The millennial (Gen Y) generation has earned an off-putting reputation at work. We’re often stereotyped as being lazy or too demanding. But as a millennial myself, I believe we have the opportunity to harness many of the natural qualities we already possess and prove ourselves as an important asset to any organization.
The millennial mindset is largely results-driven and purpose-oriented. As a senior partner, I have worked with many talented Gen Y candidates and have found there are 10 habits that highly effective millennials in the workforce regularly channel to drive success:
Thinking outside of the box – Most millennials have adapted to technology at breakneck speed. We can infuse innovative ways to solve problems at work, without much guidance. This can be a meaningful opportunity for any business.
Willingness to be plugged in and accessible at “off” hours – One client emailed me late at night for a placement, and I made it a point to contact my client back right away. By acting quickly, I was able to have someone in place and start with the client the following Monday. My responsiveness not only showed that I cared enough to take action out of prime business hours but also that I considered their needs to be of top priority.
Being up to speed – With so much information available at the click of a button, millennials have no excuse to not keep up with trends. I make it a point to regularly research and know my market, and I’m always well-prepared for opportunities – and challenges – that come my way.
Not being afraid to ask – Being able to ask questions and express our opinions respectfully is a key advantage to getting ahead. Millennials at work must channel their energy to asking the right questions, engaging the right people, and showing the courage to get involved.
Effective use of social media platforms – In many organizations, young people lead social media efforts. Often, millennials become the “teachers” in this field, to colleagues and managers who may be much older and less familiar with new social technologies. Never be afraid to recommend new ideas, you could be demonstrating leadership over of a whole segment for your company!
Multitasking – With hundreds of Apps and multiple gadgets, many Gen Yers have a natural tendency and ability to multitask. Prioritize, but also challenge yourself to take on “reach” projects.
Working diligently – Millennials are notorious for short attention spans! Train yourself to work while you’re “in the zone”. Discipline and focus is essential to your professional success.
Stay results-driven – Whether fostered through intensive sports or game play, many in our generation are strongly goal and results-driven. Use your innate competitiveness to push yourself to deliver the very best results.
Let go of any sense of entitlement – Accolades, promotions and raises must be earned. By being goal-oriented, you let your work speak for itself.
Be open to learning – This habit should be underscored. Millennials are often working alongside two, if not three, other generations. It’s essential to listen and learn from experts and other experienced professionals, even when you’re leading initiatives such as technology or social media.
Many of the stereotypes of millennial workers can actually be positives when harnessed and applied in a positive and goal-oriented way.
Do you agree? Which habits have helped you become an outstanding millennial employee?