I regularly have the opportunity both in the form of formal presentations and in casual conversations to candidly discuss millennial recruiting, behaviors, criticisms, etc. with Senior Managers and Executives from Fortune 500 companies on down. Given that feedback is almost always the same, I wanted to offer up a list of strongly recommended behavioral changes that will help millennials standout from their peers and speed up their career advancement. Make the following changes and your Gen X or Baby Boomer superiors will definitely take notice:
- Show up to work early and stay late – The #1 complaint I hear about millennials involves work ethic, or perceived lack thereof. Yes, you may be able to do things far more efficiently than previous generation colleagues, but it is about perception, not necessarily reality. Physically remain in your work space for 15 minutes longer on both ends of the day than usually required and your stock will rise, guaranteed.
- Write like you are applying for an elite college- The #2 consistently heard complaint is that millennials cannot correctly deliver in written communication, thus perpetuating the stereotype of social media and technology driven deterioration of writing skills. Write all emails, documents, even texts that go out to colleagues and superiors in complete sentences with proper punctuation. Hello mature genius! You will now start to be viewed as true leadership material!!
- Dress to impress- This one sounds obvious or even antiquated with somany “relaxed dress” work environments. I do not care if this is a cultural staple of the company. If/when you show up to work looking nicer than your peers or even your superiors, it creates a psychological shift in the minds of those around you that you have or maybe should authority. It matters, I promise.
With all the negative perceptions of millennials we constantly face, these minor tweaks are easy to execute and will deliver tangible results. Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss further.