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  • Leslie Juvin-Acker

Gen Y Professionals Are Afraid To Call For Help

Talk to any hip Gen Y professional aged 20-35 and they’ve most likely got a mobile device enabled with internet browsing, text messages, and a variety of online applications. Despite having a mobile device, it seems that many Gen Y professionals are afraid to use the telephone application to make the calls necessary to jump start their careers and ask for help.

Counseling professionals at varying ages, at one end of the spectrum I have Gen Y. At the other end of the spectrum are Boomers. When I work with Boomers and assign them tasks to complete for their next career goal, they simply say, “No problem. I’ll call X tomorrow morning and make it happen.” However, when a Gen Y professional or graduate student is assigned a task, they say, “Should I e-mail or call them? When? I’m not sure.”

Over the past six months, I have observed the Gen Y fear of the phone. I asked my Gen Y clients about their phone reservations. They pointed out a few key factors:

1) Dealing with rejection is easier because there isn’t a voice on the other line delivering a bad message in real time. 2) They don’t have to immediately think of what they’re going to say. They can write and re-write e-mails until they feel they have conveyed the right message. 3.) It’s safer to send an e-mail than to call and have to leave a silly voice message. 4.) They don’t know the basic phone etiquette. 5.) They don’t know how to ask a contact for help.

Surveying professionals over the age of 40, working in an international setting, education levels are masters degrees to PhD, and upper level management (division managers and up) , 100% agreed that making phone calls to ask for help was “warmer”, “friendly”, and “personal”.  This age group is most likely to help you get a job, offer recommendations, and can effectively leverage contacts to assist in networking objectives.

The Generation Y adeptness to using technology hasn’t made asking for help any easier. Gen Y, if you want help from those who can get you a better job or a new career opportunity, you’ll have to learn how to pick up the phone and make a call for help.


Leslie, Inc. offers solutions for finding happiness through one-on-one coaching, mindful leadership retreats, and digital products. If you’re ready to GET HAPPY, check out Leslie’s guide packs. For more tips on achieving your state of happiness, sign up for Leslie, Inc’s weekly newsletter.

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