Archinect

Just an Intern

our architectural life inbetween

  • anchor

    Are we not professional?

    Hi Archinect,

    A few days ago, I heard about this very interesting news on the radio. It says that Generation Y is often fired after a year because of their extensive use of social media at work. That makes me wonder: Are we really that unprofessional? or are the majority of employers, being Generation X, do not understand how we work?

    First of all, I do know there are always exceptions where some people really use social media too much that they don't finish their work properly.  So we can't just group a whole generation of people into a specific type. But for the sake of this discussion, I did a quick Google search of what's the main differences between Generation X (born between 1961-1981) and Y (born between 1981-2000).  And here are the results:

    Generation X:

    • love-hate relationship with technology
    • like individual work

    Generation Y:

    • expect technology
    • team-oriented

    Most of us Intern Architects nowadays are Generation Y, and needless to say we LOVE technology. We can all admit that we will at least have one kind of social media on at work. Be it texting on our iPhone, checking Facebook, or chatting with another intern on gchat, we all do it in between our CD world. Does that mean we are not professional? I am not trying to find an excuse for us to do non-work related things during work hours. But I often find a little bit of distraction a good way to help me focus on what I actually have to do. The way drafting software is designed is very boring, especially when you have been using it 24/7 for the past 6 years. If we can step outside of the office every hour to get some fresh air, we probably won't need social media anymore. It doesn't really matter what the distraction is, but a change of scenery is always refreshing and helps me focus and work faster when I go back to drafting.  But of course MODERATION is always key. When your drawing set is due, you really do have to dive into AutoCAD / Revit and  finish all those details.

    I was taught in architecture school that architecture is about collaboration, but as soon as I started working, I find little collaboration or even communication. We were brought up with so many ways of communications that we always feel the need to communicate. But the older generation seems to like doing their own work than working with us. So we go on Google to find our answers, which then become another internet surfing habit. We want to work with you! But do you want to spare a minute of your time to answer our questions?

    My professor once commented that our generation is very different. You probably think we are always on our phone or the internet, but we can still produce some of the most amazing works while texting "LOL" to our friends. He said may be they need to rethink how to teach and work with us instead of just judging us for being tech-savy.

    We are different, but we are not unprofessional. Yes, we text and we chat, but we also draft and work faster. All I am saying is you can't justify our urge for social media as unprofessional, if we still produce good work on time with high quality.

    If you are an employer, do you think we are unprofessional because of this? And if you are an intern architect like me, what do you think about our often "defined" professionalism? 

    Thanks for reading!

    Joann

     

     
    • 4 Comments

    • curtkram
      Jul 26, 12 9:37 am

      i'm a gen-xer somewhere between intern and employer.  if i'm talking to you i would appreciate undivided attention.  if you're texting while i'm trying to talk that makes me think you don't care.  pretend to pay attention in conferences, and keep the phone off during movies.  the light is annoying to the rest of us.

      other than that, i think you guys are doing fine.  it wasn't my fault, it was the baby boomers.  sorry you had to enter the workforce with such a screwed up economy and general management structure.

      i've heard you guys need too much hand-holding and can't self-direct  your actions.  this might come from the idea that you don't have to compete because you were taught that everyone is a winner.  that might be my generation's fault.  sorry about that.  you do have to compete, and some people lose.

      also, it's not always adhd or a chemical imbalance.  just focus.  you'll do better, learn more, and learn faster if you can focus on the task at hand.

      joannlui
      Jul 26, 12 6:49 pm

      Hey curtkram,

      I agree that when people are talking to you, you should definitely give undivided attention. Even if it's just a friend or stranger, it's a polite thing to do. And I will never text in a meeting. But I don't think it's our generation's problem or your generation's fault. I went to see batman, and some 50-year-old lady was talking loudly on the phone behind me. But when I see someone doing that, I say "she" is doing it, not the whole generation.

      I am from Hong Kong originally, so I wasn't brought up with the "everyone is a winner" idea (as you probably have heard about Chinese parents..). I totally agree that focus is a good thing. When you text, you focus on texting. When you draw, you focus on drawing. When you talk to your boss, focus on the conversation. I just don't think defining us all as unprofessional is a good thing. Like in all generations, there are fast learners, slow learners, hard-workers and slackers.

      (And you are my first comment!) Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      Joann

      katek
      Aug 3, 12 10:31 pm

      Hi Joann,

      It seems that you have said in one breath 'So we can't just group a whole generation of people into a specific type' and in the next you have group two whole generations into specific types  (love-hate relationship with technology/ like individual work)/  (expect technology/ team-oriented).

      I am more inclined to go with your first statement and not try to define personal characteristics by people's year of birth, otherwise social change basically becomes a kind of astrology!  I think that your comment that 'Like in all generations, there are fast learners, slow learners, hard-workers and slackers' is on point. : )

      I think that exploring other ideas about why Gen Y is getting fired after a year is more interesting - or maybe questioning whether young people getting fired after a year is a new or unusual thing?

      You picked up on a very interesting news piece and I think that some really interesting further discussion could be done on it.

      regards

      Kate

      Apurimac
      Aug 16, 12 7:35 pm

      Gen Y gets fired after a year because that's about as long as an architecture firm can hang on to junior staff for these days. 

    • Back to Entry List...
  • ×Search in:
 

About this Blog

Documenting the life between our graduation from architecture school and becoming a licensed architect. They say it's the journey that matters, so here we are experiencing the joy of being a great intern. All full posts are available at joannlui.com.

Authored by:

Recent Entries


Please wait... loading
Please wait... loading