As someone who spends a majority of their time on social media, listening to Gen Z, working with them, and learning from them, I've had the opportunity to really dive into what a lot of Gen Z and Millennials feel the best employers will offer following COVID-19.
1. MORE FLEXIBILITY
When their child is sick, they end up using their vacation days just for the opportunity to check in on them every now and then. Additionally, I know I've had 24-hour bugs or stomach bugs that, for the most part, wouldn't disturb my ability to work. It would be more comfortable to work from home in these situations.
This ideal was popular even before COVID-19. Some of the best companies for employees, like Google, give their employees the opportunity to work in ways that decrease their stress levels and allow them to take care of themselves and their families without causing harm to their companies. Certainly following this pandemic, most desk jobs can be performed remotely. It would be disheartening if companies refused to allow this once and a while considering how well most employees have adapted to this model.
2. ESSENTIAL WORK PAY
If employers are asking these employees to put themselves in harms way, a bonus should certainly be considered, especially because many of these types of companies didn't suffer much during COVID. Restaurants laid off their servers, but continued to get orders.
I will say that, personally, I feel some essential work such as police, nurses, and EMT, may not need these bonuses. While it would be nice, these workers already have a dangerous job where they can come in contact with ill or dangerous people.
3. MORE INFO ON LAYOFFS AND FURLOUGHS
When COVID-19 first hit, several campaigns to boycott certain companies for their lay-offs spread throughout social media. Employers should expect questions including, "when was the last time you laid off employees" and "should a crisis such as COVID-19 hit again, what is the probability that I would lose my job."
We all know that COVID-19 has been tough on company overheads, and potential employees should certainly tread lightly when asking these questions, but they are worth the ask.
This causes employees to get frustrated when funding is cut or jobs are cut. They don't know what's going on, which leaves them with a bad experience that they will undoubtedly share with future employees and customers.
If you're reading this as an employer, I hope you'll take these things into consideration. So many people are asking for these, and they are relatively simple to give or educate on. If you have anything to add, feel free to comment below!
We have what are called “racial slurs” which are words or phrases used to demean or lessen the value of people of varying skin tones (which is crazy stupid by the way). It makes me chuckle a bit to see that members of the Baby Boomer generation consider a term that literally says “OK” paired with their generational name is a “slur.”
“If you’re comparing the ‘badness’ of two words and you won’t even say one of them, that’s the worst word.” – Comedian John Mulaney
Some will say “Millennials are always on their phones and they want everything handed to them” or “These Gen Z-ers are so disrespectful.” However, every single time I’ve heard the phrase “OK Boomer” used, it has been used to shut down insults like these from specific Gen X-ers and Boomers who are being insulting and rude. It has never been applied freely to the entire generation, but only to a few.
Saying “Boomers will never understand…” is NOT an insult or a stereotype. I can’t understand what it’s like to be a Boomer or a Gen X-er either. I have some people who fit that description in my life, but I can’t experience what it was like for them.
Here is a prime example. I saw someone from an old church we went to who shared this on their Facebook timeline. It took everything in me not to say “this is part of the reason we left your church.” I hesitated in including it because I don’t want to fuel the views for this. However, if you read the YouTube description, it says that the video is a parody that was meant to show church leaders that they should look past Millennial stereotypes and look toward the unique potential Millennials have. I didn't know this at the time because I saw it on Facebook and followed the link onto YouTube after watching and commenting.
Regardless of the intent, I think the video is in poor taste. This church had to know that people would take this stereotype and run with it. This was my comment on the video:
“I don't know if I'm more shocked that this even exists or if I'm shocked that a CHURCH created it. The sad thing is that the church shouldn't stereotype anyone, and all of the Millennials I know are not like this whatsoever. Please keep in mind that your generation raised Millennials, gave Millennials false hope about getting good jobs (which is now resulting in fewer enrollments at colleges and universities), and that the economy is NOTHING like what it was for you. Also, as you said, Millennials are going to be future leaders. Instead of making these rude videos, maybe you should be kind and see how you can help them.”
I then mentioned that everyone who had commented or laughed at my comment was in the Boomer or Gen X populations, which was evident by their profiles. Another man who was obviously much older and in the Boomer population said “grow up it’s funny but so true.”
To that, I said “OK Boomer,” because I really didn’t want to hear it. I felt my initial comment was fair and kind. Another man said “Spoken like a true Millennial.” My response?
“Why thank you! It's funny how someone can tell me to ‘grow up’ and insult me because of my age, but when it happens to them, they lose their minds! Love that for you. Best of luck in your future."
