Quiet…. Adults are talking.
I recently read a post by Al Walsh, Junior Execs, Wanna Get Ahead? Be Quiet! and felt that a response is/was warranted.
Essentially, what Al Walsh states is that college graduates should sit back and listen to elder coworkers and learn from them. Being a Gen Y marketer, this doesn’t seem to sit well with me, see my polite response below:
I respect your experience and see where you are coming from, but I would have to disagree.
I am a Gen Y Marketer 3 years out of college. During my first position, I didn’t speak up as much in the beginning and during my first review was penalized for such behavior. It appeared that I wasn’t talking because I didn’t have much to say.
I later contributed much more and started several web initiatives that boosted traffic to our website and when I left (the day I gave notice was the day I received notice of a promotion), I felt confident.
I also agree that listening is key, which is why I never go anywhere without a notepad; but when you can respond and include yourself intelligently, then (at least in marketing) you can see a larger picture.
I believe that more experienced employee’s/employer’s have more experience to share, but that does not mean that Gen Y’rs don’t have anything to contribute. This in fact is less true now as we are a generation who has grown up with the technology being used today and in many cases are the same age as its creators. If you think we need a mentor, then be a mentor, but encourage – don’t weaken our potential.
Keeping quiet is easy to do, put your head down and go on with the daily grind until you die. But I have a sneaking suspicion that keeping quiet is not a great success tool.
No longer are the days where young are given to laborers to apprentice and sit quietly on some laboring task; supposedly (topic for a different discussion) that is what college is for. Young professionals are now being hired to succeed and innovate and step into a revolutionizing time in business.
If you believe that Generation Y employees are to speak only when spoken to, then you are missing out. You may also lose a great asset to your company; young proffesionals are revolutionizing the workplace that they are inheriting.
I speak from experience when I say… speak and speak intelligently.