By Guest Contributor Yaya
Do you work with millennials? On behalf of millennials everywhere, I send my deepest condolences. Ha! Let’s be honest some of us (not me, of course) are horrible to work with. Our symptoms include, but are not limited to: lack of care, outrageous excuses of why we are calling in sick, tardiness and a sense of entitlement. Again, I am truly sorry.
What you have to understand is that you may have to accept those unfortunate traits in exchange for high work efficiency, unmatched technology skills & charismatic coworkers with amazing business ideas. I know- I know… What a trade. Let’s figure out how we can bridge the gaping whole that divides our generations.
Many things contribute to the dysfunction of our integrating generations. I took the liberty to interview some workers and retirees. Ages range from 26-72 years old. I’ve listed my conclusions below. General Characteristics of Millennials within the Workplace (Ages 25-39) and General Characteristics of Generation X/ Baby Boomers within the Workplace (Ages 40-73).
Millennials Think: Use technology to work faster. Interact with everyone in the office to produce a “good” social atmosphere. Believes in spontaneous selfcare days.
How Gen-Xers/Baby Boomers Perceive it: Lazy/ not thorough. Too talkative, doesn’t get work done. Takes too many sick days, doesn’t take the job seriously.
How Gen Xers/ Baby Boomers Think: Writes things down, makes an extra effort to follow every directive. Stays at the same job for 10+ years.
Committed to a cause.
How Millennials Perceive It: Takes too long to do a “simple”
task, can do it on the computer faster. More committed to unhappiness, settled on a job that isn’t necessarily a passion.
Now that we’ve put things into perspective, we can work at being more understanding with each other. Trying to understand another generation can be frustrating. (Especially in the complex role of the employee of your valued workplace.) I get it. Who wants to leave the fate of their job in the hands of a young careless individual that job hops every 4-6 months? Who wants to keep up with computer software that updates every year? Who want to work in an environment that fluctuates based on the consistency of if a person shows up physically and mentally?
News flash, we are in a time where you may have to turn parenting on in the workplace. I hate to say it but sometimes you just have to play the game of life to get what you want. Yes, it sucks. However, I think it’s time that you play ball. The more your millenial counterpart likes you, the more they will do for you.
The frequent sick day spontaneity turns into an occasional PTO day with a heads up text. The social time in the office turns into contacts for you to network with. The technology tricks will get passed to you and you will be able to thank them for making your job a tad bit more efficient. I am not telling you to accept anyone’s bad demeanor. I am telling you to open your mind and think of how having a millennial as a coworker can benefit your work space. I also believe that you should challenge the thinking of those that come after you. Share your wisdom and insight while requiring a standard of professionalism from my cohort.
(If you are NOT a millennial you may read the part below but do not tell any millennial that I said this. If you would like to let us, millennials, have a brief powwow then skip the next section.)
If there are any millennials read this:
Hello guys, nice to have you here! Don’t tell anyone outside of our generation that I’m about to say this but…. We have to do better in the workplace. I have heard and witnessed terrible experiences. Let’s work in our passions and not waste time. Be serious about anything that you do. Be the person that enhances another person, situation or job. Be pleasant for others to encounter. Strap on your adult boots and walk into to work ready to work. Come to work mentally prepared and ON TIME.
Let’s make a pact. For every fake sick day you have to buy everyone in the office lunch. Since none of us are willing to do that, I think it’s safe to say that our pact should cut down on sick days. Come on people! We got this. From this day forward we will not get annoyed from questions about technology. We will applaud the details in a task and refuse to take shortcuts. Lastly, we will try our darndest to refrain from using our phones to get on social media for at least 75%…hummm 63%…well 35%; YES, 31.9% of our work day. Let’s go tiger!
As I get ready to say goodbye, I think we have learned a valuable lesson today. We learned to be understanding to other work styles. We learned to utilize the strengths of others as ways to enhance our work efficiency. Lastly, we learned to keep secrets when Yaya is telling millennials to have better work ethic. In the words of Effie Trinket for the Hunger Games, “May the odds be ever in your favor.” Later gator!
P.S. Never forget that you are impacting the future you. You are working with the person that can take your attributes, your character, your work ethic and amplify it all with individuality, creativity and technology. Shine your light.
About the author:
Yaya is a 26 years old, Houston native. She acquired a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from The University of Texas at San Antonio. Raised in a close-knit family, Yaya uses compassion and understanding to serve her community by volunteering with various organizations.
Yaya started doing hair at the early age of 13. She completed cosmetology school while still in high school. In 2017 Yaya founded Styles x Yaya, a luxury beauty brand that specializes in on-demand beauty services like hair, makeup, and photography. She is also the founder of R.I.S.E. (Rethink Ignite Succeed Empower), an initiative that uses programs to promote personal wellness, financial literacy, and spiritual growth.
Yaya is a charismatic millennial who loves spending time with family. She is a hard worker who never takes no for an answer. She indulges in learning, all there is to know; about business and entrepreneurship.