If you are reading this, chances are you are a millennial who is sick of two things:
- Constantly having to defend your generation
- Trying to communicate with other generations and consistently failing
Never fear – help is here! We know you like things quick and succinct, so here you go: Ten Workplace Tips for the Millennial Generation
- Break the Stereotype: Don’t be bothered by people that say your generation is rude or lazy. They are generalizing and this is never a good idea. Every generation has rude and lazy people. At the same time, don’t be rude or lazy. Say please. Say thank you. Respect other people. Do what you say you’re going to do. You know, all the basic things you learned in kindergarten. Model how you expect to be treated.
- Be Careful with Technology: Technology is great, but does not replace the value of an actual conversation or relationship. Be efficient, but be present. Too many things can be misinterpreted over email, text or other digital communication tools. You can’t build trust over email. Don’t discuss your job, your boss, your co-workers or company issues on social media unless you are asked to do so or it is positive marketing. We live in a world where nothing is private. Be conscientious of that and don’t share something “privately” that you are not ready for the rest of the world to see.
- Be Patient: Not everyone grew up like you did. Your own parents did not grow up with Windows-based operating systems, smart phones or the like. They didn’t use a “cloud,” they saved things on Floppy Disks. It was a different time and some people take to technology just a bit slower than your generation grew up learning.
- Be a Teacher: You might not know your industry like the 25-year employee that sits next to you. But, you know a thing or two. Offer to help, but don’t be a know-it-all. Say things like “I noticed that it’s difficult to get everyone’s schedules coordinated for our department meeting. Would you like me to help by showing everyone how to share their calendar so we can find the best possible meeting time and help you make this task an easier process?” or “I am really strong in Photoshop. I’m not sure if you are, but if you every need help, I’ll be happy to help you!”
- Be a Learner: NEVER discount the life experience that sits next to you. Yes, things may have been “different” back in the day: things change, products change, practices change. But this work history, life lessons and unwritten knowledge are invaluable to your future success. Say things like “Tell me about a lesson you learned the hard way” or “What are you most proud of about your success in your job and this company?”
- Ask for Feedback: You can’t fix something you don’t know is broken. You can’t be proud of something if you don’t know it’s being noticed. Look for a mentor or mentors, and continually ask for feedback. Choose someone that you know will be honest and be ready to accept the feedback and apply it. You don’t always have to agree, but you need to be open to feedback.
- LISTEN: Have you ever spoken to someone that you know is just waiting for you to finish your sentence so they can speak? Have you every spoken to someone that you know is not listening? Don’t be that person. Make an effort, every day, to LISTEN. Sometimes we do our best learning just by paying attention.
- Be Dependable: Be on time. Do what you say you are going to do. Say you are sorry if you miss a deadline and be prepared to share a plan for how you are going to fix it. Deadlines ARE important. Start and end times to your day, meetings or appointments are important. Ignoring time parameters shows disrespect to others’ time. If you need more time, ask for it and say why. If you need more resources, ask for them, and say why. Don’t say you are/were busy. Everyone is busy.
- Ask About the Big Picture: Ask questions about your company’s past, present and future. Try and understand why things have happened in the past and how they exist today. Ask your peers and leadership about the company’s future goals and initiatives.
- Ask How You Can Help: Regardless of your generation, companies appreciate people that aspire to be helpful contributors. Ask how you can help the company achieve its goals. Volunteer to be part of leadership initiatives. Show interest in the future and success of your organization. Learn where you can make the greatest impact and go for it.
Following these ten tips will help you to become an engaged, successful employee that is not burdened with a generational stereotype.
An award-winning job placement expert in Southeastern Wisconsin, Nissen Staffing Continuum, can assist you in your job search in southeastern Wisconsin. As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your job search to the next level. For more information about how you can find a new career, contact us today and allow us to help you focus on success!