Friday, November 23, 2007

60 Minutes of Disaster. Millennial Report Part 1

Last week a segment aired on 60 minutes that featured professionals and millennial representatives

speaking on our work habits. I waited to post this until I felt comfortable discussing it and getting backlash from people and sites that I read everyday and respect. But the madness has to stop. Not everyone works in NY and DC. Not every kid graduating college is getting a $100,000 consulting job.

I believe that the piece mislead the general public on how we work. I have expressed this before to many peers and industry folks but I believe that some of the myth are true, but it is in very extreme cases. The problem though is that these cases are the ones that hit the mainstream and make headlines.

What are these problems you ask?

  1. Laziness
  2. Helicopter parents
  3. Need too much time off
  4. In need of praise for every task including the small ones
  5. No need for business attire
  6. Lack of work ethic
  7. No respect for elders and management
  8. There are more and they follow the same guidelines
Below are my responses, albeit opinionated, and some great articles from Employee Evolution, Penelope Trunk, Rebecca Thorman, and my sister from another office (or cube), Rosie.

Ok, I for one can state that we aren’t lazy; we just don’t want to be bothered with busy work. Give me something that has meaning, I want to make a difference in the company and in the world. To move an object from point A to point B with no inherent purpose other than keeping us busy while on the clock is absurd. How about trying to get more business through the door so that we don’t have these downtimes? Up that marketing budget fella.

Helicopter parents? Are you kidding? If this is really happening, why would you hire them anyways? If they need mommy to hold their hand at the interview, which I’m sure they don’t (another exaggeration) then why would you entrust them with a nice salary, window office and important clients that mean big bucks for the company. Instead just say thanks for coming and get a kid who can Go Get without the hand holding.

Who the hell actually has mommy call the office to negotiate salaries? Maybe it’s a NY and DC thing. In Florida we handle business ourselves, with coaching and guidance form our parents. That’s what they are there for, right?

Lack and work ethic and time off goes in the same category. We work smarter, not harder. It’s not my fault that I can manipulate a computer to get my day accomplished in 4 hours and it takes someone else 8-10. I bust ass every morning to meet clients needs, the needs of sales reps in the office and that of my boss. If my task list is done before lunch, why not go home and start that company that has been on your shoulder for some time now? If there is work to be done, then we do it. Checking Fantasy Reports is a reward for keeping our data in line, clients happy and revenue flowing.

Business attire. I work in an office for the 9-5 grind. I never leave my desk, nevermind the office (aside for lunch whether good or bad). If I am starring at a computer screen and yapping someone’s ear off on the phone, why can’t I do this in jeans and flip flops? Give me 3 good reasons, I bet you can’t. And please tell me that the 3 piece that you had dry cleaned is comfy in your crappy corporate desk chair. It’s not, not even if its Armani!

The praise thing. I like it, not going to lie. But it’s more to understand if I am doing things in the right direction. If I am not, tell me I suck too.

No respect for elders and co-workers. Not that we don’t respect you, we just reciprocate what you throw our way. If you're an ass and want to halt my development, learning and monetary climb than I am going to be an ass right back. See ya when I get that promotion and you’re still in cubicle 365.

All jokes aside, we want to embrace our elders. There is no better learning tool than someone who has been there before us and been through the ropes. Even though times have changed we can always learn a thing or 2, so remember that when the punk kid asks you a dumb question, we only want to learn.

Job hopping. This is not a millennial problem; this is an everyone problem (we are just more vocal about it). If my job sucks, I’m going to find something better. That’s why companies spend thousands of dollars every quarter on job boards pumping their positions. They are selling better opportunities to us at every corner. How can you fault someone for bettering their environment?

This concludes Part 1. I still haven't touched on entitlement and the entrepreneur spirit of Gen-Y. Man, I'm just getting started today!!


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