Lessons for Generation Y in the workplace
You’re young and ambitious, a perfect representative of Generation Y. Your energy may take you far, but fair or not, you’ve got to prove yourself to your boss and your colleagues. Here’s how to earn their respect:
• Be authentic. On your résumé and face to face, resist the urge to embellish your accomplishments or brag about your talent. Let your personality and achievements speak for themselves.
• Handle the stress. Show that you can keep your cool when things don’t go according to plan. If you wilt under pressure, managers and co-workers won’t trust you with responsibility.
• Cultivate the right relationships. Don’t just kiss up to the boss (but don’t ignore him or her either). Identify people who can help you, and whom you can help, and establish long-term relationships with the potential to benefit both of you.
• Learn to communicate. Your email, reports, and notes should be grammatically correct and free of buzzwords. Read everything over carefully to be sure you’re making the point you intend, in appropriate language. Leave out the jokes, and concentrate on content that’s clear and easy to follow.
• Don’t complain. You may be disappointed or angered by a manager’s decision. Live with it. If you get a reputation for whining, you’ll have a much harder time convincing people that they should give you their attention and trust.
• Show some humility. You may have gotten straight A’s in college, and you may have the greatest idea for a new product ever. But if you insist on telling people how smart you are, you’ll alienate co-workers and managers who would otherwise be willing to help you. Show some maturity, and listen to the people around you with respect.
• Work hard. The key to success is any career isn’t brilliance alone, but the ability to show results. Be ready to put in the time and effort to get things done even when the work isn’t exciting or glamorous. People will notice.