I know that giving advice should mostly only been given when asked for (I’m a new mom, never has this statement been more true in my life!), and I also know that us Generation X’ers aren’t necessarily the most accredited generation for giving advice, but today I can’t help myself – I have two pieces of advice…
Firstly to the Y Generation: Learn to spell and punctuate! This is especially true when applying for a job or for when you’ve secured employment and you are required to communicate via platforms other than your cell phones. I know that up until now, mostly every communication you send out is abbreviated; you generally only have 140 characters to get a point across at a time, but please….
Put spaces into a paragraph – between words that is, and sentences start with capital letters. When applying for a job, go to the effort of typing the word “you” and not using the abbreviation ‘u’. My favourite – do a spell check on your document, spelling errors are unacceptable. Do they not teach these sort of fundamentals in schools anymore?
This advice comes from someone who is happy with using abbreviations on appropriate platforms – I’m quite efficient at cramming what I have to say into 140 characters, but please, use the appropriate language structure for appropriate situations. If I battle with this, can you try and imagine a baby boomer boss being comfortable here. The job market is tough enough – first impressions do still count. Getting your opening letter right that accompanies your C.V. isn’t rocket science, and quite honestly, if you can’t get this right, it does make me wonder how effectively you’ll be able to communicate and handle other tasks if we ever got as far as hiring you.
My next piece of advice is for the Silent Generation, or perhaps it’s the fine line between boomers and silent generation – you know them – it’s the grannies and grandpa’s who love email spam. The PowerPoint presentations with very pretty pictures – the one where you can clearly see the baby’s foot sticking through the mother’s pregnant stomach. The one’s that are accompanied by soppy background music, and beautiful landscapes. Or even better yet – the emails that we still get to say you’ll get a free Nokia phone if you forward this to 20 people. The amount of times I’ve been told we shouldn’t be doing something in our home because of something that was read in an email…. PLEASE, take me off your mailing list, where is your unsubscribe button.
It’s an interesting thing actually, because I’m sure when you speak to many of this generation who love their email spam so much, they’re the first to mention how the younger generation just don’t know how to communicate and how amazing it is that we believe we can have genuine virtual relationships. Here’s the tip….. our virtual relationships, whether they be through Twitter, Facebook and occasionally via email exist only because they are genuine… The moment I spam someone on Twitter I lose them as a follower, not a chance in hell of building a relationship with them… The moment I’m not genuine with the content I put out via any one of these platforms, bam, more followers are lost…
We use these platforms to communicate, ask advice, connect with like-minded people around the world, while still being able to hold a conversation with our friends who live down the road from us over a cup of coffee of glass of wine…
So now I’ll ask you for your advice… How do I go about telling the very dear family members to take me off their mailing lists and how do I respond to job applicants telling them that their CV sounds great, but please remember to do a spell check before sending it off with the next job application?
TomorrowToday does offer training that addresses both these topics – both Generations @ Work which gives an understanding of the different generations within the workplace as well as providing handles for individuals to deal effectively with the various generations in the workplace. Our Mentor and Menteeship programme has also been extremely well received – perhaps I need to find myself a mentor to work me through the email spam problem I have !
The only other solution I found is a website called ‘Mom Spam’ – a website that lets you choose what kind of spam (cute pictures of animals, warnings, motivational messages blah blah blah) you want to send mom, and how often. My only concern is how much of this I’ll get back in a forward!