Hi. My name is Jim.
My parents did well for themselves and subsequently I reaped the benefits of that. They did well because they are Gen X and grew up in a time where you work for what you have. No questions asked. They made sure I always had good clothes and food on the table. I never went hungry. I got a car at 16 (sure it was 8 years old, but it got me from point A to point B and I appreciated it). I got everything I needed growing up plus a little extra, but not over-board. I wasn’t driving a Mercedes at 16. But I did have to get a job at 16. They didn’t pay for my extra curricular fun activities like having fun with friends. At the time, I didn’t understand why I didn’t get better stuff, because I knew they could probably afford it. I made good grades in high school and didn’t get into much trouble. My parents supported me and encouraged me to do better because it would be important. I made all A’s and B’s, but I wasn’t reprimanded for a C. I was just encouraged to do better because I could if I worked harder. I did well on my SATs/ACT test and got into a good college.
When I went to college, I had scholarships from the hard work I did in high school. Also, my parents had saved for my college tuition so I didn’t have to take out loans. I still had to work in college. I worked every year until I graduated. Why? Because my parents only paid for what I needed, not what I wanted. Again, I didn’t understand this because I knew they could probably afford it. I worked anyway and graduated on-time and with honors. I worked hard. I worked hard because I wanted to work hard. Working hard meant I got more and did better.
Now, I am in the real world. I look back and thank my parents for drilling the idea of having to work for my money and things I want and need. I am a great employee that works extra hard, learns fast, asks questions, and is reliable. I go above and beyond because I know that hard work equals a good life for my future family.
What do I find rewarding at work?
I feel valued when my bosses frequently tell me I am doing a great job when I deserve it because I worked hard. My parents always did. I feel like my opinion matters and I enjoy when my managers take me seriously despite my young age and preconceived notions about my generation. I am engaged at my job because I feel like I matter and feel respected. I trust my bosses. I don’t really need a physical reward to feel engaged and valued, but a gift card now and then would be nice. I wish it was a Amazon gift card though, because this gift card for coffee just isn’t that meaningful to me, because I don’t drink coffee. It’s still sitting in my wallet 3 months later. My biggest reward is my hard work being noticed and recognized. Preferably publicly. My reward is receiving recognition from my bosses and peers. Recognition I believe I deserve for working hard, because I do work hard.
My name is Jim. I am Gen Y. I am Gen RealYst.