Corporate COVID Babies

This week, I’ve been reflecting on professional work habits. During a recent conversation with a friend, we discussed “Corporate COVID Babies” – his term for people who entered the workforce during the pandemic. They exhibit several common traits:

  • Started work virtually
  • Experienced varied onboarding quality
  • Received limited on-the-job coaching

For this group, starting out virtually meant missing out on typical workplace cues. It’s at the first physical meeting you realize they actually genuinely don’t know what is ‘appropriate’ corporate attire. They now have at least 3 years of work experience but significant gaps remain. Most insist on remote work, which in itself is fine, but challenging when your professional foundation is shaky.  

As we exchanged experiences, I recognized the importance and urgency of supporting these individuals in building a strong professional base. Here are a few suggestions for three groups of people:

  1. Corporate COVID Babies – Be intentional in cultivating competency, organization and reliability in your work. Don’t go missing during work hours or become unreachable because ‘it’s closing time’. Initial ignorance is forgivable, but a reluctance to learn isn’t. You see, when you are a professional, your opportunities become limitless, allowing you to dictate how, where, and when you work. Don’t put the cart before the horse – focus on becoming a professional first, and the rest, including unlimited flexibility, will follow. 
  2. Freelancers – Prioritize professionalism and put structures in place. Resources like @fullgapco can help. You can be more than a vendor; aim at becoming a professional service provider.  
  3. Organizations – You also have a role to play.  Educate your younger colleagues on professionalism – institutionally and individually. Don’t assume they know – they might not.  

Yours in possibilities,

TKO


Ps – If you’re struggling with your multigenerational workforce or striving to cultivate high-value employees, I can help you bridge the gap.  I offer a complimentary workshop on UNLEASH principles to elevate organizational performance and facilitate intrapreneurship.  Reach out to the unleash team – [email protected] to learn more.  

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