As we spring into this new phase of 2021, let’s look at some interesting facts and why they matter to you. Like or not, we live in this age, we work with these people, and we are affected by the air we breathe.
Let’s look at the emerging workforce of 2021. Did you realize that these are young men and women who have never known a world without Harry Potter? How does that affect new hires? They grew up thinking that the wave of a wand produced results, and by now they know it’s not true, but deep down do they secretly wish it was true? Are they coming to the workforce with depression and a certain degree of apathy, finding themselves in a deflated market with less opportunity? And how does that affect you?
Begin with being cheerful and welcoming. A new worker will respond to friendly overtures. Say, “Hello!” Don’t be overbearing, but do be friendly. Share basic information: How to find the bathrooms, who to go to for help, who you trust, and where to find a great bite of lunch nearby. Realize that as a merchant rep, you may be brushing up against a person who feels insecure and threatened, who can be your greatest ally or your worst enemy. Take the initiative in being a friend. Graduating during a pandemic is a new thing for all of us, and these new workers you encounter deserve an extra dose of TLC.
Demonstrate a good work ethic. CNBC suggests that Generation Z grad must prove themselves within the marketplace. Graduating during a recession wasn’t their fault, but they nevertheless need to be superlative to get and keep a job. When you walk into their world to serve as a merchant rep, you can role model the building blocks of a good reputation. Pay attention to the job at hand—suggest visiting during a coffee break. Be conscientious—create the best display possible and pick up any mess you see. You may not see or feel the eyes watching you, but know this: they are! Your demonstration of a superlative work ethic helps these young workers, who know that no wand will give them instant success, but may not know how to ensure that success comes their way!
Harry Potter may have been the first character to blur the line between adult and child literature, and the effects have been lasting. More adults still read teen literature, and more teens are growing up in a world where magic should exist. Let’s just make sure they learn that magic = work ethic and vice versa. What is true in one direction is true in the other: work ethic is the magic of success.