55% of business decision makers and 60% of corporate recruiters in the US, say they wish grads had developed more soft skills in college (soft skills refer to work philosophy, work style, attitude, and other traits). Research by Bentley University quoted in Forbes.
What is it that makes fitting into the world of work so challenging? Is work ethic declining or actually is it all about just being yourself? Is it about having to work with the likes of you?!
We don’t know a single person with an iAM Values set who wouldn’t have a great work ethic if they were themselves, and then by being themselves: stopped trying to impress by dominating or holding themselves back and adjusting due to a lack of self-confidence.
Also from the Bentley University research, 62% of respondents say that millennials’ lack of preparedness for the workforce is “a real problem.” Among business decision makers and corporate recruiters, 64% say this is a problem for their own company, and 74% say this impairs the larger U.S. economy.’’
But is it all about “learning” a work ethic or do we actually hold the answers within?
There has been much made recently about the snowflake generation or Millennials not adapting to work as previous generations – having a more ‘what’s in it for me’ attitude. This research found a discrepancy between what graduates and business stakeholders feel is important;
”…23% of business decision makers and 18% of corporate recruiters identified work ethic as crucial. But only 7% of high school students and 9% of college students did so’’.
Last week the front page story of the UK Telegraph caught my eye. UK Work and Pensions Secretary, Esther McVey, shared the fact that teens being employed in part time work has declined, possibly by as much as 60%, resulting in a lack of understanding and preparedness for the world of work. ”Young people do not have the “soft skills” required for work, she stated, explaining young people were turning up for jobs late or constantly checking their phones, leading employers to look elsewhere.’’
Are we born with a work ethic, or is it something that we can develop? People often don’t think that they can do things – when they can. We often don’t control our negative thoughts that stop us achieving or going for things, and it is these negative thoughts that keep us thinking all about ourselves. We make up excuses for ourselves and act as if these excuses are normal. If we weren’t so self-absorbed, would we be nailing it more naturally?
In our experience work ethic is about attitude and being attuned to others rather than ourselves, serving others or creating a purpose to be useful and helpful. Moving away from ‘what’s in it for me?’ to asking ‘how can I be most useful?’Here are our tips to make it about others and be more purposeful at work and in life;
- Ask yourself: “am I winding people up and blaming them or am I taking accountability for the impact that I have?”
- Practice giving people your full attention and remain focused in their conversation and not yours.
- Remember that where you work is actually a group of human beings that service others in some way – all wanting to do their best – they are not there to service just you and your needs.
- Choose not to coast but be purposeful every day, and ideally in every moment – Courageous Success – the verb!
- As a leader or manager – connect regularly with your team and show your human side. Admit mistakes and show vulnerability.
- Choose to be positive, good, kind and caring every single day.
- Smile, enjoy what you are doing, and do it in a way that reflects the very best of what you are good at, and truly reflects you at heart. If you are not enjoying it – find a way to and take accountability for your mood.
- Consider: what is my personal impact on others? What am I radiating to others?
- Create a personal mantra for your way of being, and then express it to make others feel special, supported, connected, helped.