Bipolar people may face an even more difficult time entering and staying within the workplace than traditional workers, especially older workers. Younger workers, those in Generation Y face unique challenges not necessarily experienced by those who went before you. This is especially true of Bipolar people.
In Nick Morrison’s article for June 4, 2015, “The Four Key Skills Generation Y is Missing”, he speaks to essential skills needed for any job.
1. Working “Life” Skills – turning up for work on time, dressing professionally. . . Understanding what a working professional is
2. Self-awareness and confidence
3. Learning how to communicate professionally with collegues either by email or voice. Look people in the eye when talking to them.
4. Ability to see things through the client’s eyes or the company’s rules and ethics
Inclusive of the ethics of seeking a position and holding onto it are some fundementals:
– Learn to listen carefully and respectfully to collegues and managers
– Follow-through – do what you are told to do or you set out to do. If filling out an application finish it, then send it. If called for an interview, show up, dress appropriately, listen, ask careful questions
– Weigh your current skills with what is asked for. You probably won’t be called in for an interview if you don’t have what they need. However, don’t discount skills and experience that don’t fit easily into the niche. For instance, babysitting teaches you how to deal with children and their parents. Landscaping for your uncle during the summer, demonstrates you have the ability to show up and work hard. Promote yourself.
– No matter how nice the day or what activity you want to do – SHOW UP TO WORK
– Do what needs to be done. If the floors need sweeping, counters washed, do it even if not asked
– Ask what the customer needs, listen attentively, smile and take them where they need to go or get someone to come over to do that.
– Be honest. There are no freebies unless otherwise specified.
In “Perception vs. Reality: 10 Truths About the Gen Y Workforce” in Quintessential LiveCareer by Randall S. Hansen, PhD., this generation is seen as entitled, arrogant, self-centered, impulsive and possessing a short attention span. This is partly based on parents who tended to over-praise, give what they themselves had not, and rewarding you for any little thing. “These parents stunted their children’s growth by proactively removing all obstacles and potentially negative experiences. ” This may be especially true of young people with Bipolar.
This generation has the reputation for being Lazy, with a poor work ethic, Little respect for Authority, too Individualistic, with Overinflated/Unrealistic Expectations. They are seen as being not committed to work, having no loyalty to employers, lacking social skills, and Needy. That’s a heavy load to face and the only one who can change it is you. Work based on your merits. Know you are more accepting of diversity than older generations were – an important skill. Use that understanding with everyone. Accept work is not like school or home – no one is going to praise you or pat you on the back everytime you do something well. That is something that is an expectation in the workplace. Don’t let your parents take control of your job. This is your responsibility. Managers are trying to help you, trust them to show you skills needed and attitudes expected. Don’t expect a promotion until you have paid your dues – pace yourself. Also, realize work is a combination of teamwork and individual assignments – learn to work both ways. Don’t question every decision made.
There is a lot of thinking to do about finding a job and keeping it. Be consistent and patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You can become a responsible, valued, progressive employee. Just work on the areas you fall short in and shine up your assets.