Archive | June, 2012

Just Be Nice. It Goes A Long Way.

25 Jun

 

It amazes me, really, how rude some people can be.

I mean, come on…I know it’s Monday and that most people don’t want to be at work but still…that’s no excuse for being mean to people.

I walk through the hallways and say good morning to everyone, always. And you know what? MAYBE 5 out of every 10 people acknowledge my presence. Like really?

Not. Cool.

And then out of those 5 that DON’T flat out ignore me, maybe 3 of them look at me as if I had told them I was going to stab them (which I’m not, obviously).

Dude, I just said good morning.

I just said hi.

I’m just being nice.

But we’re not used to that.

It seems to me that when it comes to work, people fail to remember how important it is to be nice to others. I know we all have deadlines. I know we’re all struggling with budgets. I know that we’re all working our tails off to get that next promotion so we can feel important.

But stop for a second and think about this…

If you’re mean, you’re not going to get very far. I mean, you can only pretend to be nice for a little while. Eventually, something will happen and you won’t be able to fake it anymore.

If you’re rude, if you’re a jerk, people will know.

And you know what? People tend to talk about their negative experiences a lot more often than they talk about their positive experiences.

So if you suck, people are going to talk about how much you suck, ALOT.

I know we’re at work, but work doesn’t have to be this constant battlefield of backstabbing and gossip and rude behavior.

It’s not worth it.

Go to work. Be nice to people. Make a difference.

It’s not that difficult.

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Effective Use of Gen Y Talent…Why We Need to Look Beyond Job Descriptions

18 Jun
 
Companies are struggling these days. Times are tough. There’s a lot of work to be done, plenty of jobs that need to be filled, yet in many instances, there’s no money to fill them.
 
Well that’s a problem…
 
So how do we fix this? It’s simple, really.
 
We look beyond the confinements of job descriptions. 
 
Here’s the deal…
 
Employers complain about budget cuts and the inability to hire more workers, but more often than not, the issue isn’t that they LACK human resources.
 
They just aren’t using their resources properly.
 
When an employee is hired, it’s usually to fill a specific void within an organization and so they’re given a basic job description detailing their responsibilities. Fine. I get that…
 
But let’s say that employees discover that they can assist the organization in ways not described in their job descriptions? Can these descriptions be altered or are they set in stone?
 
What if employees have ideas that can potentially help your company? Do you shut them down or do you allow them to contribute?
 
Great organizations do the latter.
 

As a Gen Y worker, nothing’s been more frustrating than not being able to use my talents in the jobs that I’ve held. Usually, whenever I’ve had an idea or wanted to contribute in ways that go beyond the span of my job description, I’ve been shut down almost immediately. “That’s not your job”, “That’s not what we hired you to do.”

How annoying.

Unfortunately, that’s the attitude shared by many managers and as a result, they’re missing out on opportunities to optimize the impact of their human capital.

However, I HAVE been lucky to have some managers that understand this and they’ve been awesome. Those are the managers I want to work for. Those are the managers I want to work with. Those are the leaders that I admire.

But for the most part, managers aren’t using their Gen Y talent as they should. Many young professionals have so much to contribute but they aren’t allowed the opportunity as management insists that these workers need to simply “pay their dues“. They’re hired into entry-level positions and their responsibilities consist of making copies and scheduling meetings. No more, no less.

Well that’s dumb.

Because if an employee has an idea or can contribute to efforts that help meet the goals of the organization, who cares what their title is? Who cares that the task isn’t stated on their job description? Add it on there.

As long as employees are fulfilling the needs of the job they were hired to do, how is this an issue? Rather than seeing it as a problem, shouldn’t we be seeing this as an opportunity? I mean, employers ARE being asked to do more with less resources, aren’t they?

By limiting employees to the responsibilities listed on initial job descriptions, you’re doing your company a great disservice.

If you don’t want to completely toss the notion of job descriptions, that’s fine, I understand. But remember that theyaren’t engraved in stone. They’re not written in permanent marker.

They can and should be changed if you wish to get the most out of the people that you hired.

The talent is there. You just need to use it better.

Stop Worrying, It’s A Waste

11 Jun

I’m a terrible driver. I could lie and say that I have AMAZING driving skills but I won’t. Instead, I’m telling you straight up—I’m awful.

So for that reason I was on the verge of a panic attack two days ago driving to my boyfriend’s house because there was a HUGE FREAKING STORM.

