Posts Tagged ‘misconceptions’

Ranting and Raving: A Guide To Millenials in the Workplace

June 23, 2017

I recently stumbled upon a “diss site” where participants make snarky comments about a certain blogger. Most of it is in the name of entertainment, yet there is something a little disconcerting about devoting over 1900 pages to making fun of someone that you can simply not follow if you don’t like what they have to say.

The site in question had an employee to whom they gave a byline, and introduced to their readership. After about a year and a half of employment, where they all acted like BFFs, said employee was let go.
Fans flocked to her Instagram, where she long windily went on and on about how successful and happy she was post firing, and insinuated that the end of her employment was not pretty.

Fast forward to last week, when the former employee went off on a series of rants, literally trashing the blogger and her husband. She claims that she was let go for not staying in the office when her employers were away, and that her subordinate ratted her out. The rant has spanned over several days now, resulting in barrage of comments and support for her heroics, and the former subordinate having to take her own account private to avoid the hateful comments she was getting.

There are at least two sides to every story, and her former employers are remaining mum.

Fast forward to a few days into the rant, which is amazingly still going strong, and commenters are starting wonder if she is becoming a bit unhinged. A few sites have picked the story up, among them Jezebel, and it has only added fuel to her fire.

Perhaps it is because I am from another generation but it seems to me that she is acting out the typical negative millennial-in–the-workplace stereotype on steroids.

I would not hire this woman, no matter what her qualifications might be, under any circumstances, as I would fear that when, (not if) things didn’t go her way, my company would be the next victim of her social media vitriol.

Here are some of the most common (mis?) conceptions about millennial workers, how she is proving them right, and what you can do to dispel them.

PERCEPTION: “They have a sense of entitlement.”

This disgruntled ex- employee bristles when someone mentions entitlement. She talks about others being entitled, and how she got where she is on her own, thereby deserving more respect.

REALITY CHECK: Uh, no. Entitlement isn’t about family fortunes, or other’s helping you get a job. It is about your own inflated sense of what you are owed by society and your employers. Perhaps showing that you are a team player, respecting your employer’s wishes and paying your dues is a better approach. Age, title, and your own perception of your talent and contributions do not give you the right to do whatever you please, regardless of what your boss wants you to do, nor does it give you the right to publicly disparage them on social media. Show some respect for those around you with more experience and expertise, and you might just learn just something from them. 

PERCEPTION: “They expect a reward just for showing up.”

This is, in fact a generation that was praised and rewarded for every little thing, including getting a trophy for losing. This woman wanted the prize, but didn’t want to have to show up to get it.

REALITY CHECK: As managers, we need to recognize this phenomenon and offer frequent feedback, but as employees, they need to wake up to the fact that all of it may not be positive. That constructive feedback is what helps us learn, grow and become better at what we do. Welcome that information and use it, don’t rebel against it. Ironically, her former boss, only a couple of years her senior, is famous for scrubbing the comments section of her blog, keeping only the flattering ones, and deleting everything else. Our disgruntled ex-employee is not just deleting the less than encouraging feedback; she is publically lashing out against those who posted it.

PERCEPTION: “They expect special treatment and want to do everything their own way.”

The employee in question sees her firing as a direct result of disagreeing with her boss’ attendance policy, or as she so eloquently puts it, “ass-in-seat” requirements during business hours.
REALITY CHECK: Workplace flexibility to becoming more popular and allowing people to be assessed on the work they do, rather than their attendance is something managers should consider. That said, it is at the discretion of the manager, or the company’s policies, and many businesses need people on site to work as a part of a team, attend last minute meetings or be supervised to ensure that the work is being done as required. You don’t get to make those rules, your boss does.

PERCEPTION: “They are job hoppers and won’t be around for long.”

This woman has listed all of her jobs in her Instagram rant. At age 31, she has two full pages of jobs, indicating that she hasn’t stayed at many of them very long.REALITY CHECK: It is harder for a company to invest in someone whom they know is not likely stick around for very long. It is not your boss’ job to groom you for your next one. Show commitment to the company, the job and your manager, and they might be more willing to mentor you and offer you more exposure to next level opportunities.

PERCEPTION: “They are always on social media.”

Social media provided this woman with a voice and a platform to express herself. She didn’t use it to her best advantage.

REALTIY CHECK: Social media is not new, and it has far reaching benefits that older workers who eschew it might be missing out on. That said, what gets posted, regardless of whether or not it gets deleted, lives on forever, and can come back to bite you later. I have seen screen shots of this rant immortalized on other websites with large readerships. And frankly, she is starting to look like a lunatic. Where she may have begun as a hero and freedom fighter, even her most vehement supporters are starting to think she has gone too far. As one who mentioned ad nauseum, what a great and talented writer and content creator she is, her diatribe is repetitive, vindictive and rife with errors. She is not only burning bridges and setting a bad example on a very large platform where anyone and everyone might see it, she is not being the least bit articulate. Think before you post people! Would you want your perspective employer at your dream company to see this side of you? If she really wanted a public forum to express herself, wouldn’t a well-written essay, posted to a site like Medium, or even Facebook, be a better illustration of who you are and what you stand for, rather than a five days and counting, of an unfiltered and incoherent rant?

This outburst has gone from a little inappropriate venting, to a overwhelming barrage of negative thoughts. In an effort to assassinate the character of her former boss, she is now committing career suicide on her own. Although I have completely lost interest in anything she has left to say, I am interested in seeing how this plays out for her as she pursues other opportunities.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section, and tell us what your take is on millennials in the workplace, and what we can learn from them.

update: The “millennial in question’s” Instagram followers soared to 20k at the start of the rant, and almost a week later, she’s still at it, but with only 19.3k followers. It seems I am not the only one tiring of this tirade. It has however, earned her own spot on the diss site.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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