7 ways to bust millennial stereotypes
We have all heard those stereotypes about millennial workers: They have a poor work ethic. They think they deserve a prize just for showing up. They are job-hoppers and lack loyalty. They are addicted to technology. They take constructive criticism personally.
As a recent graduate who dove right into a career in marketing/public relations, I quickly developed habits to build onto what I learned at North Carolina State University to succeed as a young professional and overcome the stereotypes associated with being a millennial.
Here are seven ways to bust those stereotypes…
1. Develop a strong work ethic
Always be professional in your communication with clients and colleagues, embrace challenging work, pay close attention to detail, and always come prepared. Once you prove yourself to be passionate about and responsible for your work, your colleagues will get it – you’re the real deal.
Take note: Be coachable – seek to find a mentor who can help you overcome obstacles in your career and inspire you to constantly improve as a professional.
2. Keep Learning
It’s important to absorb what you can from whomever you’re surrounded by. Also, learning about how other departments (digital, graphic design, etc.) work makes both your jobs easier when collaborating on a project. Any skills you acquire and add to your resume will enhance your experience and worth.
Extra tip: Ask to sit in on meetings or help with projects that you weren’t originally assigned to.
3. Stick around
Even if your day is technically over, put in the extra hours to get things done, and done right. Also, make sure to check and see if a colleague needs help completing his or her project. Dedicating your time to produce quality work and help your teammates will pay off in your professional development and impress the leadership team.
Side note: It will be rewarding to know that you “killed it” at work today.
4. Take on challenges
As a young professional, you can expect to be bombarded with tasks you have little-to-no experience with. Each task will be a learning experience. Always be open to taking on challenging projects. And, of course, don’t be afraid to ask questions when you need to.
Caution: Never spread yourself too thin. Let your supervisor know when your workload is stretching your capacity. You need to be able to put forth your best effort with everything you do and prioritize tasks appropriately.
5. Be a thought-leader
Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and tips you can implement into your work. I do this by following influencers on LinkedIn, subscribing to marketing/public relations blogs or just Googling about whatever I’m working on. A few of my favorite blogs are Copyblogger, Convince & Convert and Hubspot.
Take it a step further: Always share what you learn with your team!
6. Share your perspective
One advantage about being a millennial in the marketing/public relations world: We know technology and social media. We live daily in the world of all the new, high-tech forms of communication. We also know how to market to our demographic. Don’t be afraid to share your opinions and creative ideas; your fellow colleagues want to hear them.
Yes, a stereotype of ours is we are addicted to technology. So, show your coworkers how you can use your profound knowledge of technology as an effective business tool.
7. Ask for feedback
Millennials are known for this and it’s a great quality. Always strive for ways to improve. Constructive criticism is key for improvement, and praise feels awesome.
Your turn: Millennials, what are your professional tips for us? Boomers and GenXers, how do you help millennials succeed in the workplace?