Millennials and Gen Y at Work – Social Media Experts

Photographer - Eddie Fisher

Photographer – Eddie Fisher

Capitalize on their Social Orientation and team- preference. Millennials like to be in constant touch with others, as they have been the key users of Facebook, and other social media. So you need to create work opportunities that involve them in teams and collaborative work.

Capitalize on their technology-orientation. Millennials are adept at using the internet and computer programs, conducting Internet research using Google, and communicating with their BlackBerry, cell phones, and whatever other tools that might appear on the market. Managing them effectively means that their boss will at least be familiar with these tools and preferably uses some of them.

Make use of their Multitasking. They also tend to be good at multitasking and can talk on the phone while checking e-mail and answering instant messages. Provide them with opportunities to do this to minimize their boredom on the one hand and increase productivity on the other.

Welcome their diversity. Millennials not just understand diversity but actually live it and practice it in a natural and almost automatic fashion. This is the generation that got excited about Barak Obama, an African American with a white mother, a Muslim black father from Kenya, who offered a vision of change and hope. Make sure your organization practices and values diversity and offers them a work culture that celebrates it in a natural way.

Give them interesting work. One of the key attributes of Gen Y is their need for constant stimulation. The worst task for them is the boring one. What makes work boring is when the person doesn’t have a say in it. Give them opportunities to create themselves through their jobs. Give them as much freedom as possible and involve them in job design and decisions. Otherwise they might hop from one job to another searching for what stimulates them.

Listen to them. Millennials want to have their voices heard. They have grown used to provide comments on blogs and other social media. They expect to have opportunities to voice their opinion and not get punished for it if different or uncommon.

Millennials will increasingly become a larger segment of the workforce. With the right training and wise leadership, they can be great assets to the organization.


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Posted in Millennials and work, Work and Play, Working Tips

Why You Need to Have Fun to Be Successful

I read a great story years ago about a snowshoe company that was struggling. Instead of closing their doors, they took their skill of bending wood and started making furniture. They saw a new opportunity and took advantage of it. The hard thing right now is that normal jobs are harder to come by. The good thing is there has probably never been a better time in our history when there are so many different ways to make a living. So, I believe the goal is to identify the best fit between gifts and skills and the job so that as you pursue new opportunities, you more likely to get something congruent with who you are. Then, the work becomes much more fulfilling.

Ron Culberson

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Posted in Work and Play, Working Tips

Who Goes to Work to Have Fun?

“ONE of our core values is to inject fun and quirkiness into everything we do,” Neil Blumenthal, a founder of the online eyeglass retailer Warby Parker, recently told The New York Times.

This is a philosophy currently enjoying a resurgence in the tech and retail industries, among others. As we enter the season of office holiday parties, it’s a safe assumption that the workplace quirkiness quotient will skyrocket. Which means it’s also the season for the curmudgeons among us to renew our passionate entreaty: Please — no, really, please — can we stop trying to “make work fun”?

Despite the sobering economic shocks of recent years, the Fun at Work movement seems irrepressible.

Major companies boast of employing Chief Fun Officers or Happiness Engineers; corporations call upon a burgeoning industry of happiness consultants, who’ll construct a Gross Happiness Index for your workplace, then advise you on ways to boost it. (Each week, Warby Parker asks “everyone to tell their happiness rating on a scale of zero to 10,” Mr. Blumenthal explained.)

Countless self-help bloggers offer tips for generating cheer among the cubicles (“Buy donuts for everyone”; “Hang movie posters on your walls, with employees’ faces replacing those of the real movie stars”). It’s all shudderingly reminiscent of David Brent, Ricky Gervais’s wince-inducing character from the British version of “The Office”; or of the owner of the nuclear power plant in “The Simpsons” who considers distracting attention from the risk of lethal meltdowns by holding Funny Hat Days.

Lest my curmudgeonliness be mistaken for misanthropy, let’s be clear: There’s nothing wrong with happiness at work.

Enjoyable jobs are surely preferable to boring or unpleasant ones; moreover, studies suggest that happy employees are more productive ones. But it doesn’t follow that the path to this desirable state of affairs is through deliberate efforts, on the part of managers, to try to generate fun. Indeed, there’s evidence that this approach — which has been labeled, suitably appallingly, “fungineering” — might have precisely the opposite effect, making people miserable and thus reaffirming one of the oldest observations about happiness: When you try too hard to obtain it, you’re almost guaranteed to fail.

Oliver Burkeman


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Posted in Work and Play

Computer Science has an Image Problem

Computer science has a fundamental image problem. Shuchi Grover writes about solutions to correct these perceptions.

