The Thoughts of a Millennial
Last week we wrote a post about the corporate culture at OTELCO. While the blog was being composed Mainebiz released an article on “How to Attract, Hire and Retain Talented Young Millennials”. As a millennial, and a recent addition to OTELCO, it was easy for me to draw a connection between the two articles.
There are so many things I love about working at OTECLO. I could easily write a whole post about the quality of the birthday cakes the company buys each month, but I digress. There are four elements of the corporate culture at OTELCO that are attractive to me as a Millennial.
- Open Dialog
- Making a Difference
Millennials were raised in the digital age. As we grew and developed, so did technology. I remember when my iPod and cell phone seemed to weigh fifty pounds each. Now they are one device that easily fits in my pocket.
Given our close relationship with technology, it is no surprise that Millennials find it essential in the workplace. Luckily for me, I work for a communications company, a field that relies on technology. At OTELCO I never feel held back by slow systems or overwhelmed IT departments.
At our office, we are connected to the Lightwave Fiber Network. Fiber is the fastest Internet available, with symmetrical upload and download speeds. As someone who works almost solely with cloud software, slow Internet is very frustrating. With Fiber, all my apps run seamlessly, allowing this Millennial to work more and stress less.
OTELCO also has a great IT department, so if I do have an issue, I don’t feel intimidated by the idea of contacting them. At most establishments, the IT department is contracted or they are busy dealing with hundreds of employees. When you talk to them they are just a voice on the phone, and you are just one more device they need to fix. At OTELCO, you know your IT support staff by name and actually enjoy talking to them. I cannot stress enough how refreshing that is.
In MaineBiz’s article on attracting Millennials, they often mentioned our need for “one on one” meetings and our desire to collaborate. They were spot on. 88% of Millennials prefer a collaborative workplace, and I am no different.
Having an open dialog with my boss is easily one of the best parts of my job, and it is a direct result of working for OTELCO. Even our CEO takes the time to meet with people one on one. In fact, I had lunch with him my first week here. This open dialog benefits me as a Millennial in three big ways:
- Feedback: I love feedback, negative or positive. When someone just drops something on my desk and says “do this again” I don’t learn anything. When I hand my boss a project she takes the time to tell me what I did right, and what I did wrong. More than that, she lets me ask questions beforehand so that I know exactly what she is looking for. Because of both of these things, my quality of work is better, and I finish projects faster.
- Engagement: I feel more engaged at work when I know that my boss actually cares about what I am doing. As a Millennial, I grew up in a generation where everyone was handed a trophy and told that they were special. In no way do I expect that in the workplace, but at the same time, feeling like just another cog in the wheel doesn’t motivate me either. When we talk about projects I understand where they, and I, fit in the big picture, and that makes me want to work harder.
- Learning: 59% of Millennials said it was important to them to work in an environment where they can learn and grow. I am constantly learning new things at OTELCO, about marketing and telecommunications. Just last week my boss took me to the Gray Central Office, where I was able to see first-hand how we provide internet and phone services to our customers. It is exactly this kind of experience that makes working at OTELCO so great.
Making a Difference
Working at OTELCO makes me feel like I am affecting people’s lives for the better, which is very rewarding to me. Millennials are actually the most socially conscious, and charitable generation yet. 81% of millennials have donated to charity, and 84% feel that making a positive impact on the world is more important than professional recognition.
At OTELCO I know I am working for a company that has values in step with mine. We bring high-speed Internet to towns no one else will, helping their economy flourish. We provide digital literacy programs to local communities and service nonprofit organizations. Just last month we sponsored a Local Heroes breakfast for the American Red Cross. I very much enjoy working for a company that places a high value on community support and engagement.
Flexibility and freedom are so important to millennials. 75% of millennials want to work remotely, and 69% feel that daily office attendance is unnecessary. I am one of 43% of millennials that are lucky enough to have the option to work from home, when necessary.
For this Millennial, it is less about freedom though. I find working from home too much can be boring, and I definitely concentrate better at my desk. What I do really like, is knowing that my boss trusts me enough to give me the option. It just makes me want to prove myself that much more.
If you found yourself reading this post and thinking “those are all things I also like in the workplace,” then you may want to explore some of OTELCO’s recent job openings. We have seven exciting positions open right now, in Maine, Alabama, West Virginia, and Vermont.
OTELCO is an EEO/Female/Minority/Disabled and Veteran Employer
Kendra Carter, Marketing Coordinator