Un-stereotyping the Stereotyped

Today millennials face a new set of challenges in the workplaces than past generations. With the evolving technological age of today, and millennials being the first generation to grow up in these times, they have been lumped into a group that is viewed in a negative light. According to Wharton Magazine millennial are stereotyped as “lazy, entitled, delusional, narcissistic, and unreliable.” Because of the incorrect stereotypes millennials are fighting an unnecessary battle and finding it increasingly difficult to obtain jobs and promotions. Millennials need to prove to the older generations that they are worthy of the job, and can bring new skill sets into the workplace.

texting in work
Don’t be this guy

In an attempt to break these stereotypes millennials need to actively apply themselves, and follow the suggestions of Inc.. Some of the most pronounced worries and pet peeves of employers towards millennials include when they are “clock-punchers,” fail to take initiative, point out problems but lack solutions, take extended periods of time to complete tasks, and lack the drive to further the company’s mission. In an attempt to counter these issues, and impress superiors, a few simple steps can be taken. First, employers are impressed with employees who stay after hours to complete tasks. Staying just a little after hours a couple times a week to get an extra task or two done can speak immensely for the type of employee you are. In addition to this employers will be impressed if you take initiative on your own. Try to find a task that your boss needs completed and do it before being asked. This will help to strengthen your relationship with the boss and can be valuable in the future in terms of promotions or recommendations. Second, if you discover an issue within the company don’t just point out the flaw. Instead, notify your boss of the issue AND offer a solution. The presentation of a solution will be accepted much better than if you’re just pointing out issues. Employers will also be impressed if you are able to complete a task before the deadline. If a task can be completed early it allows time for corrections to be made, while still having the task completed before the deadline. Finally, be committed to the company and further their mission. Employers enjoy when their employees own their work and truly become a member of the business.

In addition to these suggestions it is beneficial to use your strengths to differentiate yourself from previous generations. The main area this can be applied is through the use of technology, and more specifically social media, which can be used in a variety of ways in the business field. Social media can help businesses promote their brand, improve with customer service, expand their networks, create open dialogue and comunication with customers and community,  as well as many other benefits. If you find your employer is lacking a social media presence, or see a way social media could be used more effectively, openly express this with your boss and offer assistance. This will speak volumes to your initiative and gives you a chance to show off a skill set older generations are lacking. The benefits of social media are further explained in an article by Business Victoria.

By using the above suggestions millennials can disprove stereotypes their employers may have towards them, and help to re-write the perceptions of the their generation. These few suggestions will help to make you a better employee, and make your value known to your superiors. Millennials have the power to redefine the workplace and show their value in the business field, but need to work to achieve this. Its your job to un-stereotype the stereotyped!


2 thoughts on “Un-stereotyping the Stereotyped

  1. Zach,

    I could not agree more with you the first step of stopping the stereotypes by taking the initiative and staying after hours to work on more tasks. Having your boss see you put in the extra work shows that you are a hard worker and are willing to sacrifice extra hours in the office for the firm. When there is finally a promotion, the boss will remember those type of things and will help with the possibility of a promotion. Offering solutions to a certain flaw or problem is also a great idea because executives are always looking for problem solvers and being able to do it in the type of fashion you stated would help greatly. I think being confident in your work and ability to complete tasks is crucial as well and shows your coworkers and boss that you are willing to accept any challenge or task and will complete it by the certain deadline.

  2. Zach,

    Thanks for the great post. I feel like most articles about millennials are all saying the same thing about how we are lazy, don’t take initiative, aren’t ambitious, and take to long to perform tasks. I find this so hard to believe because I have see the complete opposite in our generation. Due to the fact that people think these things of us, I feel that we have so much to prove and work that much harder to provide our employers with reasons to seep us around. I like your advice about trying to differentiate ourselves. Because of these stereotypes we are thrown out to be these kinds of bad guys but in reality if we have something to make us different, we won’t be thrown into that “lazy” pile before we even have a chance to prove ourselves.

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