A New Generation of Leaders

By Kevin Lake

As the baby boomers begin to retire and leave the workforce, the millennial generation is steadily beginning to be promoted in to supervisory and management positions. Although many workers with more seniority seem to think otherwise, this is a good thing!

In 2015 Millennials surpassed Generation X as the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. According to Pew Research Center, more than one-in-three American workers today are Millennials (adults ages 18 to 34). This milestone occurred in the first quarter of 2015, as the 53.5 million-strong millennial workforce has risen rapidly.

Millennials bring forth a new set of skills, values and expectations to the ever-growing workforce.  They are generally thought to be well educated and technologically savvy. Never before has there been a generation of workers that has grown in to their positions with as much access to knowledge and information as the millennial generation.

Even with the knowledge and skills, many members of the millennial generation still have major obstacles to overcome. The biggest issues facing Millennials being considered for a workplace promotion revolve around their possible lack of readiness for the position. Although many Millennials are believed to have the knowledge and expertise needed to do a good job, many senior workers still believe this new and upcoming generation lacks the skill sets needed to supervise and manage.

To better prepare Millennials for this upcoming challenge, we here at Bama At Work have decided to provide a few tips for our rising generation.

1.     Attend Conferences

 Conferences allow you to network with influential people in your industry. They also provide an opportunity to learn more about the field you work in. Attend presentations that allow you to engage in topics that you may not be personally familiar with and allow you to learn from some of the brightest minds in your industry. Try to think of attending a conference as a small part of advancing the ultimate goal of your organization.

2.     Continue Your Education

 Continuing your education not only benefits you, but also benefits your employer. People who upgrade their work skills and knowledge not only keep up with the latest technologies and business techniques, additional training helps you climb the corporate ladder and to realize additional career goals.

3.     Get Certified

Once you learn your industry and become familiar with the “ins and outs” of your field, it is time for you to prove it. Certifications demonstrate expertise in specialized areas and provide assurance to employers that an employee has the skill set needed to perform the required duties. Certificate programs such as the Management Certificate Program for Supervisors at The University of Alabama help prepare individuals to take on a management role while developing an efficient leadership style. These types of certificate programs not only give you the leg up on your competition, but they also show employers that you are ready to advance in your career.

As Millennials take over the workforce, it is important that they be properly equipped to lead and grow. Through continuous learning and training, the millennial generation is bound to be one of the most successful generations the workforce has seen.


About the Author

Kevin Lake is the Communications Specialist for The University of Alabama, College of Continuing Studies. 

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