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Archive for the ‘Q4U’ Category

Question for Gen Y Women: How Can Employers Best Engage You?

Posted by 365SoulNotes on February 9, 2010

How can employers best engage you in the workplace?

You can post your musings here on Young Women Misbehavin’, Facebook, Twitter or email to kbarrett@bpwfoundation.org.

Posted in Gen Yner, Q4U, Research, Successful Workplaces, Workforce Development/HR | 4 Comments »

Tell Us What You Want, What You Really Really Want

Posted by 365SoulNotes on February 8, 2010

Anybody remember that old Almond Joy/Mounds ad slogan?  “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t!”

That’s how I feel about working some days.  Some days I feel it…I really, really do.  I love my job, I feel like my work matters, and the task at hand is interesting.

Other days…not so much. 

Which made me wonder, what is the difference between the days I’m engaged and the days I spend the majority of my 8-hours in the office surfing the web and updating my Facebook status?

When it comes down to it, the answer for me is…INTERACTION!

But what does that mean?  Certainly it’s not reasonable to think there will always be an exciting new project, a creative brainstorming meeting, or even constant feedback from my boss to keep me dialed into the workplace every minute of every day.

Although I know I need to motivate myself and do what my employer is paying me to do, I have noticed there are days when that task comes much easier than others.  Those days typically involve some kind of interaction within the office (or virtual environment).

When I interact with my colleagues, boss, or clients my motivation is higher to produce…especially when I feel like what I’m doing will benefit the team.  Interaction doesn’t have to be constant.  In fact, it can come in a number of forms:

  • Mentorship from people in positions from whom I aspire to learn
  • Being brought into projects and asked for my insight (because even though I might not have the most experience, my perspective is still valuable)
  • Having clear goals or deliverables from my boss (there’s nothing worse than coming into work and not being expected to produce SOMETHING by the end of the day/week/month)
  • Being told what the bigger picture is and how what I’m doing fits into it
  • Having a forum to touch base with colleagues about projects we are working on so we can share, combine or better use resources
  • Using social media tools to connect with others & gather ideas about a project I’m working on

Some people may prefer to be left alone to figure things out for themselves. Others may prefer incentive-based motivation.  Me…I like to feel like a crucial part of the team. 

What about you?  How could your employer increase your engagement at work?

  • What working environment makes you operate at your best?
  • What motivates you to produce?
  • What kind of engagement do you just WISH your employer would provide?!

You can post your musings on Young Women Misbehavin’, Facebook, Twitter or email us at kbarrett@bpwfoundation.org

Posted in Gen Yner, Q4U, Research, Social Media, Successful Workplaces, Workforce Development/HR | 2 Comments »

Question for Gen Y Women: What kind of career do you want?

Posted by knbarrett on December 29, 2009

You can post your musings on Young Women Misbehavin’, Facebook, Twitter or email me at kbarrett@bpwfoundation.org.

Posted in Career Advancement, Gen Yner, Q4U, Research, Successful Workplaces, Workforce Development/HR | Leave a Comment »

Tell Us What You Want, What You Really Really Want

Posted by knbarrett on December 28, 2009

Over the last nine months, I’ve discovered a set sequence to the questions people ask a pregnant woman. First, “When are you due?” Second, “Are you having a girl or a boy?” Third, “Are you going to keep working after the baby arrives?” It’s the third FAQ that bothers me a little. I’ve heard my husband asked the first two questions, but the third one is always reserved for me. Just once, I’d love to hear my husband asked how he plans to balance having a child with the demands of work or if he’s considered staying home full-time. Alas, I try and keep the snide remarks to myself and deliver my stock answer. I plan to return to work after maternity leave. Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for stay-at-home moms. But. . . I’ve never personally considered it an option.

I have always believed that having a family would not preclude me from having a successful career. At the same time, though, I have made intentional career choices to facilitate the balancing act. I recently left a job that required frequent international travel and now work as a consultant, which grants me greater freedom and control over my activities and schedule. I want to make my mark on this world and make it home in time to tuck my child into bed at night. My work and life responsibilities are not separate spheres with clearly delineated boundaries; they co-exist. I want a career where integrating my work and non-work is possible.

This week’s “Tell Us What You Want, What You Really Really Want Theme” is career expectations. We want to hear from you, Gen Y:

  • What kind of career do you want?
  • What does work-life balance mean to you?

You can post your musings on Young Women Misbehavin’, Facebook, Twitter or email me at kbarrett@bpwfoundation.org.

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Posted in Gen Yner, Q4U, Research, Successful Workplaces, Uncategorized, Workforce Development/HR, Worklife Balance | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Question for Gen Y Women: What do you love about your job?

Posted by knbarrett on December 23, 2009

You can post your musings on Young Women Misbehavin’, Facebook, Twitter or email me at kbarrett@bpwfoundation.org.

Posted in Gen Yner, Q4U, Research, Successful Workplaces, Workforce Development/HR | Leave a Comment »

Tell Us What You Want, What You Really Really Want

Posted by knbarrett on December 22, 2009

I received some flak for last week’s question. Prodding Gen Y to speak their mind on challenges in the workplace was perceived as disputatious. I was dividing not uniting. The fact that my question struck a nerve indicates that there are “issues” between the generations. We need to air out the issues, not sweep them under the proverbial rug. So, I’m calling for a “beer summit” for the generations. Existing Gen Y literature is largely written by older colleagues and is most often negative.  We need to hear from Gen Y and not just about Gen Y.  To bridge the generational divide, all age groups need space to voice what they need, want and hate.

