Getting a job

Preparing for the Workforce as a Millennial

In today’s world, I’ve noticed many articles emphasize the importance of employers catering towards Millennials. While this would be beneficial in the workforce, it will take a while before most companies adopt “the Millennial way”. Therefore, it’s best to have realistic work expectations to still thrive and be successful on the job. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Managerial Styles: Depending on the work environment, some places just throw you into the work head-on and others hold your hand and show you the ropes. There is a fine line between being micro-managed verses a supervisor providing detailed instructions and guidance to a new or inexperienced employee.

You have to be patient with your manager just as they must be patient with you. At times, you might need to “manage up” by taking responsibility to effectively communicate and address problems to your manager before they get out of control. It can also be a great way to express current work priorities and your interests.

Work With Purpose: Everyone wants to work for companies like Google and Apple because they are innovative and fun, and as a consumer you appreciate the products they produce. Most organizations are very traditional and at times, it can be difficult to create something new or add value to make a difference in an organization or community. This could also be related to working on interesting projects. The majority of work in the professional services realm carries a lot of tactical, repetitive tasks. This is just the nature of the work. Sometimes you are stuck doing monotonous, boring tasks. However, keeping your eyes on the prize can present creative and rewarding work opportunities!

Always try to find opportunities to strengthen your skills or identify new opportunities for yourself to create the “fun work”. Who knows, maybe someone will notice and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts! Most managers would appreciate you going above and beyond if it doesn’t affect your main duties.

If that still isn’t enough, I suggest volunteering and getting involved in your community to have a sense of purpose in your work. You can acquire some great skills, like leadership, that you wouldn’t necessarily obtain right now from the 9-5 job.

Flexibility:  Privileges like flexible hours and  working from home need to be earned before granted. You need to prove to your employer that you are a responsible, honest, and reliable individual. Once you have consistently proven yourself, then you have enough supporting evidence to make a request for more flexible work arrangements.

Millennials can really help organizations stay competitive by leveraging technology and social media, but they also need to keep in mind that it takes patience to rise to the top. If you have a vision of where you want to be in 5 years and you map out everything you need to do until that time, you’ll be well on your way to doing big things!

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Gelila Sebhatu

Gelila Sebhatu is the Owner of GPS Professional Coaching, www.gpscoaches.com, which provides individuals career and life enhancement services, as well as, GPS Management Consulting, www.gpsmconsulting.com, a business management consulting firm. She is excited to share her experience at Fortune 500 companies, to assist others achieve their goals. She has an Executive Master Business Administration (EMBA) degree from Virginia Tech University and a BA Bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University.