My goal when I graduated college was to work for someone which I did. I worked for several companies – serving the role as Graphic Designer, Marketing Director and Instructor. I sit here typing now have the distinct pleasure of still working for people just in a different role. I work for my team and our clients. One of the biggest reasons I opened ByFarr was because I hit the “ceiling” the places I worked. It wasn’t my employers’ fault that I wanted more responsibility and growth – they just couldn’t give it to me.
My last blog addressed millennials (which I am one) from a business owner’s perspective (which I am one). The goal is to help translate different pains that different groups experience into words. Today I’d like to write a note to a business owner from a millennial perspective. I write on certain topics because I hear over and over other people’s thoughts and frustrations – I hope that this may shed a little light on a struggle that some people may feel.
Dear Business Owner,
I’m young and excited to conquer new things. I have an appetite for adventure, a desire to make the world a better place and motivation to live a life that’s not mediocre. I’ve taken the job with you because I believe in more than just “taking a paycheck”. I want to grow, learn and be valued in the workplace. I believe that my efforts, time and skills will improve your business, you will see your return on investment!
Here are some things that I believe, at times, we may not see eye to eye:
I believe that age doesn’t equate value. It’s extremely frustrating if I get passed over for a promotion or a job just because I look young or that I am young. I believe a 30 year old can be just as valuable in the workplace as a 50 year old. Do they have the same life experience or work experience – no, do they have the same work ethic? Possibly not. The 30 year old may work much harder and be hungrier due to drive, passion and technicial skill. I’ve worked with people twice my age who do not care about the quality of their work and I’m baffled that they keep a job! I wish so much emphasis wasn’t put on age – rather more emphasis put on value. What do I bring to your workplace? Please don’t give me less respect just because I’m not as old as someone else.
I believe that being a millennial is a great thing. The term millennial has received a negative reputation – (see prior post for some why). That being said, I believe millennials have the greatest insight within the age groups. We can be a translator for Baby Boomers to Generation Z. Some of us in the millennial age bracket know what it feels like to use dial up internet so we know the value of technology and some of us don’t know what it’s like live in a world without a cell phone. That being said, we have had technology at our fingertips from a young age and so naturally we can type fast, we live on social media and enjoy technology. We know how to market ourselves (and your business), fix your email and solve problems in cheaper and faster ways!
I believe that money isn’t everything. Believe it or not, it’s not just about the paycheck. I spend 40+ hours with you and I want to be part of something larger than myself. Cast the vision, tell me where we’re going and why the work we’re doing matters. Tell me that I’m doing a good job, it’s not just about the money I earn – I want to grow, learn and be valued.
I believe in being socially & environmentally responsible. I recycle because it contributes to making the earth a better place. I buy Toms because it gives a child in a need a pair of shoes, I wear Warby Parker glasses because a child in need receives a pair of glasses! I don’t eat chicken because I don’t agree with what mass chicken farming is doing to the land. I know you may not understand why I do what I do, or eat what I eat or wear what I wear – just know that I may see and feel impact differently than you. You don’t have to be the same as me, just respect me and be open minded (and I’ll do the same!)
I believe in saying what you mean, meaning what you say, and not saying it mean. I understand that we live in a world of email and text and sometimes words and messages get misconstrued. However, I don’t understand why you belittle me or say things in an abrupt matter. I’m not the enemy – I’m on YOUR team. Be clear with your instructions and directions, don’t get frustrated with me if I can’t read your mind and even though I’m not the owner, be nice to me.
I believe respect is earned, not owed. When you were little did it frustrate you when your parent said “because I said so?” I was so excited to grow out of that phase. Since I grew out of that phase, if I ask a question to another adult, I do not believe an acceptable answer should be “because I said so”. The answer can be brief but please give me the courtesy and time and you will earn my respect.
There you have it, 6 things that I believe will make our workplace shine brighter than others. If we strive to grow, learn and add value to others around us – we will attract team members that want to do the same.
Please comment! If you’re a millennial – what do you struggle with at work? If you’re a business owner what are you doing to make your workplace attractive to the young and talented generation? I would love to know since I live in both worlds and we’re trying to constantly improve on both ends.