Baby Boomers have a little something to say about Millennial work ethic.
No question, the Baby Boomers and Millennials are starkly different in terms of experiences and opinions on professionalism. Boomers used encyclopedias and card catalogs while Millennials use search engines. Boomer men and women wore suits, ties, shoulder pads, and nylons to the office while Millennial men and women wear beanies and ripped jeans to work. With Millennials dominating most of today’s workforce, there are a few words of wisdom that the Boomers of Denver wish to impart before they
head out to pasture retire and to be quite honest, they’re absolutely right about everything.
*Names and job titles have been changed to protect the identities of the following individuals.*
So be quiet, kids, the grown-ups are talking.
- “Do your job!” – Jim, 71, HVAC Professional
- “You must earn your way to greater responsibility and pay, you are not entitled to it.” – Susan, 68, Human Resources
- “You need to commit to a job and stay with the company for at least three years and not jump around thinking another job is better. The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence and most jobs as you are learning and working your way up suck!” – Geoff, 70, Journalist
- “When you are at work focus on your job! Turn off your Facebook, Twitter, Twatter, Snappy Chat, and all of the other wastes of time and focus on your job.” – Barry, 62, Financial Services and Retired Green Beret
- “Do not text or email to communicate except in the most limited manner. We have this amazing new invention called the telephone, USE IT. Pick up the phone and make calls to clients and co-workers, have spoken conversations, and develop relationships.” – Julie, 67, Corporate Retail
- “Do not use shorthand or text message things like LOL or OMG in written communication with coworkers, clients or superiors. Communicate in writing correctly, with the correct spelling, punctuation and in full words and properly formed sentences. If you don’t know how to do this, take a writing class and learn.” – Linc, 71, Insurance
- “Do not put anything in any written communication that could ever be used against you or your company in the future.” – Deborah, 70, CPA
- “You generally are not the best. You do not have enough experience to be the best. Call me when you are over 35 and have had a consistent career for 10 years.” – Jim, 72, Sales
- “Just because you think that you are entitled to buy a $400,000 home as your first home does not mean that your company should pay you enough so that you can actually afford that home.” – Richard, 59, Financial Services
- “Don’t speak in slang at work. Speak intelligently using well thought out, cogent, and complete sentences in a professional manner.” Barb, 71, Legal
- “Wear socks with your dress pants when at work!” – Beth, 67, Higher Education
- “A company does not owe you ANYTHING except a market-based paycheck when you actually perform the duties of your job.” – Frank, 70, Editor
- “I assure you that contrary to your beliefs, particularly if you have not been in the business world more than five years, that the people in management in your company actually do know what they are doing, they do have reasons for what you are required to do, and they probably do know a hell of a lot more than you do about your job and your company.” – George, 63, CFO
- “There is no such thing as ‘That is not my job!’ If you are asked to clean the toilet and are getting paid, then clean the damn toilet.” David, 71, Government Official and Retired Navy Commander
- “When engaged in a job, take your personal time to learn as much as you can about your job, its purpose, its primary functions, tools needed to do your job and tools which may be available to make you better and more efficient at your job. Do the same regarding the company you work for and the industry that your company operates in. Learn everything you can about both.” Chris, 52, Nursing Home Owner & Operator
- “Buy an iron!” – Miriam, 66, Bank Manager
- “Always recheck your work three times before sending to co-workers, clients, managers, or anyone else.” – Patty, 67, Account Manager
- “Record yourself speaking in conversations for a week then go and listen to those recordings over a weekend. This will help you to understand what an incoherent, unintelligible buffoon you truly sound like. Then fix that issue and learn to speak.” – Dave, 54, Real Estate
- “Dress like the person or persons in the company whose position you would like to have in 10 years. Listen carefully to the tone, dialect, and manner of speech of that same person.” – Beverly, 66, Hospitality Management
- “If a task or a process seems silly or you don’t understand why it is being asked of you, ask earnest questions so that you may begin to understand processes, the interconnectivity of everything within a department, division, company and/or industry.” – Laurence, 73, CEO
- “Do not speak about coworkers, managers, and executives within your company. If you have an issue have a conversation directly with the party or parties involved not to others behind their back.” – Annie, 65, Government
- “Young men, stop wearing Axe cologne!” – Pete, 70, Real Estate
They may need the occasional help with their smartphone or rotating a PDF, but remember, Boomers paved the way in a lot of industries for us and managed to do most of it without the internet. Don’t disregard their advice on work and professionalism no matter how old-fashioned it may seem, after all, it got them through decades in the workforce.