The Millennial generation is often portrayed as lazy, self-involved and entitled. Not the most flattering portrayal for Millennials trying to succeed in the corporate world, right? Prove these stereotypes wrong and earn your boss’s respect with these five tips.
1. Don’t be shy.
Ask your co-workers and your boss questions to help you settle into your work and have a better understanding of the company. Find out the answers to questions like:
- “How do you prefer I check in with you, via email or phone?”
- “How has this work process been done before?”
- “What results do you want to see with this client within the next six months?”
And so on. Bosses will appreciate you taking an interest in learning and will respect you more for doing so.
2. Steer clear of the water cooler.
Earning a reputation as a trash talker or gossip will never equate to respect in the workplace. Managers value employees who can play well with others and succeed in a team-based environment. Millennials who choose to speak negatively about their co-workers will be viewed as immature, unprofessional and lacking integrity.
If you happen to be in a group of people where the conversation shifts to gossip, try redirecting to another subject, and if that doesn’t work, then just walk away. Even if you are not the one starting the drama, you do not want to associate with it in any way.
3. Um…like, communicate professionally.
Whether you speak to your boss on the phone, in person or via email, make sure your communication style remains professional. Don’t show your age by unnecessarily abbreviating words, using emojis or excessively using exclamation points.
Emails should be business-related and brief if possible, with a proper introductory greeting and sign off. Show your boss you can carry on a professional conversation without using filler words like “um” or “like” in every sentence. Upper management wants to know you can conduct yourself in a professional manner when communicating with clients, so use your interaction with your boss to demonstrate how capable you are.
4. Find solutions, not problems.
Facing issues from system errors to ridiculous client requests is expected in the corporate world, but how you handle the situation makes all the difference in the way your boss sees you. If an issue arises, before you run down the hall panicking to pound on your boss’s door, try to find a solution to the problem. Impress your boss by presenting it as a problem that you overcame by doing X,Y, and Z. Bosses do not want someone on their team who simply points out problems for the sake of doing so. Be the voice in the room that says “this isn’t working, why don’t we do this instead?”
5. Adapt to the culture.
Millennials should pay close attention to the behaviors of their co-workers for cues on how they should act. Notice how the majority of your peers show up at 8 a.m.? Don’t arrive at 9 a.m. Are you the only one not taking notes during a staff meeting? Grab a pad of paper next time and follow suit. Managers want to see that you can behave like you belong with your peers. Acting in a way that goes against the office cultural norm will make it seem as if you feel you’re above the established rules. It’s OK to think outside of the box, but don’t work outside of the cultural box.
So, do you think you’re ready to climb up that corporate ladder? Take this leadership assessment by Joel Goldstein, President of Mr. Checkout Distributors, to find out if you have the skills needed to take on a management role!