Archive | Gen-Y Myths RSS feed for this section

Why NOT Taking Time Off Is Stupid

11 Nov
watermarked-never-get-so-busy-making-a-living-that-you-forget-to-make-a-life

motivateddecor.wordpress.com

Some people never take vacation.

Worse yet, some people complain when OTHER people take vacation.

time off

The belief, these days, in the lovely corporate world -which P.S. I have no patience for- is that if your butt isn’t glued to your desk Monday-Friday 8 hours a day, you’re not a hard worker.

It’s a concept so sad that just thinking about it makes me want to cry.

Then, it makes me want to punch someone.

In the face.

Repeatedly.

We’ve somehow gotten to the point where people are scared of taking vacation. People are scared of taking time off.

Why?

Because they’re afraid that if they do, they’ll be considered a slacker.

There’s Amy…she’s going on a cruise next week…OBVIOUSLY she’s not very committed to her job.

*Shake my head*

I guess what I’m really trying to say is that it’s very possible to be a hard-working super-awesome employee

AND

Someone who enjoys using their allotted vacation time.

It’s a beautiful concept, work-life balance.

Some people really ought to try it.

You know, I’m pretty sure we can go to work and be efficient and get things done and STILL have time for a life.

STILL have time for ourselves.

And STILL have time for our families.

I don’t think we should have to choose between work and a life, and I certainly don’t think we should have to feel guilty about it.

So now that the holidays are quickly approaching, talk to your boss about taking a few days off.

Even if it’s just one day.

Eat.

Travel.

See new things.

Enjoy a quiet day by yourself to unwind.

Make time for your family.

Make time for your friends.

Laugh at something ridiculous.

Yes, it’s important to do good work.

But it’s important to do good life too.

Other stuff you might like:

 

Advertisements

Generation Y Redefines Success

18 Sep

My senior year of high school, I had the genius idea of taking AP Physics, AP Calculus, and AP Statistics, all at the same time.

I pushed myself so hard that year all because I wanted to earn college credits and therefore graduate from college in less than four years.

I did that.

I started working a full-time job at the age of 19 and earned my bachelor’s degree in two and a half years.

I figured that if I got my degree early and had some experience under my belt, I’d be ahead of the game career-wise and would be taking steps towards my journey up the quote-on-quote career ladder. If I did this, I would be a few steps closer to becoming the VP of some great company where my work would consume all of my energy every day.

That’s what success looked like most of my life.

I was taught, growing up, that in order to be a successful woman I’d have to work really hard so that I could one day break through these ceilings that were said to be made of glass. And if I did manage to achieve this, well,  I’d become the much-respected senior executive of some company where I would spend 40+ hours every week.

That’s what I was supposed to want.

That’s what I’ve always been capable of doing.

To not reach that goal, I was told, would be a waste of my potential. It would be a waste of my intellect. I would be a failure.

So all my life, this is the goal that I’ve worked towards.

In doing so, however, I’ve allowed others to determine what success looks like in my life.

A few years later, having been in the workforce, I look at the senior executives of many great organizations and I think to myself…really? This is what I want? This is what I’ve worked so hard for all these years?

To work 60 hours a week? To not have time to do the things that I love to do? To have better relationships with the strangers I go to meetings with once a month than with the people I’ve known all my life?

Something’s wrong here.

I know, in my heart, that I DON’T want that.

But I’m supposed to, right?

I’m smart, I’m ambitious, I have big dreams….OBVIOUSLY that’s what success looks like, right?

WRONG.

You see, success can’t be defined so narrowly. Success, also, shouldn’t be defined for you by anyone else. Success is very personal and it varies.

My definition of success can be very different from your definition.

Likewise, my definition of success at 22 can be very different from my definition of success at 40.

That’s okay.

The point is that today I look back on the past few years of my life and although I don’t regret the way my life has played out, I wish that I had allowed myself to form my own definition of success.

Without the influence of society.

Without the influence of my friends.

Without the influence of my parents.

Success should have been between me and me alone.

Today, when I think of success, I don’t think about working for some multi-million dollar corporation managing all of the best accounts, swiftly climbing the corporate ladder.

