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Lindsey Hooker, A Senior Systems Administrator With ManTech International Corporation In The United States

Lindsey Hooker, a Senior Systems Administrator with ManTech International Corporation in the United States.

Lindsey Hooker, a Senior Systems Administrator with ManTech International Corporation in the United States.

Lindsey, what do you consider typical characteristics of your generation?
First and foremost, we’re phenomenally enlightened. We literally have the world at our fingertips and immediate access to infinite information at all times. As such, we’re very privy to the ugly aspects of humanity and so we seek to change the world. We’re driven trailblazers and visionaries. I believe that’s why we’re seeing a strong uptick in entrepreneurship. Millennials are a very creative bunch.

Lindsey Hooker, a Senior Systems Administrator with ManTech International Corporation in the United States.

Lindsey Hooker, a Senior Systems Administrator with ManTech International Corporation in the United States.

What do you expect from corporate leadership in today’s business world?
Currently, our leaders are primarily Baby Boomers and they’re still working with what I feel are outdated worldviews. I would like to see them more understanding of the Gen Yers entering the workforce and how we operate. I’d like to see them more willing to adapt to the shift. At the same time, they bring to the table a certain urbane finesse in how they approach clients and the business model. They’re organized and well-spoken. These are characteristics that the Gen Y generation could model themselves after.

What engages you most in the workplace and makes you go the extra mile?
Like most Millennials, I crave a challenge. My mind needs to be stimulated frequently or I become quickly disillusioned. Long gone are the days of quietly wasting away in a cubicle. We like to engage others and work collaboratively. I thrive best in an environment where there is no micro-management; one where I can work alongside my peers and creatively come up with the best course of action for a given project.

What kind of development opportunities do you expect to be offered by your employer?
I feel that corporations are finally allowing more, affordable access to continuing education opportunities. I love classes that will assist me in enhancing my current skills. Millennials love opportunities for growth. In jobs, we often specifically seek ways to grow and move up the ladder. I enjoy job-specific training, cross-training and if possible, college-related incentives. We absolutely give back to the employers who give to us.

What is your preferred way to communicate in the workplace?
Many companies have instituted some form of instant messaging software, which typically allows for a quick answer. I’m not fond of phone calls or meetings. Most Gen Yers have embraced the digital tools. So it’s not uncommon for me to text co-workers or email. But I also enjoy approaching them in person. It’s not only more practical, but it’s a nice break from the desk.

What are the priorities during this phase of your life?
My family. So I always seek a company that has a fantastic “work-life balance.” In addition, I am still young and I still have plenty of time to grow in my career, so learning is exponentially important. I actively seek opportunities to learn from others, even the former generations.

How do you balance your personal and professional life?
I work my 40 hours per week and the rest is absolutely dedicated to friends, family, hobbies and school. My career is important, but I can’t let it consume my life. My family is my backbone and what keeps me going. You have to nurture the aspects of your life that really feed your soul. I believe that is how you stay successful in your career.

When do you experience “flow” – the mental state in which a person is fully immersed in an activitiy and is so focused that she loses track of time?
These flows are my absolute favorite parts of any job! I thrive on them! Unfortunately, it’s been a rare occurrence in my experience. But it occurs when I fully understand a project: the tasks, the goal, etc. and when I’m not given an unattainable deadline to complete it. When I have that mix, I find that I not only complete the task more quickly, but more efficiently.  The largest roadblocks that prevent the “flow” are micro-management, a lack of creative freedom and too many interruptions (such as frequent meetings).

Please complete this sentence: For me, my job is…
… a fascinating challenge that is frequently evolving. The Information Technology world is growing at a record speed, so there is never a dull moment.

What do you wish your colleagues from other generations would know about Gen Y?
Most of us do not like meetings! We detest anything that takes away from being creatively engaged in our tasks. We’re not our parents, so we don’t care for the 9 to 5 pace. We also absolutely love feedback. To us, no news is bad news, so we’re quick to leave a job in which we might otherwise be very welcomed. We need to be challenged and more opportunities for telecommuting. Most of us aren’t particularly fond of the cube farms. Lastly, we are not willing to work for free. Prior generations will generally work long hours willingly, but we like to balance our personal lives.

Thank you, Lindsey, 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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