How to be a Millennial at Work
October 3, 2016
How to be a Millennial at Work:
10 things Doris thinks you should know about what it’s like to be a ‘Millennial’ in the world of work today.
Written by Amy Gornall, Millennial and proud.
First of all:
Who are Millennials?
Wikipedia – a source of information which we millennials relied upon throughout our high school homework career – says that ‘Millennials’ are …
Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y, abbreviated to Gen Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when the generation starts and ends; most researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to around 2000.
Other sources give you specific dates e.g. born in the late 80’s/ early 90’s and did the majority of their proper growing up in the ‘Noughties.’ But you get the picture.
I gained these insights and was inspired to write this article after attending an amazing event held at the Vice Chancellor of The University of Liverpool’s Lodge in Sefton Park. It was a very nice lodge and for us millennials, a glimpse into the distant dream of a possible future (if everything goes to plan). The event was a Graduate Recruitment Briefing for employers of Millennials. I, a 22 year old Drama graduate from Manchester, attended with a 21 year old colleague and History graduate from Dorset, representing Doris IT, an organisation that, employs young people and develops them into the next generation of IT and Business Professionals.
As Millennials, we were obviously distracted by a cute ginger cat roaming the grounds, instantly taking a photo, editing and uploading it to social media because we would hate to disrupt the stereotypes we have so elegantly created for ourselves, but on a serious note, the event filled me with hope. It opened our eyes to an industry full of people who are focusing on creating worthwhile sustainable jobs for today’s graduates just as Doris IT is.
If you want to see just how Millennial you are (or aren’t), then try this quiz: http://www.pewresearch.org/quiz/how-millennial-are-you/
10 things to remember if this term applies to you: advice from Doris…
- We’ve been constantly graded our whole lives. We’re the first generation to have been constantly compared against each other and told that only the best will succeed. From Pass/ Fail, to ABC+’s to 2:1’s and 1st’s. Therefore, when you’re looking for a job, you must choose an organisation that gives you a challenge but doesn’t drop you in at the deep end but instead gives you incentives because we don’t work well without them.
- Radio silence is our worst nightmare. ASK FOR FEEDBACK. Your line manager might hate it at first and think you’re bugging them, but by the time it comes to your end of year review you’ll be glad you’ve done it and so will they.
- What comes naturally to us, whether that’s technology or anything that’s been introduced in the last 10 years, doesn’t come naturally to Generation X (I’m going with the stereotypes for this article) so don’t be afraid to challenge their way of doing things especially if you know or could create a more efficient method.
- We get bored so easily. Our lives and everything we’ve ever done really, has been on speed. Influencers like TV and films now move at a million miles an hour, which is why most of us watch old movies and think, 20 minutes in, ‘nothing’s happened.’ And especially social media, it’s not just ‘yesterday’s news’ anymore, but things from a few hours ago get lost in our never ending newsfeeds.How does this relate to work? Well, 30-40 years ago, people got one job and stayed there for their entire lives apparently building up nice juicy pensions. Well, nowadays that’s not really an option for us nor is it a lifestyle that most Millennials would choose for themselves.
Doris Advice; Deal with the boring and thrive off the interesting. Go above and beyond. Ask for an extra challenge – at Doris we offer you extra training every month and put you through a professional qualification which is recognised in the industry in which you are placed.
- TV and Film have flooded our screens and brains more so than any other generation. Common themes include:
- portraying the world as more glamorous or violent than it really is – everything in hyperbole.
- that confrontations are entertaining and sometimes the only option.
Watch confrontations in the office – do not get involved in them – but see which party you would most like to be like in a tricky situation – and why.
- Be a sponge. Be a great big yellow sponge. Or a small square one in pants. The people around you have a lot to share about working life. Find people who are willing to share their knowledge, they’re usually the ones with the best stories anyway. See Doris’s Mentor information pages here and do get in touch if you are in need of any advice as a Millennial new to the working world, they’re always willing to help.
- You have time. Despite what everyone has been telling us for the past 20 years, you do actually have some time to get your life together! Yes, life is quick and you’ll be dead before you know it, but in terms of your career - just think – if you have just begun or are beginning work now in your early-mid 20’s – we have at least another 45-50 years of working with the working age continuously on the rise (currently 68 for Millennials). That means for me, at 22 now, I will start receiving my state pension in 2062… I don’t know about you but that seems like a long, long time away. Be young and enjoy it.
- Overcome the stereotypes – people in the office might have subconscious expectations of how you will act – ‘Mainstream media has drawn a picture of Millennials as lazy, narcissistic and entitled selfie-lovers.’ (http://luckyattitude.co.uk/millennial-characteristics/)
Revolt against this! Be the exception to the rule as in reality we are reported to be becoming the most educated generation in history with access and the knowledge of how to access endless amounts of information – use it.
- Other nicknames we’ve been given include; (remember focus on the positive and disprove the negatives!) (https://www.getstoried.com/the-many-names-for-generation-y/)
- Generation Waking Up – more socially, globally and environmentally conscious and aware.
- Boomerang Generation – because most of us return home after graduating, taking our time to find the right job for us.
- Gen Why – Because we question everything. Frustrating for some but in business potentially noteworthy.
- Start Up Kids – Born Entrepreneurs!
- Be aware of what is to come: Generation Z (born 2000-2020 – they’re still being born now!) – Your younger brothers and sisters maybe? Known as the iGeneration because of their exposure to the internet and all things technological from a very young age. So keep up, keep in the loop and remember that’s how Generation Y feel about us!
I hope you enjoyed the read and do tweet us if you have anything to add! @_DorisIT!
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