Well, here we are: the youngest Millennials are entering the workforce. We’re 19 to 24 years old, just graduated college, or are about to graduate, and are about to be thrown into adult life that encompasses an adult job. Easy right? Not so much. Unfortunately, along this great age come not so great stereotypes about our habits in the workplace.
The first sentence of this scholarly article says it all. That we’re narcissistic, need to have our hand-held through it all, and worst of all, that we can’t communicate well and therefore cannot build professional relationships. Now, speaking as a fellow member of this generation, I get a little upset thinking that this is how potential employers judge my capabilities. I’m here to share some words of wisdom with you colleagues. We can defy these stereotypes and prove to be the best working generation out there!
Please keep in mind, I’m not a professional advice-giver. I’m just a 21 year-old, soon-to-be college grad with a Marketing degree and a couple certificates on the side. This almost-grad does luckily have a head start in the professional world with a marketing internship. So, I wish to share with you the thing that worked for me, and maybe it can work for you.
- Be confident in your work
One of the many false stereotypes of our generation is that we need to have our hand-held throughout whatever we do, and that we always need to be reassured of our good work. #2 of this article claims that finding the work world to be harder than the school world is nothing new; which I totally agree with. So my advice to you is this, be confident in everything you do. Accept that mistakes will happen and that those are in fact the best learning experiences. Ask questions when needed, but be independent in that you know your fully capable in accomplishing the task at hand. You did make it this far after all.
Specifically, in your written work, it shouldn’t be hard to write confidently. The Internet is always there to help you! Use a thesaurus, Google some writing techniques. Take me for example, the last writing class I took was Freshman year, and frankly, I’ve always disliked writing. I was never get good at it. So, when it came time for me to create a Marketing Campaign and write it up in a formal report, I started to panic. Then, I simply asked a few clarifying questions, asked for a timeline and put on my thinking cap.
The thing I found the most nerve-wracking was, “at what point is it where my questions become annoying to my boss? I don’t want her to think I need to be guided through this.” I eventually came up with a good rule of thumb that’s basically 3 steps: 1, ask the question to myself once, then again after a few minutes. (if you still don’t know an answer) 2, Google something to try to find an answer. (still nothing?) 3, if you are able, take a look at previous examples of what you’re trying to create 4, after all of those things and you still don’t know, I think it is appropriate to ask a superior for help. It goes to show that you went to many lengths to try to solve the problem, but found you need some expertise from a vet.
You are a strong, independent young person that has the knowledge, willpower and strive to make a change in the world. The reason why my only advice is to be confident is because it can really make or break a worker. You know what they say, fake it ‘till you make it. Even if you aren’t 100% confident, pretend to be. Stay humble but have pride. Be respectful and open to constructive criticism. This article wraps up nicely that everyone has something to offer, especially us Millennials to those generations above us. Be confident and bust those stereotypes.