Excelling in the Workplace

Hi there! In my last post, I discussed some stereotypes that we as millennials face on a pretty regular basis. Today, I would like to discuss how we can utilize these supposed “flaws” so that they can actually help us in the work place!

One constant criticism that I always hear is that the millennial generation is selfish. What people fail to realize, however, is that our technological individuality can be used in a way that extends far beyond posting selfies to Instagram. How is this possible you ask? The answer lies in the idea of user-centered design.

What exactly is user-centered design? Most concisely, this topic refers to the notion of keeping your audience in mind when performing some sort of task. The diagram below courtesy of Michigan State University illustrates the end user driven focus of user-centered design:

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In this design process, the needs of the audience are always kept in mind. The ability, therefore, to be able to connect and form a relationship with an audience is crucial. This is where we excel. We are connected to our followers on social media, we keep tabs on friends and their interests, and we are connected to our society in a way that has never been done before…what some people call being a slave to technology is actually an unprecedented asset in the business world. And the benefits of such skills are starting to show.

In his article entitled “4 Nanodegree Programs That Will Help You Land a Job Without Going to College”, author Lax Brown proposed that the average salary for a person skilled in user-experience design is $90,000 per year. That should prove just how valuable that kind of mindset is.

Likewise, in a publishing by spendmatters.com, it is estimated that the “cost to replace a millennial employee” can be anywhere between “$15,000 and $25,000”. The idea that millennials have to intrinsic value to the workplace is starting to sound more and more ridiculous.

Alright, so we have the skill, so what? Below, I have highlighted what I think to be the top three things that Millennials should use to excel in the workplace.

One: Rhetorical Awareness. As stated above, the ability to connect with an audience is the best way to earn a profit and benefit a company. Maintaining a following on social media platforms is a great way to keep tabs on potential customers. As millennials, most of us have already completed this step.

Two: Create a relationship with followers. Your social media profile is a brand. People like brands. Take Nike for example. Whenever you see the swoosh logo, certain images and ideas come to mind: athletics, strength, victory…the same can be said with your online image. When people pull up your Twitter or read your Facebook posts, what do you want them to see? What images and ideas do you want to be associated with in relation to your own personal brand? By being mindful about what you share online, you can create a relationship with your followers. This relationship is key if you want to understand your potential client base.

Three: Take time to understand the needs of the end-user. By looking at their other interests and listening to their feedback, you can truly understand their values. If you know what they value, then you know how to cater to their needs. If you can cater to their needs…well, then you are an extremely valuable player in the working environment.

In an article entitled “How Millennials are Making the Extended Workforce a Better Place” by spendmatters.com, it is explained that there is a huge benefit to businesses that take advantage of the millennial skillset. To quote the article:

“Pay attention. This is what the future looks like. Smart organizations are looking for ways to access and engage talented millennial workers right now”.

We have the ability, it is really only a matter of harnessing our skill set so that we can excel in the workplace.

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6 thoughts on “Excelling in the Workplace

  1. The structure in which you put your blog is great, a quick recap is always nice. I also liked how you pointed out the negative preconceived traits associated with millennials. I do think that many millennials are a selfish, but that in no way defines our generation. I do think we have. like you pointed out a technological intelligence that earlier generations do not, that gives us a key advantage over others. I think this skill that we have can either make us one of the most productive generations yet, or may distract us from getting things done. It is difficult to say if we are a productive generation or not, I think it varies day to day.

  2. I liked how you posed questions and then answered them. It made the post very clear and easy to follow. The image that you put in your post really added more depth to your post and it was easy to understand, unlike some other diagrams. The statistic you used that said, “the average salary for a person skilled in user-experience design is $90,000” was a great way to cement your point about how valuable that position is. I especially liked how you illustrated the top three things millennials should use to excel in the workplace. The points were clear and concise. Overall, it was a great post with a strong, relatable tone.

  3. I think it was a great way to start of your piece by talking about and linking your previous piece on millennials to this current piece. Your organizing of this piece by placing the orders in steps makes it very easy to follow and gives a great resource to refer to when using the user centered design process. The Image you integrated into the article really gives a greater understanding to the process to incorporate all those details in order to fully accomplish your goals as applying User Center Design. The way you ask questions again really adds to the flow of this article and then it sort of becomes a Q&A and really helps the reader follow! I really took away some great things from this article

  4. I really liked the personal and connecting touch you made by including a recap of your last post before transitioning into this one. I thought the graphic you used was not only visually appealing but really helped clear up and solidify some of the teachings behind the user-centered design process. The best part about this whole post was the “so what” section. So many times people will write something and really never address the most important part of so what. So to clearly come out and address this was really good. Also the way you laid it out by including the bold heading of “one” “two” “three” made it very easy to digest and comprehend. This was an overall, very solid post.

  5. User centered design is something that I had never heard about and I thought that you did a good job of explaining it. Creating a connection with your audience is highlighted in so many blog posts so far and I see that it is highlighted in yours as well. I think that the value of staying connected is something that millenials have more than other generations and like you said can be an asset in the business world. I specifically liked that you suggested that we see our followers as a relationship that should be developed and maintained and as an asset to develop our own brands.

  6. Great Job with this post, I can see that user centered design is something that you grasped and understood very well. I think that all of the points you made were valid, especially creating a relationship with followers. I think creating any sort of relationship whether it be online, personal, non-personal etc. will always help bring followers deeper into the information you are attempting to present. I agree when you say that we must take time to understand the needs of the end user. I believe this to be the ultimate goal of user centered design; if we as information users see that our needs are being met with something we are using then we will be much more obliged to use such a site with ease. Great Job with this post, I look forward to more!

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