I was having an interesting conversation with The Boyfriend on the way back from a friend’s wedding. We were talking about future plans and jobs, and I made the comment that I’m always surprised by employers who are so impressed by me just doing my job. He said he’d had the same experience.
I have had bosses come up to me and tell me how well I’m doing and how much they appreciate me for what I’m doing for the company. Which is odd, because, although I always do my best, I don’t often do much more than I’m told. At least, I don’t think I do.
No, most of the time, it’s not me going the extra mile. Instead, it seems that my bosses are impressed by the sheer fact that I do the job that I am assigned to, get everything done on time, and do it without complaining. It makes me wonder what kind of workers my employers are used to.
It also makes me worry for my generation. I can’t say that my employers have been surprised by my work ethic just because they don’t expect much from me as a Millennial, but I can’t say they weren’t. It does seem, anyway, that my generation does not seem to have the work ethic of the generations that came before.
Honestly, I would understand if employers didn’t expect much from Millennials. After all, I don’t. I’ve been burned too many times in group projects with my peers to trust that they won’t slack off. For instance, my freshman year I had one guy send me his part of a PowerPoint only an hour(!) before the project’s due date
I’ve learned to pick out the people at the beginning of each semester that I know I can rely on to get things done. I’m even a little hesitant to work with new people in my classes just because I don’t know if they can be trusted yet.
It’s a little odd that going to college has made me less trusting of potential co-workers than I was when before I left home. It’s a little sad, sure, but that’s the reality of my situation.
I can only hope that in the future, I can work with people who will be reliable. Maybe I’ll get praised less for just doing my job, but at least I’ll know that I can trust my co-workers. And I’ll take that any day.