by Tessa Conboy
By the year 2020 Millennials will comprise half the global workforce. We need to pay attention to them and understand their mindset.
I would very happily sit here and argue Gen Y fight for their beliefs like no other. And that is right from political beliefs to believing that yes, the Kardashians are a publicity stunt. We have our opinions and we have our beliefs but we stick to them like no other. So I ask you this, what are you as an employer going to do about it? Would you fight something that is breaking down the status quo, or would you embrace the new, fresh perspective? My advice…embrace! Understand the reasoning, understand the belief and embrace the new with the old, which can lead to some really exciting discoveries.
As Gen Y, we tend to have quite a rounded knowledge of our world and the topics that influence it daily as well as the institutions who govern it, but we have pretty firm beliefs as to where we sit in each. This is similar to our voices being heard, we want our beliefs to be understood and taken into account.
I once had a manager who told me, a new opinion or approach is never wrong and the other person’s right. It is simply a new, and potentially different way, of performing a task. I find the most common way you can see this play out in the corporate world, is on the phone. How Gen Y speaks to a colleague, a client, a journalist, an executive, or their direct manager, is moulded to their own brand.
Yes, of course, they understand the accepted levels of respect for each individual they call, but we stay true to our own. For example, I have quite a loud voice on the telephone, which many of my colleagues have pointed out, but it was a former director of mine who put this in a nutshell. She said, “you get on those phones and make yourself known, you make yourself heard and you can just hear the confidence. We need you to train people for how to get on the phone and sell.”
At the time I worked in a national sales team, and as part of my role, I had to make a number of cold-calls, something a lot of people find intimidating and tedious but I, being of Gen Y, was ready to do anything to prove myself, but remained true to my personality – positive, communicative and yes, loud.
Although I have quite a noisy presence in the office, I always ensure my tone is correct with whom I am speaking. This is how Gen Y will embrace the new (their brand) and understand the old (institutions). Gen Y understands that it works both ways, if we are to remain true to who we are and what we believe, we must also understand the accepted practices and mould them into our brand.
So employers of Gen Y, understand too, it works both ways. Yes, they may challenge tradition, yes they may offer a new approach to a system process, but embrace the difference, understand the brand and start to find your own brand, which combines the two. As they say, two heads are better than one.
Tessa Conboy is a millennial and grew up on Sydney’s North Shore. She was private school educated (Pymble Ladies College) and gained her Bachelor of Communications, Journalism from Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW. Currently, she works as an Account Manager for the Australian company, Bastion Collective in their PR and Communications team, Bastion Effect. Previous to this position she has worked with Sydney’s leading hospitality company and a national radio entertainment brand in their PR teams. Like most of her generation, she is a digital native and fluent with most social media platforms.