I’ve decided to part with my Yner ways, temporarily, and focus on the positive. Tis the season, right? This week’s “Tell Us What You Want, What You Really Really Want” theme is workplace satisfaction.

We want to know:

  • What do you love about your job?
  • What do you most appreciate about your employer?
  • What’s the best perk at work?

Here are 8 thinks I love about my job:

Freedom to work in my pajamas. I’m an independent consultant and enjoy ultimate business casual.

Lots of feedback. I appreciate the communication channels I have with my employers. It’s important for me to know that I’m headed in the right direction.

Exemplary missions. I’m passionate about gender equality. I love that I get to work for organizations that promote opportunities for women at home and abroad.

Xtra free-time. Setting my own schedule and working when I’m most productive leaves me with more leisure time.

Interesting work. As a researcher, I love getting paid to explore issues that I really care about.

Building experience. It’s important for me to feel that I’m growing professionally. One of the perks of being a consultant is taking on different projects and acquiring different types of experiences.

Liberty to take risks. I’ve learned as much, if not more, from my mistakes than from projects that have been implemented flawlessly. I appreciate employers who have allowed me to experiment.

Equitable pay. Let’s be honest, equal pay for equal work is not always a given.

You can post your musings on Young Women Misbehavin’, Facebook, Twitter or email me at kbarrett@bpwfoundation.org.

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Posted in Gen Yner, Q4U, Research, Successful Workplaces, Uncategorized, Workforce Development/HR | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Question for Gen Y Women: What bugs you about older colleagues?

Posted by knbarrett on December 15, 2009

You can post your musings on Young Women Misbehavin’, Facebook, Twitter or email me at kbarrett@bpwfoundation.org.

Posted in Gen Yner, Q4U, Research, Successful Workplaces, Workforce Development/HR | 1 Comment »

Tell Us What You Want, What You Really Really Want

Posted by knbarrett on December 14, 2009

“&%$#”

My Boomer colleague had a special talent for making my name sound like a four letter word.

There was a set pattern of behavior. In meetings, I would provide constructive criticism and she would bark my name and then discredit anything I said. I’m typically up for a good verbal spar over thoughts and ideas, but the way my colleague snapped at me in meetings was worse than the spankings I received as a child. At least when my parents punished me, they had the decency to escort me out of the room. They weren’t believers in public shaming. I tried to see the situation from the Boomer’s point of view.  It probably wasn’t the ideal situation for her. I was her daughter’s age. . . and co-manager. She reported to me and a Gen Xer. Feedback from the Xer was always welcome. As a Gen Yer, though,  I was to be seen and not heard.

This week’s “Tell Us What you Want, What you Really Really Want” theme is inter-generational workplace dynamics.  Complaints about Gen Y workers are not in short supply. The list of annoying Gen Y habits seems endless. For starters, we’re a bunch of demanding, self-entitled whiners. I hate to disappoint. So, this week, I’m asking you to be a Yner.

I want to know what bugs you about older colleagues. What are the challenges to working with people of different ages?

You can post your musings on Young Women Misbehavin’, Facebook, Twitter or email me at kbarrett@bpwfoundation.org.

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Posted in Gen Yner, Q4U, Research, Successful Workplaces, Workforce Development/HR | 3 Comments »

Question for Gen Y Women: How do you define success at work?

Posted by knbarrett on December 9, 2009

You can post your musings here on Young Women Misbehavin’, Facebook, Twitter or email me at kbarrett@bpwfoundation.org.

Posted in Gen Yner, Q4U, Research, Successful Workplaces, Workforce Development/HR | Leave a Comment »

Tell Us What You Want, What You Really Really Want

Posted by knbarrett on December 8, 2009

At age 5, I asked my Uncle Jeremy what it would take to become president.  At age 10, I devoured the Baby-Sitter’s Club books not because I cared about Stacey’s diabetes or Claudia’s flare for fashion, but because the books gave me ideas about how I might run my own business one day. From the oval office to the board room, I fixated on positions of power. Being successful meant reaching the top. Like George W. Bush, I was obsessed with my legacy. How would the history books remember me? I dreamt about being the correct answer to a multiple choice question like, “Who was the most influential American woman of the 21st century?”

In my early 20s, my measurements of success began to change. My pursuits became less about achievements and accolades and more about impact. A successful career would mean using my skills and talents for the betterment of society.

I’m not unique. Gen Yers are often described as ambitious, motivated, over-achievers with an insatiable desire to make a difference in this world. According to recent polls, climbing the corporate ladder and accumulating wealth are not our highest priorities. We want something more.

This week’s “Tell Us What You Want, What You Really Really Want” theme is success. Gen Y women, we want to hear from you. How do you define success at work? What are your barometers of success? What does a successful career look like to you?

You can post your musings on Young Women Misbehavin, Facebook, Twitter or email me at kbarrett@bpwfoundation.org.

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Posted in Gen Yner, Q4U, Research, Successful Workplaces, Uncategorized, Workforce Development/HR | Leave a Comment »