These specific people were committed to misunderstanding millennials and didn’t even want to try to help. They just wanted to continue to push these ridiculous stereotypes.
Calling this phrase, a slur seriously diminishes the magnitude of other slurs that are still being used, almost exclusively by members of the Gen X or Baby Boomer generations.
I’ve always said: “Stereotypes are just commitments made to intentionally misunderstand people.” Quote me on that.
Next time you see yourself stereotyping a Millennial or Gen Z-er (or if you’re in one of those generations and you start to stereotype all Boomers or Gen X-ers) watch your words. We should all be open to honest conversations about our work and its state. No one should be dismissed for being “too young.” That’s not how this works. We are all citizens of the world, and we should all have a say in how it runs.
Whenever we millennials were young, we were always told to be humble. We were fed this idea that owning our success made us egotistical and full of ourselves. While I believe this can become true if we don't stay humble, I believe it is this life lesson that makes many in my generation feel like they aren't successful in life.
Let's talk about the four reasons we need to change our perceptions on owning our successes. I've added some photos highlighting some of my personal successes! I'm super blessed to have been given the gifts that I was given and growing up with a mom, brother, and grandparents who always encouraged and supported the cultivation of those gifts.
1. STRAIGHT UP, SUCCESS IS EARNED REGARDLESS OF
First female Drum Major at my college
Success is defined as "the accomplishment of an aim or purpose." If you set a goal for yourself at your job to complete a task and you completed it, you were successful!
Success by definition must be earned. It comes usually through hard work, passion, and determination.
There is a right and wrong way to celebrate your success. You can acknowledge your success without coming off in a conceited way. This could mean that you accept an award, reporting on your success, or you simply share your success while never forgetting those who helped you accomplish your successes. For me, that means acknowledging that I do all things through Christ. I'll talk more about this later.
Think of owning success as a type of currency. When you work a job, you expect to be paid for it. When you complete a job, you can take the pat on the back!
2. IT IS SERIOUSLY DAMAGING OUR PSYCHE
Recent studies show that the millennial generation is the most anxious generation yet. A big stereotype attached to the millennial generation is that we feel we should be rewarded for every little thing we do right. But, I have a counter to this opinion.
I feel that millennials actually aren't rewarded for even the big things we do right. Back in the day, if you worked hard at your job and took on more responsibility, management saw your commitment to the job and rewarded you with raises and promotions.
Member of the Millennial Commission for the City of Fayetteville, N.C.
Forbes Magazine even dedicated an entire article to the topic "Why Are Millennial Salaries Disproportionately Low?" They found that millennials have a large unemployment rate, not necessarily because of laziness, but because of the demand for experience in the work force.
Millennials are also saddled with an average of $37K in student loan debt after being told by the generation before us that college was needed for a better salary and benefits.
As a matter of example, I was making $11 and hour as a journalist with my degree right out of college. My husband has no college degree and makes about the same amount working in landscaping right now. I know this isn't everyone's story.
All of this was to simply say that we've taken losses in a lot of areas our parents didn't necessarily have to. We are anxious because of money and a lack of feeling successful, but we simply don't celebrate the successes we do have because we were told by society to be humble when we were younger!
With so much already stressing out our generation, we should lift ourselves up when we accomplish something great!
3. WE SHOULDN'T LET OTHERS CONTROL US
2015 Intercollegiate Broadcasting System's Best On-Air Personalities Finalist for our college radio show Gabbie and the Ghost!
The perception of others really shouldn't control us, anyway. Like, who cares if a relative you see once a year doesn't "like" your Facebook post about being selected for a new leadership position at your job?
Who cares if a toxic friend is upset that you posted about a recent success?
At the end of the day, remember this saying that I think I just made up: "You ain't a remote, so stop letting people control you." Be proud of yourself and let those who truly care about you be proud of you, too!
We all spend FAR too much time caring what other people think. At the end of the day, you have to live in your own body, and that means you need to be happy with yourself.
4. WE HAVE TO OWN OUR SUCCESS FIRST
If you lack self-confidence, it can be hard to recognize what you've accomplished. I'm still struggling with this personally. I am a Christian and there's a lot of stigma about success in this faith. However, I credit all my successes in life to Jesus first, but recognize that I was given talents and gifts in this life to help connect other people to the Lord and to themselves! If you don't believe in yourself and the ability to accomplish great things, it simply won't happen.
That's why it is so important that we recognize our own successes first.