Instead, I think about being happy. I think about finding a career that I love, one that challenges me. I think about a career that allows me to help others, that allows me to give back in some way. I think about having time to travel and hang out with my friends. I think about making sure that I have enough time to devote to a relationship and building a family one day. Success, to me, means being inspired and having interesting work to do. Success, therefore, is not being bored.

That doesn’t make me any less ambitious.

That doesn’t make me any less determined.

It just means that I’m working towards something different.

And I’ll never apologize for that.

I think that Generation Y wants to succeed, we want to be successful. But at the same time, our picture of success is very different from that of generations before us. The idea of working 80 hours a week behind a desk with no time to pursue our other interests is not really all that appealing.

That’s why we’re asking for flex time.

That’s why there no longer exists a corporate ladder.

That’s why we’re seen as so demanding.   

We want more to life than just work.

And for that… I’m sorry that I’m not sorry.

Other stuff you might like:

Don’t Wait, Be Happy Now

Relax, Being Lost is a Good Thing

Random Ramblings on Being a Young Adult

Companies Need To Make It Easier For Gen Y to Job-Hop

29 Jul

It used to be that employees would stay at jobs for years and years and years and then they’d die. Or retire. Or whatever came first.

But today, that’s not the case.

Studies have shown that on average, Generation Y workers are staying at jobs for about 18 months. Then, they’re leaving. Because it’s so expensive, the cost of turnover is something that’s really making employers nervous. I, however, don’t think it’s a bad thing. On the contrary, I think it’s wonderful that workers these days want to experience new things and expand their skill sets.

When it comes to Generation Y and turnover, there are a few questions that need to be addressed:

1. Why does this happen? 

This new generation of workers grew up with more options than ever before. We’ve lived with technology our whole lives and that has contributed to our awareness of all of our options. There’s  zero appeal in doing the same thing for the rest of our lives because we want to experience so much. There’s too much to do, too much to see, and we don’t want to be stuck doing any ONE thing, forever.

In addition to this is the fact that our interests are changing. By the time we enter the workforce and hold our first real jobs, our interests are much different than the interests we had when we first entered college. And that’s the problem. From as early as pre-school, people are asking us to decide what we want to do with the rest of our lives. I’m really sorry, but in pre-school, the only profession I could see myself going into is that of being a princess. But as we grow up, our interests change. ALOT.

For example…

I used to hate eating.

Now, this is me…

Also, I used to hate boys.

Today, not so much.

My brother is one of my favorite people.

And this is the love of my life…

Okay, but really, our interests do change. When I first started college, I thought I’d be a Physical Therapist. Then, I got a degree in Health Services Administration, figuring I’d be a hospital executive one day. Today, I can see myself doing a lot of different things. I’ve learned through the past couple of years that I’m passionate about teaching. I’m passionate about leadership and helping people make the best out of the workplace. I’d like to one day write a book. I would love to work in a non-profit some day. I’d love to be a college counselor.

Point is, we only figure out what we like and what we don’t like through time and experience. We shouldn’t be expected to know what our dream job is upon entering the workplace. We shouldn’t be forced to stick to any one job for years and years and years especially if it’s not the best fit for us. Generation Y wants work that engages us and that allows us to explore our different interests using the talents that we have. This is not a bad thing.

2. What can we do about this?

Without a doubt, it’s in a company’s best interest to understand their workers, in this case, Generation Y, because by 2025, 75% of the workforce will consist of these employees. By better understanding their workers, companies can then strategically align employee incentives to ensure that they are able to retain the best talent.

So rather than fighting this issue of turnover, how about employers just go with it? Young workers aren’t interested in having the same job for fifty years. They’re just not. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t want to stay at the same ORGANIZATION for quite some time. What does that mean? Employers can retain employees by making it easier for internal talent to transition to other jobs. They can also do so by allowing employees to belong to different task forces, helping to expand their skill sets on a regular basis. We want to develop, we like varied tasks, and when we express interest in another field, we’d like nothing more than the opportunity to explore that.

Too often, people start off their careers at jobs that they soon realize are not for them. And then what happens? They leave the organization because they figure it’s their only option. At most organizations, it’s really difficult to change jobs. Why? Because every job requires x amount of years of experience in that particular field. If you’ve been busy working at job A, how are you supposed to have x amount of years of experience in job B? You just can’t.

