Share Tweet Ryan, what do you consider typical characteristics of your generation? When I talk about Gen Y I always focus on the web savvy, forward focused people I tend to socialize with. Not everyone within our age demographic is the same but I like to focus on the positives. For me, typical characteristics found in Gen Y are ambitious, web focused, caring, naive but always willing to learn. The main one for me is family orientated. Businesses don’t understand why Gen Y are happy to work their contracted hours and leave but this is because we value free time with family and friends over working. The key is not to misconceive this with being lazy. What do you expect from corporate leadership in today’s business world? Time. I know many people will cite trust as a huge expectation but for me, they just need to give me their time. If I join a company then I am investing my time with them and, in turn, I want them to dedicate time to me to help me develop professionally. Most business leaders are too busy for their employees which is where many businesses go wrong; especially with retaining key Gen Y talent. If you invest time in someone, care about their career, then they will care about your company. What engages you most in the workplace and makes you go the extra mile? Nice management and gratification. It’s as simple as that. If I’m working for people, who I believe in and who believe in me, then I am enthused in the workplace. Without that, I’m not inspired to work and it becomes just a ‘paycheck’ which is not what I want from work. Ryan Gibson, Head of Online Marketing at High Speed Training, based in the UK. What kind of development opportunities do you expect to be offered by your employer? Businesses are nothing without the people who work there. Sure that’s cliché but development should be imperative to all corporations. I typically look for those who actively want to develop you. When I say develop I don’t mean allowing you to enroll on a couple of courses or conferences. The company I work for specifically said to me ‘Where do you want to be in three years and how can WE help you get there?’ Now I don’t know about you but that’s probably the best thing I have ever heard from a company. It has to be about the individual and caring about the development of their career. What is your preferred way to communicate in the workplace? I currently work from home two days a week so Skype/Google Hangout is a standard way to communicate. I think it needs to be a hybrid of everything though. Email, face-to-face and sometimes even structured meetings are important for developing a business. The problem you ultimately have is when one way of communicating overpowers the others. This might not be the optimum way to communicate in that circumstance and can cause issues. Please complete this sentence: For me, my job is… … the building of me on a professional and social level. It’s what I am passionate about and where I want to achieve a level of success in my life. My job, however, needs to be cohesive and one with my personal life goals too. When you choose a job, what do you look for in a new challenge? Firstly the company culture. I’ve worked in some stiff corporate organizations which don’t match where I want to be in life. Company culture is huge for me as I want to be part of an environment I am comfortable in. If a company has an awesome culture or beliefs they should shout about it. Gen Y are instantly attracted to these type of organizations. Flexible hours and other non-monetary perks are far more valuable to me than salary and I am sure I speak on behalf of many Millennials. Secondly I like to get clarification on the job role, the day to day tasks. So many job descriptions promise everything and deliver nothing. I’m not naive and I appreciate this is to attract talent but talent will not be retained if the job isn’t what’s advertised. Thirdly I look at the hiring manager. Is he/she talented? Will I learn a lot from them? Are we a good fit for one another? I need to believe that the person will help me develop my career and reach my professional goals. What are the priorities during this phase of your life? My priorities are to achieve the most balanced lifestyle I can possibly lead without compromising on the things I love. Whatever events occur in my life, I would ideally not want to stray too far away from this. I want to have time for my loved ones, but still be committed professionally to my work. I want to raise a family but still have time to exercise daily. Life is about prioritizing what you love and what’s required. If you can find that sweet spot then you will be extremely happy. The difficulty is finding it. Who has had the biggest influence on your career and why? I have had the pleasure of working with a number of influential people. From previous managers to a network of great people on Twitter; I’ve essentially met so many helpful, wonderful people. But the biggest influence by far would be my wife Beth (A Gen Y who is married? ;)) I lean on her for advice and to discuss everything. She’s extremely supportive of my career, my blog and we share life goals. Having that one person who backs everything you do and reaffirms your beliefs is essential. I’m confident I wouldn’t be where I am now without her. What do you wish your colleagues from other generations would know about Gen Y? I don’t really buy into this ‘Baby Boomers hate Gen Y mindset’ as I think most of them are extremely accepting of our generation. What I do wish, however, is that people would realize that we aren’t really any different in what we want to achieve. It’s just that the world we live in is quite different now. We all yearn to be healthy, financially secure and live a great life. I personally don’t believe that’s any different to what other generations want. It’s just that our road to that is a little rockier; that’s all. Thank you, Ryan, for these valuable insights!