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Gen Y Matthew Gordon, Law Student At The University Of Alberta In Canada.

Matthew, what do you consider typical characteristics of your generation?
My generation tends to be focused on technology, civic engagement and finding meaning in our work.

What do you expect from corporate leadership in today’s business world?
I expect corporate leadership to produce results. My generation came of age during bailouts and we don’t think highly of companies that request/require them. If you’re a profit-seeker, profit.

What engages you most in the workplace and what makes you go the extra mile?
What engages me most is knowing my efforts are valued. What makes me go the extra mile is knowing I’m part of a business team that produces something real for the company. If I’m asked to give advice, I expect it to be considered.

What is your preferred way to communicate in the workplace?
Although I love email and Skype, nothing tops face to face. If you want to talk to me and I’m in my office, come and talk to me.

How does your ideal workplace physically look like?
My ideal workplace is clean and well maintained. It doesn’t contain many distractions and it is easy to navigate. A kitchen is also welcome.

When you choose a job, what do you look for in a new challenge?
When I choose a job, I look for new challenges that stretch the limits of what I think I know about the job. If there’s a situation I hadn’t thought of before taking the job or a problem I hadn’t anticipated, that gives me a chance to learn on the job while combining my pre-existing skills with new ones I can gain from the experience.

What kind of development opportunities do you expect to be offered by your employer?
I expect my employer to have a clearly stated policy on career advancement. I want to know that when I enter a workplace, I have a real chance of advancing within that workplace and I know what I need to do to get there. Aside from that, I want to know my skills are valued and that my employer can find ways to use them.

Matthew Gordon, Law Student at the University of Alberta in Canada.

Generation Y Matthew Gordon, Law Student at the University of Alberta in Canada.

Please complete this sentence: For me, my job is…
… the thing I’m willing to do all the time, because the way things are now, I won’t be surprised if I’m getting work-related emails at 2AM.

When do you experience “flow” – the mental state in which a person is fully immersed in an energizing activity and is so focused that she loses track of time?
I experience flow when I’m doing something creative that is challenging and forces me to think. When I feel like I can create something innovative that will push me as a person, I lose track of time completely.

What do you wish your colleagues from other generations would know about Gen Y?
I wish they would know we’re task-oriented, not hours-oriented. If I can work really hard and finish eight hours of work in six hours, why should I spend those other two hours collecting dust so I can punch the clock at the end of the day? A job is about getting the work done, not showing up for a set number of hours regardless of productivity.

Thank you, Matthew, for these valuable insights!

About the author

Lisa Mangelsdorf

I confess that I work to live rather than live to work. But when I can combine my passions into my work, I work best. This blog brings together discussions about one of my passions which is connecting people. I endeavour to fight the norm by chasing flexible working options and change seekers, hence my involvement with this blog. I'm fortunate to be connected with a global team at GAIA Insights. Retaining Gen Y within the workforce is an issue for most businesses across the globe. For help contact us because we know EXACTLY what they want from the workplace and we can help your business retain that key talent.

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