Millenials are the demographic cohort that was born roughly between the early 1980s and mid 1990s. We are the people who are relatively new to the job market, and we are learning the ropes et al. As one who falls in this category, I realize that there is a lot to learn in the professional sector.
Overall, I have been in the corporate sector for almost 15 months now – first at an NGO and now at a construction company- and I have learnt quite a few work ethic skills here and there that cut across all ages, and professions. These are some of the lessons I have learned and would like to share.
Avoid using phone & earphones and internet inappropriately
As millenials we are attached to technology – phones, laptops, the internet. And this attachment is perhaps more than we would like to admit. During the first few months of work, I struggled to manage this attachment and some pointers that helped: make personal calls during breaks, chat during breaks, use a book to pen down notes during meetings as opposed to OneNote on your phone, keep phone on silent during meetings, be attentive during the long-boring-work meetings. These small tips are gems and they overall gave me better performance and made me a better colleague hence gave me more satisfaction with my work.
Observe work hours
This is an uphill struggle for many, and I can relate. However, you must realize that what you are being paid to do is basically spend hours of your life and your skill to bring about a productive outcome for the company. To arrive late at work and leave early or not use the work hours well = stealing from the company. That explains why your superiors are on your neck for how you use your time.
At work there are all sorts of characters. there are some who are friendly, and others, not so much. Faith Njahira, founder of musculardystrophe.or.ke, a long time friend taught me that friendly workmates are not necessarily your friends. The dynamics of work relationships are very fluid, and can change on any given day. Maintain caution in office relations and fraternizing. Also, if you do get into an office romance, please keep it on the down-low. Few things are as difficult as trying to work while everyone is talking behind your back.
Take your time to know people and their characters
The workplace is a conundrum of complex characters. you can chose the company to work for, and the type of work that you will do, but the people that you work with, those are entirely dependent on fate. you do not choose your workmates, unless of course it is your company. Therefore, it is important to improve your EQ and learn how to handle various people. Otherwise, the workplace can become a place that you dread.
Communicate clearly to supervisors and other workmates
Communication is of paramount importance anywhere – in family, in relationships, and also at the work place. It is not enough to get in, do your work and get out. Superiors need to know that you are delivering, colleagues need a team-worker, and those whom you supervise or are within your jurisdiction need to know what they are meant to do to be at par with the work schedule/program. I have found that lack of communication leads to a breakdown of work systems and slows down work rates.
Network and get to know more within the industry
We all know that in today’s world, despite your academic excellence, one is worth their networks. I understood better the power of networks or weak ties as Meg Ray calls it in “The Power of the Defining Decade”. Weak ties, that is, those people who are not your close friends or within your regular social circles who happen to know a person who could know a person are the ones who will help you advance in your career. So take advantage of the work meetings and conferences that come your away and get to know people.
* * *
Three things before you go,
- To get free notifications when new posts get published, make an email subscription at the top right of this blog.
- Also, if you like this post, share on your social media using the share icons below.
- I would like to know about your experiences/lessons learned on improving your work ethic, you can do this on the comment section below.
Thank you for reading!