2014 Miss Methodist (College Pageant) Miss Congeniality
In these cases, you can't simply write off your success because someone else didn't recognize you for it. Set goals for yourself. Accomplish things for yourself. It makes being recognized for those successes that much more fulfilling!
However, the students who are a part of the college admission scandal seems to align well with the buzz words and phrases often applied to a whole group of people.
If you’re in the U.S., you’ve probably heard news lately of the University of Southern California’s high-profile college admissions scandal. If you haven’t, here’s some information:
Fifty people have been charged in federal court for conspiracy to illicitly gain admission for high school students to top colleges and universities, including the University of Southern California. Some notable names tied up in this conspiracy include Lori Loughlin (left), who played Becky on Full House, and Felicity Huffman from Desperate Housewives.
Each of the 50 conspirators paid as much as $6.5 million to get their children into prestigious schools. This money may have been used to purchase a building on campus, donate to university advancement causes, or to bribe professors or administrators.
AN ONGOING PROBLEM
My immediate opinion is that, duh, this has been happening for years. I mean, just look at Hollywood. They’ve made a number of movies where the snobby rich kid’s parents donate to the college, and that makes them near untouchable. Did everyone think that was just a made-up movie antagonist? No, that happens in real life in colleges, universities, and prep schools around the globe.
THIS IS WHY IT ISN'T OK
One thing that really frustrated me was that some of these parents even bribed testing officials to look the other way while their child cheated on the SATs. That isn’t fair to someone from the projects who doesn’t have money but busted their butt in class and in the library to ace the test in hopes of attending Harvard.
This means that they are likely considered for and offered better jobs. Imagine Loughlin’s daughter becoming some CEO of a large company. She did absolutely nothing to get there, but she is now making decisions on things that could change the course of not only a company, but of the U.S. Many companies are tied up in politics, which is also largely influenced by campaign dollars.
WAYS THE RICH HAVE CHEATED THE SYSTEM
WHY IT FRUSTRATES MILLENNIALS
I will say that what adds to millennial frustration is the fact that these people who are our peers become CEOs, sometimes even becoming our bosses. For those of us who went to college, studied in a field that will actually make us money, and joined a career, it is frustrating to have a complete idiot as a boss. They don’t know what they’re doing, and it shows. This frustrates our generation to no end because we can’t move forward in our careers. I’m glad I don’t have this issue personally, but I know that a number of people suffer because of it.
But, it is crucial that you readers understand that these were top schools. They aren’t really wanting for money, they’re just being greedy.
In my opinion, we should do a sweep of all of the top schools and investigate for fraud. Charges should also be put against others who are found guilty of doing this. Students accused of fraud should be put on academic leave. If it were up to me, schools who accepted these funds should have to pay a penalty, as they were in the wrong as well.
The U.S. is sad. No promotions. No raises. No praises for a job well done. I think attacking this issue head on will help improve mental health and job security around the country. What’s your opinion? I want to know!
She asked myself and other bloggers and influencers a series of questions based around the financial myths that millennials must work to expose. I wanted to share all of my answers to the myths and, of course, link back to her post.
MYTH 1: ARE MILLENNIALS NOT BUYING HOMES BECAUSE THEY WANT TO SCRIMP OFF THEIR PARENTS?
Because this was the question I answered, I'd be remiss not to link back to Shelly's article. Please click the image to the left to be redirected to the article.
To add more on this, the notion that living off of our parents is the reason many still live at home is crazy. Everyone wants independence, and alleging that we don't simply to have mommy and daddy pay for it is crazy to me!
<-- Click to read!
MYTH 2: MILLENNIALS ARE LAZY, TIRED, AND UNAMBITIOUS
Technology puts the answers to our questions at the tip of our fingertips, which can be good. Our access to technology has changed our behavior, of course. It has made life much easier.
Because of our technology use, we do redefine productivity. I'll give an example. I recently decided to purchase an Amazon Echo Dot and some smart plugs. I can get ready in the morning while telling Alexa to make my coffee. As soon as I'm ready, I just have to pour myself a cup and head to work. I still have to do some work by pre-loading the coffee grinds and water, but it makes my morning much faster!
MYTH 3: MILLENNIALS ARE KILLING THE ECONOMY
No, quite the opposite. The economy is killing millennials, for sure. Prices continue to rise and employers don't just fancy a college degree anymore. We have a record number of graduates in the world today because we were told that degrees get you jobs. However, we are made to put ourselves into massive amounts of debt only to come out and work for companies that are also struggling in the economy and aren't able to reward good work with raises or better benefits.
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