cannot fix something they are doing wrong if you do not tell them, and they hope you don’t wait until the year-end review to break the news.

      6. They are self-centered.

      Gen-Y were raised by a set of doting parents and were taught about self-awareness and the joys of being an individual. Yes, they may be looking out for themselves much of the time but who isn’t? Gen-Y employees are simply bolder about it. Many of the possible missteps that can arise are easily solved through ample communication.

      7. They refuse to follow directions.

      You’ve told your Gen-Y employee how to do something and he or she went off and did it their own way AND the wrong way. Your Gen-Y employees are used to having a vast array of options at their fingertips. They’ve been taught there’s an infinite amount of ways to get from point A to point B. While you are not to relinquish all structure and control, some flexibility and compromise is in order. Your Gen-Y employees will be more productive and serve you better if you allow them to put an individual spin on the tasks at hand.

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        8. They want too many commodities in the workplace.

        Gen-Y employees have grown up in an environment that took lessons from the past. Their college education includes lessons on how to work more productively and that doesn’t always translate to working harder. It’s not that they expect you to provide them with a live-in mattress, but rather that they understand the downside of a 9 to 5 day. They know the loss of yield and damage to the environment that comes with commuting, or the loss of productivity that comes from separating employees with dimly-lit cubicles. It is said that by 2025, more than 75% of the workforce will be composed of millennials, this means workplaces will have to evolve into friendlier, greener, and more productive spaces that take into account both the psychological and physical well-being of their human resources.

        9. They cannot be trusted to stay off social media.

        In a survey conducted by Cisco, 56% of millennials said that if a company bans social media, they wouldn’t work there. Increasing productivity by banning small leisurely activities and communication devices immediately lets your workers know you don’t trust them. Compared to past generations, millennials have enjoyed higher levels of freedom in all aspects of life, so banning social media, is the equivalent of prohibiting a telephone call. Being in the work environment comes with surveillance already, and delivering results is as important to millennials as it is to other employees. Make your gen-Y employee feel like he or she cannot be trusted and their productivity will reflect it.

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          As a Millennial leadership speaker, I have found the most common misconceptions of Gen-Y come from the lack of communication in a multi-generational workplace. These hurdles can be overcome by holding multi-generational training with your workforce. Help them communicate with each other using terms that everyone can understand. By learning each others’ perspective, there will be less conflict in the workplace as teams will become stronger through communication.

          What are some problems that you are seeing with Millennials or Gen-Y coming into the workplace?

          Featured photo credit: flickr via flickr.com

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          Joel Goldstein

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          Last Updated on July 18, 2019

          How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

          How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

          Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

          However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

          Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

          Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

          There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

          Better Job Offers

          Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

          People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

          Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

          You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

          Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

          A Shot at Entrepreneurship

          Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

          We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

          13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

          1. Update Your Resume

          You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

          Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

          While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

          There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

          2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

          Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

          That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

          To hone this skill:

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          Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

          Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

          This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

          How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

          3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

          Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

          Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

          To hone this skill:

          Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

          4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

          No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

          Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

          To hone this skill:

          Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

          Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

          These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

          The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

          5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

          Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

          How to hone this skill:

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          Practice being resourceful.

          Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

          Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

          No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

          If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

          6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

          6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

          Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

          The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

          Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

          How to hone this skill:

          Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

          Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

          17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

          7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

          Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

          What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

          How to hone this skill:

          Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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          Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

          5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

          8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

          Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

          Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

          How to hone this skill:

          Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

          Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

          What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

          9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

          How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

          Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

          How to hone this skill:

          Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

          Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

          The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

          10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

          Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

          How to hone this skill:

          Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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          Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

          What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

          11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

          Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

          You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

          How to hone this skill:

          All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

          How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

          12. Build Networks and Relationships

          You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

          Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

          How to hone this skill:

          Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

          To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

          How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

          Final Thoughts

          Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

          You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

          Happy career switching!

          More Resources About Career Advancement

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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