Companies can really do a much better job at providing on-the-job training which would allow employees to pursue other career options without leaving the organization and taking their talents elsewhere. Companies need to make sure that their employees don’t feel stuck. And in order to do that, there exists a need for leaders who guide and mentor other employees, helping them reach their career goals.

3. Why is this a good thing? 

At this point, I’m sure some people are reading this and thinking, “Dude, that’s a lot of work…I hire someone to do a specific job and that’s it. If they don’t like it, they can leave.”

That’s fine. You can choose to feel that way.

But they WILL leave.

And you WILL miss out.

You’ll miss out on talent. And you know what? Your people and their talent are your greatest assets. So use it. Make better use of your talent. If your employees are expending their skill sets, that’s great! Let them! Encourage them! Instead of being proficient in only one area, they’ll now be proficient in many. Isn’t that the goal? To have well-rounded employees? I certainly think so.

We Really Have No Reason To Be Unhappy

24 Jul

This weekend  kind of sucked.

First of all, we had that crazy idiot who did what he did in Aurora.

This really put things into perspective for me.

Secondly, I was in a car accident. 

Again, this really put things into perspective for me.

Upon entering the workforce, I’ve witnessed a lot of things, both good and bad.

But the one thing that’s been most noticible during my experience with the “real world” is that people are generally unhappy.

People are unhappy about something and/or everything.

ALL.

OF.

THE.

TIME.

This is unfortunate and it’s stupid.

Through my research regarding Generation Y, I’ve been able to find plenty of articles that explain that my generation is the most unhappy of all. During a time in which we’re trying to discover ourselves, we’re faced with so many decisions that need to be made and we don’t know how to make them.

This makes us sad.

This makes us depressed.

Then we’ve got all the other generations…

It seems that at work, complaining about stuff  is the cool thing to do.

“I can’t believe I wasn’t invited to that meeting”

“I hate my boss”

“Jack didn’t cc me on that e-mail. How dare he?”

Really, guys?

If these are the worst of our worries, I think we’re doing okay.

Let’s stop sweating the small stuff, alright?

I think that’ll make the world a much more pleasant place to live in and it shouldn’t take a tradgedy or a near-death experience to realize this.

We should feel grateful for what we have, every day.

So next time you’re unhappy and you’re discussing one of the following:

  1.  how your life is terrible
  2.  how you want to punch your boss in the face
  3.  how your life is over and you have no reason to live

Stop and think for a second.

Then kick yourself for being so dumb.

If you’re reading this, CONGRATULATIONS!

You’re alive and you have eyeballs!

And that, my friends, is enough reason to be happy.

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.

How To Get Along With Younger Coworkers

25 Apr

So last week I wrote an article explaining how to get along with older coworkers.

And you know what? ALOT of people had a problem with it. Thankfully, I didn’t get any death threats. I don’t like those. They’re not cool.

But I just don’t understand what the huge controversy was.

Here’s the deal…we’re working in a multigenerational environment and it’s in everyone’s best interest to get along. Unfortunately, it seems that there are a lot of misconstrued ideas about both younger and older workers. Both parties have to deal with ageism, prejudices, stereotypes, and as a result, rather than working together, different generations end up ostracizing eachother.

Why can’t we be friends? Why can’t we work together? Why does it have to be so awkward?

So now that we’ve discussed how to get along with older coworkers, here are some tips on how to get along with the new generation of workers, the GenYs, your younger coworkers…

1. Make them think they’re geniuses. Even if they’re not. In general, younger workers have a difficult time adapting to new employees, in particular, OLDER employees. Why? Because  for the most part they’ve been used to socializing with people their own age. Then, when they enter workforce, they’re automatically percieved as those bratty kids that don’t know anything. They’re not asking for a whole lot. They just want others to value them. They want their coworkers to feel that they do in fact bring something to the table. Whether it’s the understanding of technology, or a positive outlook on life, they want to feel that they contribute something to the team. So let them think they’re awesome. Tell them they’re awesome. It’ll make them feel important and they’ll be less likely to hate you.

