As a recent college graduate, I have applied to a countless number of jobs (with the help of the internet). I chose the job that chose me, an internship at a magazine. I love working at the magazine, and hope to keep doing so for as long as possible. But if I hadn’t gotten the job I am working right now, where would I be? Finding a job is hard. It takes a lot of time and effort. I know a lot of people who didn’t get a job and who still don’t have one.
As someone of the Millennial generation, I have grown up with countless, revolutionary technologies at my fingertips. I can Google things instead of going to the library to look it up (seriously, some people don’t realize how big of a deal this is – especially when it comes to writing research papers and the like in college). The age we were born in is pretty amazing if you stop and think about it.
I have heard from a number of people in other/older generations that as Millennials, given everything we have ever wanted and having the universe at our fingertips, we do indeed have so many advantages they have not. But with those advantages comes a set of disadvantages. The way we think about jobs, the world, and life are just very different from any of the other generations.
Before I get too far into it, I want to make a disclaimer: not all Millennials are like this. I work with and also know some very hard-working and down to earth people. But I have noticed a trend in a lot of people in our generation. The way some us think and act is harmful, not helpful. Here’s a list of behaviors that I have been informed of (by older generations) and have observed in Millennials that could maybe use some improvement in order to be successful:
1. Stop Believing You Deserve Everything And Anything
This is the biggest thing I’ve noticed (and probably the hardest pill to swallow if it applies to you). This reality check is going to hurt worse than a smack in the face. You don’t deserve anything yet. You don’t deserve that job. You don’t deserve that promotion. You just don’t. You haven’t proven you deserve anything yet. You have to earn it. Hard work and determination can earn you what you want (in and out of the working world). But if all you do is sit around and whine about what you deserve (without actually putting in any of the work to be actually deserving of what it is you want), than you are in for a rude awakening.
2. Do Work
Seriously. It seems pretty obvious right? If you’re at work, you’re there to do work, to work hard, and to do it right. You would be surprised how many people don’t want to put in the hours required. Work hard and then play hard. Work now, play later. It will pay off in the long run. As the saying goes, “Slow and steady wins the race.”
3. Don’t Believe Any Job is Beneath You
This is advice I got from the owner of the magazine. You’re new on the force. Sometimes you will get tasks you don’t like. Sometimes you will get tasks you think are beneath you. If you think it is beneath you, than you better damn well do that job and do it better than everyone ever has. If you don’t put your effort into everything you do, you’re are proving that the task you were given is, in fact, not beneath you but above you. News Flash: Nothing is beneath you. You’ve just begun. You’re at the bottom. Everyone does it. Everyone has to start somewhere. Hell if your job is to clean out a closet, it better sparkle by the time you’re done with it. If it’s to make a spreadsheet, make it the best damn spreadsheet your boss has ever seen in their entire life. Do good work with what you’re give and you will go places.
4. Go the Extra Mile
Ask if anyone needs your help. Don’t just sit there on Facebook if you’ve finished your assignment (it’s tempting, I know). Go ask anybody and everybody if they need your help. Chances are if you do a good job, they’ll ask for your help again. You’ll stand out in the crowd. You’ll get more opportunities to do work that you want to do rather than the work you have to do.
Also, if you have to stay late (whether it’s to complete your own work or to help someone else) than do that too. People notice that sort of thing. They notice if you are there later than you need to be. They notice if you come in early every day. They notice if you are never late. They notice that you don’t complain. They notice that you’re not just watching the clock until you get to leave. They notice all these things. These are things that prove you’re a team player and a hard worker. That makes you an asset. Somebody they want to keep around. If you do good for others, they will do good for you.
5. Make A Connection
This kind of piggybacks on going the extra mile. It’s something I’ve heard from multiple people. When working, you should try to make a connection with someone if you want to be successful. This also helps you stand out in a crowd. Plus, if you make connections and maintain them, they can help you in your future.
6. Censor Yourself
We as a generation talk about ourselves a lot. We are in our own bubble. We put everything we are doing out there on the internet for others to see. Don’t be that person. I am guilty of talking too much sometimes. I have a hard time picking up social cues (seriously. I have no idea why. Maybe growing up with brothers?) so sometimes I say too much. Just always remember to try and censor yourself. Sure you have friends in the office, but this is an office setting. Not a bar environment. You’re not at home with your family or out with your college friends. Just watch what you say. (Bonus: Try your best to keep it clean. I, for one, have a potty mouth. I work extra hard to be mindful of what I’m saying in order to keep myself from being inappropriate. Trust me, it’s just better if you do.)
This is another tip I got from the owner of the magazine. That tip is to wait until you have something in your life to balance before you actually try to balance your life. What I mean by that is wait until you have a serious significant other (your fiancé, husband, or wife) and/or kids before you start trying to balance your home life with your work life. That doesn’t mean you can’t be social or do things outside of work. But while you have the time (and nobody depending on you) you need to work your butt off. Work as much as you can and as hard as you can. All that other stuff can come later. When it does, then you can worry about balance.
8. Do What You Love
A lot of people are only concerned with making money. If that’s what you love, okay. Do whatever you can to make money. I mean, we all like money, but come on. You have got to have something you’re passionate about.
For those who are working jobs that you hate, I have one question for you; Why? Why would you do that to yourself? I get that you need to pay the bills, but there’s gotta be something else that doesn’t make you dread dragging yourself out of bed every morning.
All of the above and the following advice is honestly good for anyone in any generation. I have heard this from many people, but most of all from my parents. Specifically, it’s something I have repeatedly heard from my Dad. Do what you love. Find something you are good at that you love doing, and then do it. It makes life a lot easier. It makes your days more fun and less miserable if you are doing something you enjoy doing everyday.