As a millennial myself, I to get tired of hearing about the stereotypes that we have been plagued with. Other generations pin us as being unmotivated, in need of constant pats on our back and praise, and a generation that has a sense of entitlement no matter what level or position we find ourselves in.
I’ll be the first to admit, we are a generation that demands more from our workplaces. Maybe we are the first generation to speak up, or the first generation to not settle for dated human resource systems, but at the same time, there are certain workplace considerations that every generation (yes, even us) need to remember.
And here they are…
1. Work is work
We get caught up on working in places like Google with nap pods, catered meals, and employee benefits and perks that one could only dream about, but in reality not all (most) workplaces are going to be like that. Offices like Google are the unicorn in the sea of cubicles, and although employers ideally want their employees to love their jobs and workplaces, having expectations that just aren’t realistic for 99% of the organizations out there may be asking for too much.
2. You won’t land your dream job on day one
Advancement takes time, and it’s likely that you aren’t going to graduate and land your dream job in your dream company on day one. You can’t become an executive making all the decisions when you’re an entry-level employee, and likely the people in those roles started where you are now too.
Sometimes our education system gives us a false representation of what the real world will be like. It babies us in a way that makes us feel as if we are the experts in our field upon graduation. And often times it forgets to emphasize the learning curves and experience you’ll gain from actually working in your field. Realize that your career path is a journey, and you’re not supposed to reach the destination on day one.
3. You don’t know everything
We are the first generation to really watch and grow up with technology, we are extremely tech-savvy and bring a whole new set of skills that older generations would have never pictured would be needed in the modern workplace. But that doesn’t mean we are somehow above those that came before us.
No one on this planet, no matter what their age, knows everything, and there is always room to grow and learn. So if we expected the Boomers, the Xers and the other generations to respect us and the skills we bring to the table, we need to do the same with them. Maybe they don’t understand what Snapchat is, but hey that’s something they can learn from you, and maybe they can teach you about strategizing or business development from their years of experience.
4. Not everything deserves applause
Millennials, just like everyone else, like to be rewarded and recognized for a job well done. It makes us feel valued and lets us know that we are on the right track. But you can’t expect that your workplace is going to take the time to coddle you. If you feel that you have done a good job, you need to learn to recognize that personally and within yourself instead of seeking regular reassurance from others.
Employers want employees that do a good job without having to be asked, they want employees that can fly on their own without waiting for someone to guide them along the way. They want employees that can take criticism when it’s due, and run with it to improve. Be that employee.
5. There’s no “I” in team
We were taught this as children, but somehow we lost sight of it along the way. A team doesn’t function with just one person, in order for a business to be successful, you need to work well with the people around you.
Although being someone “junior” or newer in the workplace can make you feel like you need to prove yourself, when you open yourself up to the expertise that others bring to the table, you’ll not only learn and grow professionally but also show your employer that you can work with other people, overcome challenges as a group, and can be seen as a leader when the time comes.
Let’s face it, we hate the stereotypes people have about us “young people” but life is all about compromise, and sometimes you need to bend in order to reach success. Yes, we have a lot to bring to the table, but so does everyone else, so step off that pedestal you may have placed yourself on, and start seeing everyone as equal if you want to succeed.
About the Author
Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.