2. Find something you have in common. Working with people half your age can be a bit strange. Why? Because it’s hard to find common interests. So here’s what you do. YOU GET TO KNOW THEM! Talk to them about their college years. Maybe you studied the same thing in school. Talk to them about their romantic failures, I’m sure they can use all the advice they can get. Maybe find a tv show that you both watch. Talk about traveling. Maybe discuss pets…everyone loves pets. You see, point is that regardless of how completely different you are from everyone you work with, if you look hard enough, I’m sure you can find at least ONE common interest. But please, don’t think that you have to get drunk and go clubbing in order to have something to talk about with your younger coworkers.

3. Ask them about their future. One of the things I’ve discovered while working with people much older than me is that for some reason, I love sharing with others my future dreams and goals. The people that I’m most receptive to are the ones that take a genuine interest in my future and want to help me get there. Whether it’s by throwing opportunities my way or simply providing me with guidance and advice, either way, it’s GREATLY appreciated. So just listen to their stories, listen to their hopes and goals. Some of them could be interesting and you might actually end up learning a thing or two about life.

4. When all else fails, bring them food. Everyone likes free food (ESPECIALLY broke recent college grads). It’s hard to NOT like the person in the office that brings the free food. So do this, and your younger coworkers will love you. If you can provide them with the recipe, they’ll love you even more. 

That’s it. You see? It’s simple.

But here’s the thing…for those of you that read last week’s post, you’ll notice that the tips provided ARE THE SAME!!!

The intention is not to insult or offend anyone. It’s to showcase the fact that in order for different generations to get along in the workforce, people just have to be NICE. We need to get to know the people that we work with and then appeal to their interests and needs. That’s the only way to be successful in life.

What do you think? True or false? Join the conversation. Regardless of whether you’re 12 or 25 or 89, what’s the key to getting along with others at work?

Hey World, Give Us a Chance

12 Apr

How freaking annoying it is when you’re looking for a job and you see these dreaded words:

YEARS OF EXPERIENCE REQUIRED: (some ridiculous amount of years)

Hey geniuses…how can I get any experience if every job requires experience?

It seems to me that some employers place more emphasis on the years of experience someone possesses as opposed to the value that they contribute to their team.

THIS IS CRAZY TO ME!!!

So that’s what I explained to Tim Sackett, writer at Fistful of Talent.

While he advocates that us young professionals gain experience through working crappy, entry level jobs, I tell him that we’re not really into that.

Check out the post HERE where I explain to him the following:

Talent, ability, and leadership potential have one thing in common…they have NOTHING to do with age.

Leaders Are Risk Takers, End of Story

16 Mar

It’s going to be hard to keep writing and not get fired from my job.

You see, something pretty cool happened at work this week. I was walking down the hall minding my own business and one of the managers stopped me. I just figured he’d be his usual friendly self and ask about my weekend. Negative. Instead, I got a… “Hey, so I hear you’re tired of Corporate BS”.

Ohh, crap.

As he went on to tell me how he’d found my blog online, I couldn’t really hear anything he was telling me. I was embarrassed? Nervous? I don’t really know what I was feeling but it was the first time that someone from work had brought this up and I was freaking out.   

After I finally calmed down, I realized that he was telling me he liked it! He explained to me that he manages young workers and that yes, there’s a need to understand the way they think, the way they work, their expectations, etc. He told me he found my writing insightful, and I was beyond thrilled to hear that.

That’s it! That’s why I write! If one manager was able to read my posts and see that there’s SOME value to the things that I have to say, I’ve done my job. Mission accomplished. I’m elated that he found my blog interesting and I hope that many more people in leadership positions will continue to take the time to listen to Gen Y.

So that definitely made my week.

But then I suddenly had a thought. This was my thought….

Oh, shit. I’m going to get fired.

Because if this manager found my blog and took the time to read my stuff, how much longer before my boss reads it? How much longer before my co-workers read it? What about HR? Am I going to get fired for having an opinion? Ughhh.

People who read this can respond in one of three ways:

  1. Think I’m kind of cool for being able to say what I have to say (please pick this one)
  2. Think I’m crazy or smoking some really good stuff (which I’m not for the record) or
  3. Think that I shouldn’t be writing about stuff like this/feel insulted (these people take things too seriously and have no sense of humor)

So here’s my disclaimer before I get fired. The purpose of my blog isn’t to insult anyone. It’s not to piss people off. I’m not trying to call people out because I’m bored and have nothing to do. I’m not a bitch. I’m actually a really nice person.

