Millennials often get the ‘short end of the stick,’ and understandably. We’ve forced chain restaurants to go out of business, are to blame for the avocado shortage (because of our love for avocado toast, of course), and are screwing the housing system because we can’t afford to buy homes. We’ve even been labeled as “psychologically scarred.” Ouch.
As a millennial and recent college graduate, I cannot attest to all of these accusations. But, one thing I can say is that millennials still have a lot to learn before they enter the workplace.
If you’re a recent college graduate hoping to enter the workplace, take a look at what I believe are the things millennials should be aware of – And, if you’re set in your career, continue reading to see what the new 20-something hire at your workplace may (or may not) be thinking:
Don’t accept a position based on pay
One of the most common misconceptions millennials have about the workplace is the reality of starting at the bottom. Chances are, you will not make $50,000 fresh out of college. Don’t base your employment off a dollar figure. Instead, look for hidden benefits such as workplace culture, room for growth, and overall flexibility. Are you able to work from a coffee shop if it gives you a surge of productivity? Is a gym membership something that can be worked into your contract? Can you bring your dog to the office with you? These are all things to consider that aren’t reflected in your salary.
In college, your networking may have consisted of drunken talks in the bathroom at a hole-in-the-wall bar. As amusing as those conversations may have been, they do not prepare you for networking in the workplace (Note: booze is involved in the workplace, but your ability to network should not depend on it).
What’s my advice for networking as a millennial? Have a personality, clean up your social media channels, freshen up your appearance and etiquette, get involved in your community organizations and attend local events.
I’m still hopeful that one day I will magically learn how to file my taxes, save for retirement, open a 401k, and eventually put a downpayment on a house. My advice: Do your research, and learn about these things before entering the workplace. This will help you when it comes time to fill out new hire paperwork and help you make decisions about your career regarding salary, growth and benefits.
Work where you feel like you have a purpose – And work your ass off
As a millennial and recent grad, the odds are against you due to society’s misconceptions (i.e. lazy). You have to show your worth and prove how you can be an asset to your team. To do so, I recommend working your ass off. Work somewhere that shares your point of view, because putting in long hours is easier when you feel like you have a purpose. For example, 8THIRTYFOUR allows me to have limitless creativity, urges me not to take “no” for an answer just because I’m a female, and encourages me to speak up on things I’m passionate about. Working with a team that I can see eye-to-eye with is a definite perk.
If you’re a millennial that will be entering the workplace in the near future, don’t worry. We’re in this together. And in 10 years, there will be a new generation to harp on.