When people bring up Gen Y stereotypes, one of my favorite stories to tell is I had no idea how to send a text message until my intern taught me last summer. You read that correctly: a member of Gen Y who didn't know how to text instinctively. Oddly enough, she was teaching me how to text so I could reach my baby boomer boss when she was on Capitol Hill during the day and I needed an executive decision. Not all stereotypes are true. In fact, I would argue most aren't.
Unfortunately, there are always the few who ruin it for the many. Take, for example, the survey results I recently received via e-mail from textPlus:
When it comes to college kids and recent grads (18-24 years old):
- 11% think it's appropriate to ask for a raise via text
- 32% say it's okay to call in sick to work via text (22% have actually done it)
- 11% think it's alright to quit a job via text
Ugh. Seriously? What 18- to 24-year-old in their right mind thinks it's okay to quit a job via text?
I have come to love texting (thanks, Ashley!), but it's certainly not right for all situations. Just like e-mail isn't right for all situations. Or phone, for that matter. To quote one of my favorite movies, A League of Their Own, use that lump three feet above your ass every once in a while to figure out the best method of communicating the message at hand.
When it comes to communicating with your boss and co-workers, it's best to ask on an individual basis what method they prefer. I actually prefer e-mail above text messages, unless I am out of the office and the message needs a fast response. My boss (the baby boomer), on the other hand, prefers text messages even when she's in the office - but it had better be important! Otherwise, you should be scheduling a face-to-face with her through her secretary.
Have you ever texted your boss? What was the reason and how was the action received?
About the Author:
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert and founder & president of Come Recommended, an exclusive online community connecting the best internship and entry-level job candidates with the best employers. She is also the national entry-level careers columnist for Examiner.com and blogs about career advice at HeatherHuhman.com.