Good articles from BNET

Every few days, I receive some sort of newsletter from BNET, the business-focused arm of CNET. The newsletter I received today actually had a few good articles that I wanted to share.

First off, we have a decent article on contacting references during the search for new employees. This one is a very quick read with not much information, but it does link to a slightly longer article with a little more information. I like the suggestions contained within, but I like the suggestions in the original article even better. Some of the questions mentioned in the article are already on our standard list of reference questions, here at work, so I’m somewhat proud of that.

Next, we have a fantastic article related to promoting employees based solely on their performance, and why that’s sometimes a bad thing. Of course, promoting employees based on their performance is much more desirable than the disturbing trend throughout history of promoting employees based entirely on seniority. Just because an employee has somehow stuck around a company for 10 years without getting himself fired, does not mean that he’s the best man for the new position. The bottom line, however, is that when considering someone for a promotion, you need to consider many different aspects, and ensure that you’re not preparing to shoot yourself in the foot.

A few months ago, I actually read a very similar article that was posted in November of last year. This particular article, from a site called “An Entirely Other Day“, and takes the same stance from a developer’s point of view.

The third article I found so appealing in this newsletter is related to millenials (or Gen-Y employees), and their timidity toward asking for raises. Although I’m not sure which generation I fit into (I was born in ’79, so I am just on the cusp of X and Y together), this is certainly a trait I have in spades. The first comment on the article, posted by a user named arno.esterhaus, hit the nail right on the head for me.

I’m not sure where that timidity comes from, but my feelings toward the issue actually mirror arno’s comments almost exactly. I think it actually is an adverse side effect of good home training. When we were younger, we were always taught that the world did not owe us anything, and not to ask for unnecessary things. Further, we were taught to respect others, and not to expect anything we didn’t deserve (cycling back to the “world doesn’t owe us” mentality).

Many of us were given what we deserved, and were taught not to ask for more than that, because we weren’t going to get it (instead, we were going to get a tongue-lashing for thinking we deserved more than we really did). That’s a great way to raise your kids, but I honestly believe it results in the kind of thinking we’re experiencing in the workplace, today.

I’m almost afraid to think of how today’s youth will react when they enter the workplace. If their behavior as children is any indication, I can only imagine them walking right into the workplace on a regular basis trying to demand more money just because they want it; not because they’ve done anything at all to deserve it. What a scary thought!