Imagine being a kid and believing that jobs in a certain career mostly involved studying and/or repairing a complex machine. Would the average girl, or even boy for that matter, with such beliefs (or with no notions whatsoever about what being in that field really means) wish to pursue such a career?

Here’s news for all: Even today, most children between the ages of 11 and 18 either have no idea about Computer Science or overwhelmingly associate a computer scientist with “building,” “fixing,” “improving” or “studying” computers. While some add ‘programming’ to this list, most don’t see even that within the ambit of computer science.

Research also reports that students finishing high school have a difficult time seeing themselves as computer scientists since they do not have a clear understanding of what computer science is and what a computer scientist does. This is rather unfortunate in light of Hazel Markus and Paula Nurius’ powerful study on the idea of “possible selves,” the type of self-knowledge that pertains to how individuals think about their potential and their future.

It’s plausible that students harboring ignorance, or worse, misconceptions of a field are likely to make poor educational choices and career decisions; and that the lack of interest and negative attitudes towards COMPUTER SCIENCE, especially among girls, is attributable to an inaccurate view of what one does with computer science. These popular beliefs likely impact girls’ choices more than boys’ as they preclude a view of COMPUTER SCIENCE as an engaging discipline with uses in social and creative domains.

Children must be cognizant of the broad applicability of computer science in many diverse fields of human endeavor, including creative fields and altruistic careers that often appeal to females. This need has been stressed in research on the “technological imaginations” of girls and boys, and more recently in Jane Margolis and Allan Fisher’s Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing. The importance of attending to this aspect of K-12 COMPUTER SCIENCE education simply cannot be emphasized enough.

More on this in the next post.

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Posted in STEM Careers, Women in Science

Are You In or Out of the Loop?

Photo by Eddie Fisher

Photo by Eddie Fisher

Authors Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans share their viewpoints about what happens in most offices.

Even as kids we knew that information was power. We told secrets. I’ll tell him, but not her—that makes me powerful. As effective adults, we still want and, in fact, need to be in the information loop. Why? Because accurate, timely information enables us to:

• Feel like valued members of our teams
• Be excited about our roles and motivated to do great work
• Make choices about our careers
• Initiate actions that keep our own work on the cutting edge
• Understand the culture and politics of our workplaces

Are you in the loop? Do you have the real story about what’s going on? In a perfect world, your manager and organization leaders would keep you in the know, especially during times of major change. But it’s not a perfect world—yet. For many reasons, you may not be getting the information you need to be satisfied and successful. If that’s the case, don’t wait for someone else to fill you in. Take charge, plug in, and get more information.

You May Be Out of the Loop if
• You see substantial change (reorganization, new leadership, downsizing, position changes) but don’t know why it’s happening or what it means
• You meet silence or discomfort when you ask about the future
• Others seem to understand organization culture and politics that leave you clueless
• Your best source of news about your workplace is the media
If you’re out of the loop, don’t wait for someone else to be your informant. Do it yourself. Here’s how:

Build Your Network
• Ask people from your team and others out to lunch
• Travel with colleagues to meetings across town or out of town
• Attend company or unit social functions, even when you don’t have to
• Listen for clues about the culture and politics of the place.

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Posted in Some things to know about working, Working Tips

Save the Earth with a Job?


Careers in Science are helping to save earth’s natural resources. Those with Careers in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M. Careers) that work with animals and plants are instrumental in preserving natural resources along with researching future food and water sources. These scientists’ discoveries play a major role in maintaining and sustaining earth’s natural resources.

Scientists that work with animals and plants within some STEM Careers are on the leading edge of preserving earth’s natural resources. Some of these careers are in Agriculture, Agronomy, Horticulture, Food Chemistry, Food Technology and Organic Chemistry.

Ecology, Environmental Protection, Genomic, Hydrology, Range Conservation, Range Ecology and Water Conservation Science careers are among those whose research are leading to new discoveries and ideas that can be put to practical use while conserving natural environments.

Evolutionary Biologists, Herpetologists, Mammalogists, Ornithologists, Wildlife Rehabilitators and Wildlife Researchers work with the Earth’s animal population as they research and implement discoveries within their work.

STEM Scientists’ work impacts plant and animal life in meaningful ways that can have positive long-term effects for our planet.  A Career as a scientist working with plants and animals can involve discovering solutions to the issues wildlife face as these scientists work to protect water and earth resources for the future.

C. W. Wilson

more information

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Posted in STEM Careers