Millennials, like members of any other generation, are faced with the challenge of overcoming age-based stereotypes that precede them. In the eyes of some employers, being a millennial means being lazy, technology-dependent and entitled. The workforce is a competitive world, and you may have already been judged based on your age.
However, the new generation of workers presents a skill set that cannot be replicated. Millennials are very adaptable because of their native exposure to the fast-paced world of technology. And because they don’t blindly accept status quo, they’re also quick to find new solutions to problems. Millennials have the power to redefine society’s rules. Despite the negative traits often associated with this generation, they are actually an employer’s dream.
Here are 6 ways to show off your millennial skills and invalidate stereotypes:
- Ask questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your ability to find answers on your own (e.g. Google) is definitely an asset, but voicing your thoughts and concerns shows that you care. Asking questions also validates that you are willing to learn. Do not be afraid to show off what you know either, because you can bring fresh, new ideas to the table. Ask for help when you need it, and don’t be afraid to give and get feedback when appropriate.
- Arrive early & stay late
It only takes a few minutes here or there to show that you’re dedicated to a company’s success. Being prepared and eager shows that you are self-motivated and aware of the implicit standards to which you are held. There’s always something you could work on, and showing your willingness to get the job done will go a long way.
Despite the negative traits often associated with this generation, millennials are actually an employer’s dream.
- Don’t just type – write things down
Prove that you can function with pen and paper just as well as with a computer. Take notes in meetings, jot down ideas as they come to you and pull out a notepad to scribble down your thoughts before opening Word. Taking notes proves that you’re paying close attention and that your mind is not wandering elsewhere. Being a millennial does not have to mean being codependent on your computer.
- Be prepared for critique
No one is perfect, and you will make mistakes. Fortunately, you can differentiate yourself in the way you handle slip ups – if you make a mistake, own up to it and learn from the experience. Your responsibility will be appreciated, and others will see your humility and desire to grow. Learning to handle pressure today – and admitting your faults – will only make you stronger in the long run.
- Take on other roles
Show your motivation by stepping up to take on new roles within the company. This will dispel the myth that millennials are lazy and give others a sense of your drive. Your ability to manage several different tasks and priorities will also brand yourself as a great team player. It takes effort to prove your dedication, but your actions have the power to change the way someone perceives an entire generation.
- Maintain face-to-face communication
If you have the chance to communicate with someone in person, capitalize on the opportunity. Use this time to get to know co-workers’ personalities and read their body language. Email is great, but facetime is a great chance to brainstorm ideas and better convey your thoughts.
Actions speak louder than words. As a millennial, don’t be afraid to go beyond what society may say of your generation. Build a brand that represents the hard-working and creative person that you are, and prove to others the value you bring – regardless of your age.