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8 Development Mistakes Millennials Can Correct In The Workplace

8 Development Mistakes Millennials Can Correct In The Workplace

Developing millennial employees is a growing need for nearly every business. Every size of business, small or big, needs to develop millennials. The future of business is dependent on millennial development within the workplace. However, not all businesses are addressing this issue.

Millennials want to be coached, but each business varies their own level of development and training. Millennials cannot control how their place of work trains or coaches, but they do have control over their development.

Are you one of those millennials who wants more coaching and developing, but your workplace is not providing sufficient training? Here is my encouragement, if so: do not wait on your workplace to provide training. Take action on your own personal development. You will skyrocket past the rest waiting to be developed. Do not leave it in anyone else’s hands; take action with your development.

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With that said though, I see some common mistakes millennials make with development and this development is about more than just training and coaching. Below are 8 mistakes millennials make and how they can overcome them in regards to development.

1. Millennials waiting for their employer to assign them a mentor.

Being appointed a mentor is much different than obtaining a mentor. Do not wait for your assigned mentor. Actively pursue the right mentor to further your development. Mentorship is such a powerful ingredient to development that you should not wait for your work to assign you a mentor. You don’t want a poor mentor so be active and choose your own.

2. Millennials needing validation before they continue.

A weakness among millennials is the need for validation. While some validation is necessary, take control of your need for total validation. Most daily tasks do not need validation or recognition before moving on to the next task. Finish a task and keep moving. If you wait for validation, you will slow down you development and depend on others to validate your growth. Learn to give yourself praise and validation to keep moving forward. The less dependent you are on validation, the more opportunity you will have to grow.

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3. Millennials relying on others to spark their motivation.

There is a reason most job openings seek self-motivated individuals. Self-motivation is not job specific, but a general need for all employees. Take ownership of your motivation and feed the motivation to keep you pressing all day long. If you rely on outside sources for motivation and inspiration, you will be seen as a burden rather than as a productive professional making things happen. Motivate yourself daily and crush it!

4. Millennials assuming their managers are against them.

In opposition to the media’s catchy headlines, conspiracy theories are not common. Do not see anyone leading you as your enemy. People above you want you to succeed more than they want you to fail. If someone leading you is against you, there are probably many ways to rectify that relationship and get back on the same page. When you have a boss in your corner, your development will grow leaps and bounds. Put time into building the relationship with your manager or leader. The return on investment will grow you, your department, and your workplace. Make it a win-win.

5. Millennials expecting training in all areas they lack knowledge in.

Do not expect to know everything. If you are not skilled in one area, ask for help. However, do not expect to be trained on all areas you might be inexperienced or unskilled in. There are many skills you can learn on your own through time and dedication. Embrace the training you do get and work to improve on the other areas you need to improve on.

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6. Millennials rejecting unhelpful advice.

Not all advice is beneficial, but all advice is helpful. When others help you or give you advice, receive the information no matter the value. Sometimes building a relationship is more important for your development than just the knowledgeable advice. Creating a healthy relationship with others could be the key to your development. Those rejecting advice will be seen as a know-it-all and will get a bad rap in the workplace. Don’t be that person.

7. Millennials opposing the developmental strategies laid out by their place of work.

You might not agree with everything your company does with development, but commit to it. Development usually has less to do with the strategy or system than it does the person. Your amount of buy-in will dictate the success of the development, rather than the strategy. You might have a better way, but do not worry about that right now. Just commit and give it your all. You will see the reward in the end.

8. Millennials allowing their development to be dependent on their employer.

Now step outside of your business. Your development will strengthened by accessing resources that go beyond just the options available within your company. Being dependent on a business to develop you into a successful young professional will set yourself up for a fall. Diversify your development and leverage many other outside sources to develop your growth. The odds are set against you staying at the same company for the remainder of your career. So get developing outside of your current place of work.

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Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

More by this author

Jared Buckley

Millennial Skills Coach - Talent Development Consultant

6 Ways to Inspire Passion In Unmotivated Employees Mistakes Millennials Can Overcome with Development 8 Development Mistakes Millennials Can Correct In The Workplace

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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