Why Professional Communication Should be a Priority for Young Professionals
Today’s workplace is most definitely not the same one that was the norm three years ago. Having faced a pandemic, generational shift of workers and technological advances, the world of “adulting” looks much different. For young professionals, this also means that what once would have been adequate to compete and succeed in the current market will no longer work.
Young professionals, whether starting out in the real world or still finishing up their degree at a university, need to know one crucial thing: the skills needed and wanted by employers are not the same as they used to be. Today, one of the most crucial skills in the workplace is professional communication.
Throughout this blog, we’ll take a look at how communication and remaining professional in your correspondence is one of the most crucial skills to develop and enhance in order to succeed in today’s current market.
Adapting to a Changed Workplace
The truth is that the American workplace has changed. For some, it’s their living room couch, their home office or even their bed (and if that’s you, no judgment here). Obviously, because the workplace is evolving, so are some of the skills needed in order to succeed in your line of work, even if you’re clocking in from your childhood bedroom.
If the last three years have demonstrated anything, it’s that good and proactive communication is one indispensable skill that is now required by most employers. Since many companies are still operating under work-from-home, people are no longer able to take a walk down the hall to run over some ideas with a coworker. Even more than just having great communication skills, the idea of developing a tone of professionalism is something that young professionals in the workplace today need to establish.
Although communication has always been key, we’re now forced to communicate through email, text and all of the other screen-to-screen options that there are in the world. Because many people today are working from home, companies have learned that communication is one thing that current workers as well as incoming professionals have to perfect.
Digital Natives in the Workplace
As a whole, the incoming generation of young professionals has grown up with more technology than any generation before it; Gen Z and Millennials have constantly been connected to an endless stream of Tweets, Snapchats and texts.
While some have had more than enough practice of good communication through constantly keeping their lives updated online and being in constant communication with those close to them, the one downfall of this is that many are falling into the trap of unprofessionalism when it comes to communication.
While it may be acceptable to text your roommate entirely in emojis, most workplaces do not want this kind of laid-back language to invade their professional realm. This is why it’s crucial for young professionals to not only develop great communication skills, but to also learn how to communicate in a professional tone.
In a world where ‘LMGTFY’ and ‘ICYMI’ are texts that people actually understand, it’s important to remember, and remind yourself frequently, that your boss and your best friend should not be receiving the same abbreviated and emoji-filled texts. As a young professional trying to break through in a new industry, you don’t want to set the precedent that you cannot be taken seriously and seen as the professional that you are.
Although a lot of the workforce today is composed of Millenial and Gen Z employees, there are still companies and professionals out there who are used to wearing a suit and tie to work, and speaking so eloquently to their coworkers that some people today would consider it a different language. It’s crucial for those breaking into the world of ‘adulting’ to remember that, in order to succeed and be taken seriously, you have to act professional and come across in a way that reminds those working with you that, although you might be younger and less experienced, you deserve to be there working alongside them.
Patience is Key
One way that young professionals can begin to work on their professional communication skills is to slow down and think through their messages. So many people today are stuck on the idea that they must respond to messages entirely in abbreviations so that they can send it out faster and get the words out of their brain in a matter of seconds.
Although it is important to respond to things in a timely manner, taking an extra minute to read over your drafted email can go a long way. Spending a little extra time crafting responses can allow young professionals to not only come across as more experienced and skilled, but can provide you with more time to think through your response and ensure that what you’re about to send to your coworkers is entirely thought out.
Although professional communication is just one skill that young professionals can have in their back-pocket for when they break into the adult workforce, it’s one that is crucial to succeeding in our current market. Working to develop and improve this skill, as well as exploring others, will allow you to stand out as a professional to those you work for and work alongside.
Whether you’ve been at a company for decades or if you’re just starting out, maining a consistent stream of communication and approaching it in a professional way will allow you to succeed and thrive in any work environment.
For more tips and other skills on how you can succeed in today’s market as a young professional, check out our other blogs at http://1893.dailytarheel.com/blog/.