With schools, colleges and universities starting back for the final term of this first decade, what makes for a dream job is a hot topic for many young people who will soon be emerging into the job market. Understanding what this generation is looking for is key for any organisation looking to attract the hottest talent. We asked sixth former Claire McCoy what would make an enviable workplace for her, as someone born in 1993 and currently studying for A’Levels.
It’s about the cogs, and not just the machine
Now a sixth form student, the world of work is drawing ever more near and with it, a myriad of preconceptions about the workplace. When discussing the issue with friends, three types of workplace constantly centre the conversation:
The first being a work environment in which you are, encouraged to work hard and productively but are also relentlessly pressured. Professional competition is evident and provides something to work for but it seems more a place where your employer took the time to read up on your qualifications and recommendations; but did not take the time to understand your personal needs to ensure your success. This workplace cares more about the end products than the production team and does not seem take the time to recognise any areas in which you may need guidance, training and support.
Alternatively, there is the second workplace, in which fellow colleagues are friendly, welcoming and employers are considerate to the feelings of employees. Yet, there is no real motivation, no struggle and strife for success, no professional battle to fight to reap the rewards at the end. This workplace follows a monotonous routine in which employees have no real ways of proving themselves or bettering themselves once in their position. As much as this type of workplace may be able to cater for social needs and grant a sense of security, it lacks the drive and stimulus that is needed to fulfil ones needs as a business person.
Then there is that one workplace that we all dream of, the workplace that not only understand your personal skills but also encourages you to be all you can be by providing opportunities for self-improvement and development. Continual encouragement and assurance that you are fulfilling everything that you need to, and in cases where you may fall short, offering the support that you require. An environment where you feel comfortable to perform to the best of your abilities and are provided all you need to thrive professionally.
Personally, I would hate to be in a workplace where I am not supported by those around me; where I am unable to accomplish my goals and reach targets because I do not feel happy and relaxed in my surroundings, more alienated and disregarded. Everyone understands that business is business and there are times when people will not get along or be able to co-operate, but having the knowledge to recognise this and work around it is what helps build a stronger and more self-reliant workforce. I would like a workplace where I feel comfortable; comfortable in the knowledge that not only am I qualified for the position I have, but I have the support of the people around me to aide me if I need assistance.
An understanding workplace, that motivates, and encourages employees to not only contribute to the success of the business, but to work on their own personal social needs as well. This would be the ideal; the enviable workplace.
Claire McCoy, Sept 2010