But I’m tired of people looking at people my age and thinking that we’re not capable of much. I’m tired of them thinking we’re lazy. I’m tired of managers that are rigid in their ways. I’m tired of people who don’t embrace change. And yes, I’m tired of Corporate BS.

My goal is simply to present ideas and thoughts that cause people to think. To present a different point of view. Because I do believe that change is necessary. And I can’t keep my mouth shut about it.

And I know that some people won’t always like everything that I have to say. It’s impossible for everyone to agree with EVERYTHING I write about. And guess what?

I’m okay with that.

I remember when I was in 4th grade and the new girl in our class started singing  during Phys Ed. First of all…she kind of looked like this…

Needless to say, she wasn’t the most popular kid because those brutal 9 year olds can be a holes. Like honestly, if you ever think back to elementary school, you realize, wow, little kids were freaking mean.

So anyway, she started singing and my ears almost started bleeding. Good Lord this girl was terrible (not that I’m any better… I’m just courteous and don’t sing in public to spare everyone their lives). To make matters worse, she thought she was AMAZING! So of course, EVERYONE in the class started bursting out in tears laughing at her.

Once she noticed that these people were NOT fans of hers, she started crying. And dude, it would have been so easy to just walk away and join my friends but I didn’t. Instead, I went to go talk to her. And I told her not to cry (because I get so uncomfortable when I watch people cry). And yes, I’m terrible…I lied to her. I told her she was a great singer.

But point is… I knew that in going to talk to her, and befriending her, I was making a choice. I knew my friends wouldn’t be caught dead hanging out with her. I lost all my friends that day. But it’s okay, because they were a holes. I knew my decision was unpopular but I also knew it’s what I had to do. And that’s how I feel about writing. I know that I need to write.

So sometimes in life you just have to say…

Gen Y is coming into the workforce with BIG ideas. And sadly, many leaders are shutting them down. They’re accusing millennial workers of being brash and not thinking about consequences, but people…c’mon…at least they’re doing SOMETHING. They’re creating dialogue…They’re challenging old practices…some that should be left as they are and others that may need to be revisited. There IS value in this.

At the end of the day, true leaders are ones that take risks. And that has NOTHING to do with age.

So if you like my writing, wonderful.  And if you don’t, I’m sorry…that I’m not sorry.

Understanding Generation Y & Their Need For Feedback: Yes, It’s Freaking Important

24 Feb

It seems that people are annoyed with us. Among the many characteristics associated with Generation Y is the notion that we have a need for constant feedback. Well, of course we do. But some managers think that we require too much attention. They find it exhausting. I was recently put in charge of conducting a survey to improve supervisor/employee relations. So I asked the question, “How often would you like a one-on-one meeting with your supervisor to obtain feedback on your performance?” I said I wanted that opportunity at least once a month. And you know what?! Everyone else said it wasn’t necessary. Apparently they must think they’re super awesome or something.

So I wonder, are we, GenY, a bunch of divas? Maybe. But I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. Here’s why consistent feedback is ridiculously important:

1)      No feedback makes us think we’re doing something wrong

The use of social media has trained us to expect immediate feedback. Take for example this classic case…You’re out, you take a picture of yourself (or annoy someone else and ask them to take it for you). You look at the picture and think yes! I look hot. Success! New Facebook profile pic! So you instantly upload it (you can’t even wait until you get home like a normal person), and you just wait for the “likes” to come in. Why? Because OF COURSE people are going to comment on it. You look awesome. Only, they don’t. Ten minutes pass and you’re confused. Why hasn’t anyone liked my picture?! It probably didn’t upload. Oh wait, it definitely did. UGHHH. It must be that I look fat. *Starts crying* Picture DELETED. You see, we live in a time where the LACK OF FEEDBACK leads us to believe that we’re doing something wrong. Managers need to commend exceptional work on a regular basis. I think it’s called positive reinforcement or something like that.

2)      No feedback makes us think we’re doing something right

Someone please explain to me the following- how are we supposed to fix a problem if we don’t know that it freaking exists? I’m about 99.687%  sure that nowhere on my job description does it say I have to be a mind reader.    

