We all know actions speak louder than words. What some Millennials don’t understand is certain actions at work give the perception they are lazy and unskilled. Showing up to work on time is a huge nonverbal cue to your employer about how much you value their time, and your job. Millennials value their free time. As a result, some tend to be meticulous about only working the hours they absolutely have to. Management isn’t going to be willing to invest in you any more then you are in them. When you’re so focused on leaving the office not a minute later than you are required to, you send the message that it’s just a paycheck to you.
In addition, Millennials have been raised as equals and were encouraged to speak their mind and share their perspective. In the workplace, this often manifests in their pointing out what’s wrong. However, given their newness to the workplace and lack of experience, most Millennials don’t follow this up with constructive solutions. The employer thinks to themselves, “What I really need is someone smart enough to roll up his or her sleeves and fix the problem.” Creating a checklist of problems for your employer to solve is unhelpful and unproductive.
Here are three simple things any Millennial can do to show their manager they are a valuable part of the team, and that they value their position.
Be On Time (Try Early)
Being habitually late is the quickest way to take yourself out of the running for any promotion, and if you frustrate management enough, to get you fired. Time management is a highly valued skill. Management wants to be confident that you can handle tight deadlines and multiple projects. However, if you can’t manage getting yourself ready and to work by 8:00am, why would your employer entrust you with a project that could impact the company’s future?
Being on time is a clear way to show your employer that you value your job and your team. Once or twice a week, stay 15 minutes late, and complete an extra project. As the rest of your peers exit en masse, you can score a chance to say good night and make small talk with your manager about what you’re working on and why you chose to stay late to finish it.
Take the Initiative
If you spot a problem, see it as an opportunity to offer a solution. It could very well be your fast-track to a promotion. Try to anticipate a need, and offer to do it in advance of being asked. Anytime you can take something off your manager’s plate, you’re showing your value. Managers like to promote employees that make their lives easier.
Once you’ve identified a problem that you feel you can solve, be mindful of deadlines. Ask your manager when he or she wants the project completed, and then plan to finish it a few hours or days earlier. This allows time for a review and feedback session, and you can still get the project done on time.
Show Some Enthusiasm
No one wants to be seen as a kiss up at their job, but no employer wants to promote, or employ, someone who acts like they couldn’t care less about the place that they work. Don’t be shy about sharing your pride for the work your company does. Tell your manager why you are glad to be associated with the company. When you are emotionally invested, they can see your potential to grow with the organization.
Millennials need to recognize their professional strengths, and understand how they’re workplace personas matter. Define the skills they’d like to develop, so they can build up their specialties and find direction at work.
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