So, you’re what they call a millennial. Which basically means you are likely in the early stages of your career, absorbing reality like a sponge, and eager to take on the challenges of the workplace.
You’re most likely just as hardworking and determined as anyone, but it’s true that early career professionals of this generation can have a slightly different outlook on life than that of earlier generations. This may present a different style of communication and set of priorities that can cause friction between past generations of workers. Millennials might just need a little help to be valued and understood in a work environment.
We at Masiello Employment know a good employee when we see one and work across all generations with the best people, regardless of age. Yet, we recognize differences do exist and the millennial generation is not fully understood. As a result, we’d like to offer up the following tips specifically for the millennial generation to help avoid negative misconceptions and ensure workplace success:
- Be Present. Don’t be afraid to get involved and share your ideas and opinions. Nothing says you care more than when you’re part of the conversation. Younger, early career workers tend to hold back when it comes to letting their voices be heard. That shouldn’t be the reason you’re undervalued as an employee. Share your thoughts, ask questions, be present. But by any means, don’t use work as a sounding platform for your opinions. Being present and projecting your own beliefs are not the same thing. Find the balance of being yourself but assimilating into the company culture.
- Be Honest. Nothing screams “millennial” more than poor Try your best to make your deadlines, but don’t make sad excuses if you can’t. Honesty and communication will get you a lot farther and earn you more respect. Face the music if you fall behind and learn from the setback. And don’t repeat the behavior again.
- Find Balance. Not only are you trying to be the best employee you can be, but you’re also taking on the new challenges of adulthood. This might not ever be an easy task, but finding balance in your work life and your personal life is important. Ensure that you’re maintaining a balance of work, friends, fun, and outside interests.
- Apply the Things You Know. Every generation grows up with different skill sets. Use this to your advantage. For example, in a world driven by technology, you might have some social media skills up your sleeve. Use them. Find an opportunity to show what you know. Show that those millennial “habits” are more than just, well, habits – they can be huge benefits to an employer. And it’s not all technology, either. Many schools now teach much more collaboratively so you may be able to bring these approaches to management in your position.
- Be Perceptive. This might be the most important piece of advice we can give. Be self-aware. Know how you are perceived by others and think about the decisions you make before you make them. Ask yourself, is this decision/behavior going to make me stand out? Be aware of the dynamics in your workplace. Know when certain actions are appropriate, if specific ideas should be expressed, and when to speak up. Perception is a valuable skill to have, without it, you will not be able to maintain a professional appearance or fit into the company
- Know Your Worth. Don’t let stereotypes get the best of you. Be the hard-working, skilled employee you were hired to be and own it. If you are not what they perceive you to be, then you might just be doing it right. Prepare to Wow and do everything you can to avoid Millennial stereotypes.
We hope you enjoyed our guide to breaking millennial stereotypes, so you can best thrive in the workplace. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on how to best approach workplace challenges, no matter what your generation.