By Danny Rubin
Ever feel like your boss has a habit of giving you disapproving looks or keeping you from the company's most important accounts?
Your workplace paranoia might be grounded in some truth, at least according to a recent survey of employers across the country.
The poll, conducted by Workplace Options, found that a significant percentage of people think Millennials are less inclined to take on responsibility and produce quality work compared with their non-GenY co-workers.
Nearly 70 percent of survey respondents think Millennials are lazy and uninterested in their jobs. What's more, 55 percent of Millennials agree.
Yeesh. Rough stuff. Without question, Millennial power and influence grows every day in the professional sphere. But if we view the Workplace Options survey as a progress report on our generation, we still have plenty to learn about life in an office.
It should come as no surprise that we rub our superiors the wrong way. We were raised to chase our dreams, eschew the age-old climb up the corporate ladder, live with an independent streak and rely on finely-tuned tech skills to fix problems 100 times faster than our parents.
GenY cares little for corporate bureaucracy, red tape and the snail's pace at which some companies make decisions. If we see the right answer, we run with it. If we can't do it our way, we sometimes often check out and stare at the clock. But at our best, we are experts in today's need-it-now culture.
There's only one snafu with this tried and true approach to work: in most cases, Millennials are not in charge. We serve at the behest of older folks who not only pay our salaries but have likely worked in our field for years, if not decades. Just like Millennials, they have developed their own work strategies – and GenY's brash, get-it-done approach doesn't always mesh well with their style.
And now this recent poll makes it abundantly clear what older employees think of us. Rather than go on the defense, savvy Millennials should take the survey's findings to heart and change the way we approach our 9-to-5.
So your boss expects you to not take initiative and ask for more responsibility on a big project? Prove him wrong and ask how you can get more involved. Your supervisor assumes you can't get a huge assignment done in a short amount of time? Stay late, check it for errors backwards and forwards, and turn it around by the next morning.
Don't give your boss a reason to doubt you; give yourself an opportunity to earn respect.
Each generation has its own unique style, and the Millennial tool kit is indispensable in today's business climate. But technical mastery is one thing, and attitude another. No one can deny an employee who comes to work every day with a smile and flat out works hard.
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