I had the pleasure of interviewing an emerging young leader by the name of Michael Alston, Jr. for my forthcoming book (whose title is still in the works) for new managers. Michael is a 24-year old Manufacturing Supervisor for Merck Pharmaceuticals, although between you and me, I think he’s lying about his age! His perspective and level of maturity reminds me of a 40-year old. He told me that he gets that a lot!
Michael offered some wonderful insight as to why we have generational conflict in the workplace. Here are a few of his gems. If you want to read the rest, you’ll have to buy the book!
“Due to the change in times, our generation works differently,” states Michael. “Many of us are working for large corporations, where the systems are already established. Our role is to improve the systems.” Michael notes that this type of work doesn’t require the type of hours that those who have built the systems needed to spend in order to design and implement these processes. Michael also gives us insight into employee loyalty (or lack of it) as he reminds us that his generation is no longer is working for a pension. In fact, if they are lucky, they’ll receive the opportunity to participate in a 401(k) plan and if they are really lucky, this plan will have a match.
Michael says that his parent’s and grandparent’s generation have taught him that nothing is forever, especially your job. Like many his age, he’s all too familiar with the world of corporate lay-offs that his parent’s generation has experienced.
I thought I would share one more secret that Michael told me. Many Millennials are building side-businesses because they know that in the long run, companies will not take care of them.
I don’t know about you, but I wish I had as much insight at age 24, as Michael has. He’s one rising star and if I were you, I’d try to catch him before he is out of reach!
I welcome your comments.