Self-knowledge is power.
As a generation, we know that we don’t have the best reputation in the workplace. With almost 80 million of us millennials or Gen Yers in the U.S. alone – as commonly referred to those born between 1977 and 1995, according to Gen Y expert Jason Dorsey – a lot has been said about our generation and our perceived tendencies to act entitled, aimless, or fickle; but contrary to stereotypes, millennials can be valuable, loyal, high-performing team members and leaders.
Like any generation, the unique set of experiences and skillsets we have can bring something valuable to the workplace and culture. As Gen Yers, we can fully contribute to the organizations we work for by understanding how we can find inspiration and empowerment, and by seeking to understand how that differs from other generations in our workplace. This way, we can appreciate the point of view of our co-workers and supervisors and be better equipped to help one another out.
3 Ways to Find Inspiration & Empowerment
To unlock your greatest potential, it’s important to know what you value in the workplace. This is what many millennials have found to be important to our generation:
1. Purpose – More than any generation, Gen Yers want to understand and believe in the mission of their company and feel they are contributing to a greater purpose. It is incredibly important to us that the mission of an organization falls in line with our beliefs and is brought to life in the workplace and in interactions with both coworkers and customers.
2. Autonomy – Millennials are empowered by autonomy to find their own solutions to the goals set for them. We think that sometimes, too strict of rules and guidelines stifle creativity, and would prefer to learn the hard way, through trial and error. We would like the trust of our supervisors to be given creative freedom and flexibility to use our skills to get the job done on our own terms.
3. Mastery – While we millennials may crave freedom and autonomy, we also want to know whether we are on target to successfully reach their goals. We recognize that being evaluated and held accountable for our ideas and execution is vital for growth and development. This is why we readily receive the feedback, mentoring and coaching of company leaders, who have an invested interest in helping us grow in our career.
Why does this matter? Knowing what motivates you to get the job done – whatever that job is – can help you identify areas where you might be struggling, and then work on improving in those areas. While we shouldn’t be self-seeking and aim to satisfy our own personal desires, if we do simple things like ask our supervisors for more feedback on our projects or seek out projects where we have an opportunity to learn new skills on our own terms, we can change the way we approach our excitement about work.
As Catholics, we can hone in the on the “purpose” area if we truly strive to work in witness for Christ. Though our work may sometimes seem dull and tiresome, if we sanctify our work and do every task with love, we are uniting our efforts with Christ for the betterment of our world.
Knowing what makes us tick can also help us identify why our Gen X or Baby Boomer colleagues approach challenges differently than we do, and help us to be more compassionate. The more that we can learn about different generations and see the value that they bring to the table, the more we can appreciate them and be able to help one another out. By creating a work environment that seeks to motivate and empower every individual, regardless of their generation, company leaders and team members alike can help each other to develop as a person, and then develop and achieve the goals of the business.