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Some Millennials are Managers

by Condriac founding Director, Gary Meyer

As Millennials, the demographic cohort born in the early 80’s, we entered the workplace with great gusto and enthusiasm. Our keen interest and childlike excitement in our new and fledgling careers infected our older, more-seasoned colleagues. Perhaps it re-ignited a snuffed-out flame, and was refreshing to see passion and hunger for the job again.

However, as the reality and mundanity of the day-to-day grind of the job kicked in, this passion that infiltrated the office, quickly disappeared. We soon began to realise that this professional thing wasn’t so glamorous, and that our fresh-out-of-varsity ideas were not as welcomed as we thought. What became particularly obvious was poorly executed work.

As Millennials we want to work on tasks that are “sexy” and “impactful”. I mean, why would we put our efforts into a report which is unlikely to be read, or doesn’t have anything interesting to report? We failed to grasp that there were daily, insignificant tasks that needed to be completed, and that we were the ones assigned to get them done. More importantly, it should have been the best work we had ever done in our careers to date. Minimum Viable Effort wasn’t good enough anymore. We didn’t grasp the benefit of repeatedly doing the same task over and over again. We didn’t grasp the value of these smaller, repetitive tasks to the business. We didn’t grasp, in that moment, that practice made precision.

Our university education gave us a phenomenal tool: a sharpened axe. But, it failed at giving us guidance on when, and how, to wield it. We stormed into this professional scene, with the greatest of intentions, smashing away at everything we saw, trying to impose our ideas and make a difference in our sector. It became incredibly difficult for a manager to praise the effort while also trying to minimise the damage. This led to frustration for both the manager and millennial. It’s only now, where we find ourselves as the manager, that we’ve realised that the formative years of our careers were where we gained the experience needed to know when and how to use the axe; to become lumberjack surgeons.

I’m reminded of a great piece by American radio personality, Ira Glass. He says that everyone who gets into any field of work does so because they recognise what “good” looks like – they have excellent taste. But their skill doesn’t always match their own expectations of what they want to do or what they are capable of. This is where they get frustrated. The ones who go on to be great, are the ones who can recognise this and keep plugging away, despite the frustration, at the same task over and over and over again until their taste intersects with their skill.

As managers, and millennials, it is our job to recognise where our passion and skill intersect, and to guide the next generation of the workforce to get to that point.
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About Condriac:

We’re a full service digital agency who specialise in communications, programmatic lead generation, public relations, social media and web development. We’re in the business of seamlessly bridging the gap between you and the consumer.

For more information click here: http://agency.condriac.com

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