We know what Gen Y thinks, but what do they have to say (From one Gen Y professional to another)

By Crystal Markowski

When I listen to conversations about Gen Y, I often hear assessments about my generation’s values and habits, especially as relating to the workplace. I can’t help but wonder how my Millennial peers would weigh in on this? And why are so few of these opinions about Gen Y employees from other young professionals?

Today’s mothers can find an endless collection of blogs and online groups created by moms, dealing with all sorts of motherhood issues. But when I searched the blogosphere with hopes of finding intelligent, savvy Gen Y professionals discussing their views, I was disappointed by what I found.  Life after college can feel unstable as you struggle to establish yourself within a city, social group, and career path. I remember feeling this way, and surely countless other twenty-somethings have too. So, I’m puzzled why there aren’t more conversations around topics for young professionals, and perhaps… some advice.

So, I want to weigh in with my ideas for my generation. Here is what I would have to say to other Gen Yers about starting out in the workplace:

•    Feel confident in your ideas. My first year working I lacked the confidence that typically comes after a few years of experience. My approach was to absorb how things were done and follow suit. But now I realize how important a fresh perspective can be in a small business or industry in which the rules are still being written. There will be times when you need to be a sponge, but there are other times when you should speak up. Your ideas are meaningful and, in the case of small businesses like where I work, often welcomed.

•    Take active steps to keep learning. Even if you have a diploma, the learning is nowhere near done. Technology and businesses change on a daily basis, so you should be constantly moving ahead too. Be proactive about it – take advantage of free webinars, follow industry news, and build connections with people who can help further your knowledge.

•    Use your first few years to become aware of your strengths. Your first job probably won’t be your dream job, but it can be important in guiding you to the right career path. Take note of what you do best, the things you enjoy the most, and what makes you proud. This self-awareness can be just as valuable as a paycheck.

There are thousands of experiences yet to be had during my career, and my role at On Your Mark has already taught me these important lessons. I hope other young professionals start to share their thoughts and lessons too… We Gen Yers sure could use the advice!

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