There’s a common misconception of my generation that we’re all very entitled-minded people. Yes, our parents have had the benefit of a some-what steady economy (at least, up until a few years ago), and I know myself and many of my friends have reaped the benefits of that. I grew up with parents who nickle and dime absolutely everything – not because they have to, but because they plan for disruption. That said, I’ve grown up with a humble outlook on life – knowing that I have to earn every piece of success that I want to obtain.
The unfortunate part is: youth in the media are depicted as Jessica Simpson pondering the existence of tuna within a tuna can. Yes, the reference is a little dated, but still – imagine how much the media has distorted youth since 2001. I know it’s extreme to resort to immediate pop culture references when comparing to corporate culture, but you have to wonder – how many top level execs have seen this trashy media and unwillingly let it slip into their subconscious? I’m extremely lucky to work in a progressive environment that thrives on the talent of youth in the workplace, while impressing challenge to accomodate growth. However, not all youth are so lucky.
I was recently reminded of a few key facts that we as youth really need to remember while pursuing our life dreams and desires, and I thought I’d share them with you.
1. You Drive The Car – Every move you make teaches people how to respond to you. Be sure that the image and persona you project is one that you’re proud of. If you’re unsure of what you appear to others as, ask for an opinion from a close friend or co-worker – feedback is IMPORTANT.
2. Work Your Butt Off – If you really want something, it can be yours. All of this comes with a cost of practice and patience – but you need to be driven enough to start from the bottom.
3. Make Sure You’re In The Know – I constantly get feedback from my job, and I’m sure my boss will tell you how often I require it (sometimes to a fault). The fact is, don’t allow yourself to slip – always check in and make sure you’re meeting (or exceeding) requirements. It always feels good to know that you’re on the right track, and I’m sure your boss will appreciate the check in.
4. Make Sure You’re Valued – It’s easy to undermine yourself, particularily when you’re early in your career. Make sure that the environment you work in embraces you and allows you to grow. I know we don’t always have the luxury of being selective with our careers – but we can make the choice to do something if we’re unhappy. Believe me: you DO NOT have to be stuck somewhere that you feel badly or unwanted. If you want a change, you have the ability to make it happen.
That’s all for today, and please feel free to sound off with any comments or feedback – I’m anxious to hear your views.