I ask because my boss called me into her office the other day and mentioned that HER boss had run a report showing that I’ve been late 166 times and that it was not acceptable. WTF? 166 times? Alright. When I was hired, I was told I was a salaried worker so I figured being 5-10 minutes late wasn’t a big deal. Besides, you already know how I feel about set work hours. But here’s the thing. Don’t you think someone should have said something around the 5th time I was late? The 15th time, maybe? The 57th time? Even the f*&$#@& 100th time?!?!?! How the heck do you wait ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY SIX times to tell me that this is an issue?? Managers can’t just let things go until they suddenly decide that they have a problem with certain behavior. They can’t just wake up one day and decide they want to enforce a policy. If a manager doesn’t address a behavior, the employee is going to continue behaving that way because they believe it to be acceptable. You can’t blame them for that.

So yes! We need feedback. Good managers will know this and they won’t find that annoying. They’ll understand that communication is key to ensuring that their departments function efficiently. They’ll understand that as a MANAGER, their job is to MANAGE. So if you find this exhausting and annoying, why are you in management in the first place? Perhaps you should consider an alternative profession.

Office Bitch or MVP? How Gen-Yers Can Use Entry Level Jobs to Their Advantage

7 Feb

God I hate doing travel requests. Calculating mileage. Running around to get the freaking paper signed by upper management. Wondering how the hell they can afford letting these people stay at 4 and 5 star hotels for their meetings. Oh well, not my business. I just fill out the form.

Travel requests, invoices, bitch work. Answering phones, scheduling meetings, running around to collect signatures. These are all common tasks that are delegated to none other than the office bitch. And who better to fill this position than a new-to-the-workforce Gen-Yer.

So what do we do? We take the job and quickly become acquainted with the world of purchasing requests, Staples orders, and PowerPoint presentations, which by the way, we never get credit for. I promise you, you’ll never hear this…

Big time Exec: “Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes my presentation. Thank you so much for joining me for this big important meeting.”

Members of big important meeting: “Big time Exec, that was a fantastic presentation. Great job.”

Big time Exec: “Why thank you, my assistant actually put it together for me. I don’t even know how to use PowerPoint but my assistant is a pro.”

It’s no secret that Gen-Y is not a fan of “Paying Dues.” Penelope Trunk even goes as far as calling it “Old School.”  So yes, Gen-Y, we’re not alone. However, for now, until management decides to wake up, we’re still going to have to deal with being the office bitch. So here’s how to make the most out of every single boring, annoying, shitty, situation.

1. The Value of Face Time

Most managers are so busy that they hardly have time to meet with their employees. The beauty of being your boss’ bitch, I mean, assistant, is that you DO have the time. If your boss asks you to find out something from one of his/her employees, rather than always sending an e-mail, whenever possible, try to meet with them face-to-face. THAT’S how you will build your network and make connections that are essential to the beginning of your career. Eventually, I promise you, these employees will start coming to you to resolve their issues, rather than waiting a week to hear back from your boss.

2. Market Yourself

At my old job, I was the Publisher Queen. I created flyers and invitations better than anyone in my department. Sure it was a bit annoying. Sure I’d rather have been doing other things. But guess what? I was good at it. So what did I do? I made sure that EVERYONE knew it. Anytime that there was an event, I would offer to create the invite or the flyer. After a few months, people from all different departments were e-mailing me asking me to create their flyers. Whatever it is that you know how to do well, regardless of how tedious it is, make sure you market yourself as a pro. If you’re really good at creating spreadsheets, jump on every chance you get to create one.  That’s how you’ll make a name for yourself. That’s how people will remember you. That’s how you’ll be given opportunities to grow.

3. See Everything As A Learning Opportunity

Ok, so sure, invoicing and contacting vendors are really a pain in the ass. Here’s my advice to you though:  learn how to do anything and everything that is a pain in the ass that no one wants to do! Why? Because there is nothing more amazing than having your boss ask you to explain XYZ process. The more you know, the more of an asset you are to any organiztion. The more reason they have to keep you. When you can teach them something, you have power. You have leverage. It’s called being indispensible.  

So even though your boss might treat you like the office bitch, if you take advantage of all that you can learn, you will certainly prove to be the MVP  and you’ll leave your boss saying…

“Kayla, what would I do if I didn’t have you as my assistant?”

Well sir, you’d be fired, because quite frankly, you don’t know how to do anything yourself.

%d bloggers like this: