Winner of the People and Culture 2019 Award
Born in 1981, I sit on the fringe as a Millennial. I am a self-proclaimed grafter and have been from an early age, starting my first job at the age of 7 delivering newspapers with my mother. By the time I was 22 starting out full time work post University, I had tried 15 plus different jobs, ranging from factory work, to teaching children, to working in a restaurant, working in a video shop and even landscaping work. There was always a goal in mind for the different work I undertook and hence my grafting nature to get to my goal quicker often meant I was juggling 3 jobs at once.
In hindsight, I am grateful to my parents for teaching me the importance not only of work but also of the need to always work hard at something with a clear goal in mind. These early experiences have helped shape my work ethic and my understanding of how important it is in life to graft. Be that at school, in sports or in the working world - hard work and determination coupled with care, attention and pride will always bring fruitful results.
But are today’s Millennials aka Gen X and Z raised with the same grafting ability? With all the advancements in technology we can easily obtain the answers to most questions in the blink of an eye and we can find a solution to most problems without the need to calculate, but has this left us with a new problem? Have we allowed our future generations to be spoilt and left with a lack of fight or graft? Having interviewed many graduates in recent years and from constantly speaking to numerous business owners, the consensus is that, if answers are not provided instantly, if they can’t succeed at something easily, if they don’t get a pay rise or promotion each year, they feel undervalued and underappreciated.
This then leads us on to the next question, do the new generation have the same longer-term vision as their predecessors? Or has the global world of employment opened up their eyes to a vast amount of opportunities? To me, grafting is hard work, it’s being patient and it takes time, dedication and effort. It also means trying things and not being afraid to fail and when failures occur it’s how we learn from these mistakes, to make us better in the future. It is not giving up if you are not good enough or not getting the results and rewards first time. I therefore believe that we should do our upmost to ensure new generations are taught all these ethics and softer skills in addition to the new technologies and advancements we are making elsewhere. By doing this we will have a generation we can all be proud of and a generation that can continue to move the human race forwards.
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