Are you a millennial, or do you work alongside millennials? Many millennials are extremely hardworking, intelligent individuals who will improve and advance the companies they work for. Yet, there can be differences between the older professionals and the millennials.
Check out 10 speaking habits that millennials should kick so that they can sound more professional while they are at work.
1. Using slang instead of writing ‘yes’
It is important to remain professional at work, whether the communication is in person or via email. Many millennials would never consider spelling a word incorrectly normally, but use other versions of the word ‘yes’ regularly, such as ‘yep’, ‘yup’ and ‘ya’. All of these abbreviations come across as lazy, unprofessional and over familiar – and it doesn’t take long to type the correct word.
2. Overusing the word ‘like’
‘Like’ has become an extremely popular slang word with millennials, used in virtually every sentence to replace ‘err’ or ‘umm’. In a work environment it is important to sound professional and interested, and using ‘like’ unnecessarily and repeatedly will make millennials seem unfocused and unprofessional. If you cannot get rid of like that easily, try cutting it out of your vocabulary completely first.
3. Putting their own preferences in front of the company’s goals
Outside of work it is normal to have personal goals and dreams, but when someone is at work it is important for them to focus on goals of the company. Saying things like “I think my time would be spent better if I did this” will make it seem like they have prioritized their own preferences over the goals of the company.
4. Overusing the word ‘literally’
Literally has become an increasingly popular word with millennials in recent years. Often the word adds nothing to the sentence, so many people try to avoid over-using it at work as it may make it seem like they have a poor vocabulary. Saying literally means “this actually happened” so adding this word to your speech should only occur when you are relaying the events of something that actually occurred.
5. Non-committedly agreeing with peers
No one wants to sound disinterested at work, but many millennials do so without even realizing. If you and are peer are talking, the best way to seem interested is to ask follow-up questions about what they were saying. Agreeing is also totally fine, but saying ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’ often seems like you are trying to hurry the other person up so you can start speaking, which makes it seem like they are not interested in what the other person is saying.
6. Using unprofessional slang
Many millennials refer to their boss as ‘dude’ or ‘man’, which is extremely unprofessional and over-familiar. While it is totally fine to use it in informal settings it should never be used at work. There are many other ways you can create a bond with your boss – this is more likely to push them away.
7. Oversharing with your work colleagues
Millennials are often hardworking and accomplished individuals but they often share stories at work that put them in a bad light, thinking it will help them to bond with their co-workers. Swapping oversharing for telling work-friendly stories that highlight their best traits is often a great career move.
8. Using poor excuses
There are bad excuses and good excuses in the world of work. If someone tried to do everything they could to make it on time to work and they were still late, it isn’t their fault – but if they prioritized other things over work, it is their fault. For instance, if someone is late to work because their apartment flooded, then it is very unlikely that they will be reprimanded. However, if they are late to work because their spin class ran over, then they could end up getting in serious trouble at work.
9. Raising their voice at the end of a statement
Raising your voice at the end of end of a sentence makes it sound like you are unsure if you are right or not. At work, it is useful for people to focus on lowering their voice at the end of sentences, as that makes them sound more professional and it solidifies their points.
10. Talking too quickly
Just like anyone who is young at a company, millennials want to prove themselves. They often speak very quickly so they can say everything they want to without speaking for too long, but it would be beneficial to slow down. The more status someone allows themselves, the more respect people will give to them.