I am 36 years old and I remember the days before the internet, cell phones, and social media. I remember having to use a card catalog in high school to do a research paper. When I got to college, my friend had a word processor and we thought that was the coolest thing. We didn’t have to use a typewriter. Our group of friends used to all borrow the word processor. The internet was a new thing and we used to go to the computer center and get in a “chat room” and talk to each other, even though we were in all in the same “real room.” We thought it was the neatest thing that you could talk to someone over the computer.
Things are definitely a lot easier with technology. However, I think that technology is also a reason that the generation after me is much lazier. They are the “instant gratification generation.” If they can’t get an answer to a problem instantly, they give up. They are also very entitled. When I was growing up, we hardly ever went out to eat. We got presents only for our birthday or for Christmas. We didn’t get new things throughout the year. If we couldn’t afford something, we rarely bought it. Today, people would rather have things now and be in debt. People say all of the time “I can’t afford this”….(things that are important) but you see them always with an iPhone, freshly manicured nails, a nice vehicle, and freshly highlighted hair. Just say it how it is “I don’t want to spend my money on ____________. I would rather spend my money on things that make ME feel better. Don’t say I can’t. Just tell the truth. I don’t want to.
I worry about the younger generation and obviously I am not the only one.
Just because you are born extra smart doesn’t mean you are going to be successful. Brains plus laziness usually equals the word LOSER. I know people who think that they are so much smarter than others. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. Smarter doesn’t equate to success. The best people are the smart hardworking people who are humble about their brains.
One thing I learned while teaching for twelve years was the importance of relationships. Relationships, relationships, relationships…Picking up the phone is much more personable. Lots of things can be lost in translation through email or texts.
Take initiative in whatever you do. Don’t wait for others to tell you to do something, take the initiative. Be a go getter. You will set yourself apart from all of the slackers. When I was teaching, I had a few co-teachers that would just sit there and wait for me to tell them what to do. This would drive me crazy because I was already too busy….I wanted to say to them “Get up and figure out what needs to be done.”
Don’t trash talk your co-workers, your boss, or your job on facebook or in the lunch room. Nothing good can come of this for you. Be positive on social media about your job, your boss, and your co-workers.
Both the Size and Quality of Your Network Matter – It’s who you know more than what you know, that gets you ahead in business. Knowing a small group of folks very well, or a huge smattering of contacts superficially, just won’t cut it. Meet and stay connected to lots of folks, and invest your time developing as many of those relationships as possible. (TIP: Here is my Networking Advice)
Network, network, network….You never know when you may be laid off of work and will need someone to help you get another job.
Be open to advice. Always ask people you work with that you respect “What can I do to make this better?”
I admire my husband for doing this. He is always reading a business book that can help him grow professionally. He only goes on social media when he is at home and never at work.
Spend 25% Less Than You Make – When your material needs meet or exceed your income, you’re sabotaging your ability to really make it big. Don’t shackle yourself with golden handcuffs (a fancy car or an expensive apartment). Be willing and able to take 20% less in the short term, if it could mean 200% more earning potential. You’re nothing more than penny wise and pound-foolish if you pass up an amazing new career opportunity to keep an extra little bit of income. No matter how much money you make, spend 25% less to support your life. It’s a guaranteed formula to be less stressed and to always have the flexibility to pursue your dreams.
Live below your means. This is the only way that you will ever have anything in life.
Your Reputation is Priceless, Don’t Damage It – Over time, your reputation is the most valuable currency you have in business. It’s the invisible key that either opens or closes doors of professional opportunity. Especially in an age where everything is forever recorded and accessible, your reputation has to be guarded like the most sacred treasure. It’s the one item that, once lost, you can never get back.
Always be honest and act respectable. There is nothing worse than a person who is slimy. Act respectable at work. If you are married, don’t flirt with your co-workers, even if you have no intention of cheating on your spouse. It is disrespectful to your spouse and your marriage. It shows low self esteem because you need the attention of someone other than you spouse. Remember it is all about perception, even if you aren’t cheating. Protect your reputation and don’t let people even think that about you. Don’t be mean at work. Just because you don’t like someone (their personality, etc) doesn’t mean you have to be mean to them. I once had a department chair who didn’t like me. She sent out an email to a co-worker telling her to leave me off of the department lunch email. It was mean spirited and it hurt my feelings. I still think of that today and how mean it was.
In conclusion, be a hard worker and nice person.
My question for you is this: Do you have faith in the future generation? I actually do.