Gen-Y has been described as passionate, adaptable, entrepreneurial and multitasking (as well as lazy, entitled and unmanageable job-hoppers).
While Gen-X and the Baby Boomers try to figure us out, we need to think out-of-the-box when considering career moves. Here are three things we should all consider before accepting a job offer:
1. Workplace Culture
This is, by and far, the biggest complaint Gen-Y employees have. The standard 9 to 5 business hours aren’t ideal for Gen-Y; we want flexibility and the option to work when we want, where we want.
We also want upper management to trust that we can complete all of our tasks without being “babysat.” Managerial feedback is also a common concern and traditional annual reviews aren’t frequent enough for the Gen-Y liking. We want to know that we’ve done a good job — and we want to know now. We want to be rewarded for our work.
Make sure that before you sign your name on the dotted line, your company offers an incentive program that includes managerial feedback. This will satisfy your need for feedback and will help guide you along your career path, as managers will offer frequent praise or constructive criticism to push you to be the best you can be.
My current company offers an incentive program and I’m addicted to doing well so I can gain more points and cash them in for bags, jewelry, etc. While the specifics of each company’s incentive program may differ, educate yourself before signing on.
When I get points from my boss, it reinforces that what I’m doing is right and that I should repeat it. The constant feedback allows me to identify both my strengths and areas in which I can improve.
An active workplace culture is also something that many Millennials enjoy. Working in teams and engaging in company events are important side dishes to the work ethic.
Whether it is something fun like a summer picnic, or team collaboration on a huge project, make sure your company offers engaging activities that will keep you interested and motivated.
2. Nature Of Work
Gen-Y is known for its passion, so making sure you are doing something you love is imperative to your happiness, as well as to the success of the company.
I had a friend who was offered two jobs right out of college (one of the lucky ones). One was in her field, while the other was not. She chose the job not in her field due to the fact it was 10 minutes from her house (you can’t really blame her) and it paid $3,000 more than her other offer.
However, six months into it, she was miserable. She wasn’t passionate about what she was doing, nor was it something she wanted to do in the future.
She regretted her decision and was ultimately fired from her job for lack of performance. This didn’t help her when she was applying for new jobs, as her previous employer didn’t have many positive things to say about her. When choosing a job, make sure it’s something you WANT to do.
Let’s face it: Many Millennials have expensive taste. No matter what your vice is -- whether it’s sneakers, clothes, makeup, travel or hanging with friends — our day-to-day activities can be pricey.
However, we must remain realistic about salary expectations, especially if our chosen career path isn’t something super fancy. The average salary for a recent college graduate is $43,000 annually.
My first job offer was for $35,000, and it initially felt like I hit the lottery. I didn’t consider anything else; I was focused on how much money I was making and how I planned to spend it.
Fast forward to my first paycheck: I ripped open the envelope in excitement and was shocked by what I saw. After my total net income subtracted federal tax, state tax, social security and Medicare, a tiny little number remained — it seemed that I wouldn’t shop for the rest of my life.
Still, after I got over the initial shock, I was proud. I was working in my field, gaining more and more experience daily and I was up for annual reviews (with an opportunity to increase my salary up to 7 percent).
The point is, don’t let your salary fool you; there is always room for growth. If an employer offers you something way below what you were expecting, feel free to speak up if you have the credentials to back up your request.
Remember, you’re learning and growing every day and your résumé will be your best friend as you continue to climb the professional latter. If you are really in a tight financial situation, instead of having annual reviews, negotiate your contract to have six-month reviews so you can increase your salary sooner.
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