There is no shortage of jokes about Millennials’ deficiencies in the workplace. It is practically unarguable that individuals from this generation have been pigeonholed as irresponsible employees. There are employers who do not have negative attitudes toward Generation Y, but many do. The problem with this, other than the fact that it ostracizes these people, is that Millennials currently comprise the majority of the world’s workforce. The prejudices toward this influential generation must be resolved somehow.
Are Millennials Giving Themselves a Bad Reputation at Work?
According to James Wolcott, Washington Post Wonkblog contributor Christopher Ingraham wrote that Millennials are unpatriotic, “as racist in their attitudes as older coots,” “the most clueless, duh generation when it comes to the news,” vaccine skeptics, and dislike free speech and expression. Ingraham’s opinions of Millennials are not uncommon. The question is, “Why?” It could be because the older generations are too hard on Millennials. Or, perhaps Gen Y individuals truly are not up to par in some areas. Whatever the reason is, Millennials can facilitate change in people’s attitudes toward them, especially in the workplace.
Millennials, Here are 3 Ways to Up Your Game at Work
Are you a Millennial? If so, you need to up your game at work. There are those (not necessarily people you work with) who expect you to disappoint as an employee. Prove them wrong by heeding this advice:
- Be responsive to emails – It may seem like a small thing, but people appreciate it more than you know when you respond promptly to their emails. Millennials are often criticized for ignoring email correspondence. Staying on top of emails to the best of your ability will help you to be more productive and respected.
- Appreciate (don’t expect) perks – Do you work for a company that offers a free gym membership, has a lounge area outfitted with comfy chairs and snacks, and gives you a cake on your birthday? If so, you are lucky. Perks like these are amazing but not always offered by an employer. If your employer isn’t meeting your expectations when it comes to perks, learn to be OK with that. Be thankful for whatever perks you have access to, and express your gratitude to those in charge. If you are truly unhappy with a lack of perks, it is better to find a new job than to complain about your current employer.
- Be at work on time, and look good – How often do you roll into work a few minutes late looking slightly unkempt? Even once in a while is too often. In her article addressed to Millennials trying to succeed in the workplace, Lisa de Pasquale wrote, “In the past I’ve worked with millennials who find it so difficult to wake up at 8 a.m. that they cut time from basic grooming just to make it to work 30 minutes late. One guy convinced himself he could shower at night, then roll out of bed and go to work. Should he save even more time by dressing for work the night before?” Whatever you do, Millennials, be at work on time every day, and don’t neglect your appearance.
Too many people see Millennial employees in a bad light. Those from this generation can help change this by getting to work on time, practicing good grooming practices, being thankful for what their employers offer them perks-wise, and responding to emails promptly.
As a Millennial, what are you doing to give yourself a good reputation in the workplace?
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