I mean really, I couldn’t see anything. AT ALL. It was pretty scary. To make matters worse, I was hungry so I needed to get food on the way home unless I wanted to starve and die.

But I didn’t have an umbrella.

So the entire time that I was driving, I was worried. I was trying to logistically coordinate how get food without getting a pneumonia. Pneumonias are not fun.

But I was so busy trying to figure this out that I failed to realize one minor detail…

It wasn’t raining anymore.

The storm had passed and it was incredibly sunny.

As soon as I realized this, I started laughing by myself like a complete idiot.

Here I was stressing out about something that was no longer an issue. And you know what? I think this happens a whole lot.

I think a lot of times we worry about things in the future and more often than not, it’s a complete waste of time.

Why?

Because we don’t know what the weather’s going to be like five minutes from now. One minute it’s stormy. The next, it’s sunny. So what’s the use of worrying?

Stop stressing so much about the future. Focus instead on the present. What’s going on in your life RIGHT NOW that has you worried? The stuff that’s going on RIGHT NOW, that’s really all you have control over anyway.

And like the picture at the top of this post says…if there’s stuff that you CAN solve, then there’s no reason to worry. Stop worrying and

And if there’s other stuff that you CAN’T fix, that you CAN’T solve, that you CAN’T do anything about, then why waste your time worrying?

Instead of worrying, set a new goal. Join a club. Discover a new passion. Learn a new language. Go be nice to someone. Read a book.

Because at least those things are productive.

In an environment that’s constantly changing, the best that we can do is to learn to adapt. Learn to be flexible. Learn to embrace change. Worrying about the future isn’t a good use of our time because we don’t know what it’ll be like. The only thing that we do know, is that things will be different. Things will change, they always do.

So rather than strategically planning every aspect of your life and worrying about things you’re not even sure of, spend more time enjoying the present and being open to change. That’ll make your life a lot less stressful.

Stop Telling Us We Can’t

4 Jun

I love kids. Not in the creepy “I’m going to steal your child” kind of way, but still, I find them to be inspiring.

I think back to when I was younger and I remember just how happy I was.

I believed that everything and anything was possible.

As kids, the world is awesome. We see the world as this wonderful place and what we see is opportunity. We’re not yet jaded.

In studying generational differences in the workforce, one of the things that I’ve discovered is that all generations when they first enter the workforce are pretty similar. Baby Boomers, Millennials, each group of individuals, as young professionals, have shared the same frustrations and at the same time, the same hopes and desires.

Us recent graduates see possibility. We look at our surroundings, we look at our world and we see great opportunity to make it better.

This annoys a lot of people.

But to those people I ask…it was like that once for you, wasn’t it? You had new ideas and you wanted to make a difference. You dared to challenge the status-quo. You were going to change the world, weren’t you?

So tell me, what happened? Actually, there’s no need to tell me, because I already know.

People told you that you can’t. And sadly, you listened.

They discouraged you and told you that you weren’t going to change the world. And slowly, as time went by, you started to believe them.

That’s why I get so upset when reading negative articles pertaining to GenY, pertaining to the Millennials, pertaining to anyone young for that matter. Because within our youth, there exists so much untapped potential.

Here’s one of my favorite essays, written by Samuel Ullman, called Youth.

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of imagination, a vigor of the emotions, it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.

Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite, for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of 60 more than a boy of 20. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust.

Whether 60 or 16, there is in every human being’s heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing childlike appetite of what’s next and the joy of the game of living. In the center of your heart and my heart there is a wireless station; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage, and power from men and from God, so long are they young.

When the aerials are down and your spirit is covered with snows of cynicism and pessimism, then you are grown old, even at 20, but as long as your aerials are up, to catch waves of optimism, there is hope that you may die young at 80.

We need to stop discouraging our youth. As corny as it sounds, they ARE the future. Rather than telling them all the reasons why their ideas won’t work, rather than resisting change, rather than crushing their hopes of impacting the world in a positive way, we should be helping them. We should be encouraging them. We should be working together, people of all generations, putting our egos aside, and striving to live life with the state of mind depicted in Ullman’s essay.

I have hopes. I have ideas. I have dreams. And I also possess the understanding that at some point (maybe it’s already started), I’ll be told that my dreams are unrealistic. I’ll be told that I can’t.

So here’s my voice, my stance on this matter made very public for the generation before me and the one that comes after…

I’m not listening.

And neither should you.

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