JB Training Solutions @JBTSMillennials
As a Millennial, managing up and getting ahead in your career is a daunting prospect. At work, do you ever think to yourself:
• How can I impress them?
• Do they like me?
• Is this a good fit?
• How can I take it to the next level?
• How do I know they are committed?
Although the task of getting ahead in your career may seem tough to tackle early on, it’s really quite simple when you compare it to one of your favorite (and also terrifying) pastimes: dating.
Subtle nuances like chewing with your mouth open or talking about your ex on a date are sure-fire rookie mistakes to avoid when it comes to dating, and there are also several Millennial rookie mistakes to avoid when it comes to navigating your career. The Millennials Mean Business team has found that if you apply these dos and don’ts to your career (and your dating life), you’re sure to position yourself for success on both fronts.
- Don’t always listen to your mom. Just because your mom says the blue sweater makes you look handsome, doesn’t mean you should wear it on your first date. When it comes to workplace matters, your parents mean well, but they don’t always give you the best advice. Millennial parents tend to be helicopter parents – hovering over you and waiting to jump in the way of any anything bad that could happen. For workplace matters, leave Mom and Dad out of the equation. Instead, look to a mentor who can offer an unbiased perspective.
- Don’t wait to be told what to do. Just like your girlfriend doesn’t want to have to ask you to send flowers or make a reservation at her favorite restaurant, your manager doesn’t want to have to ask you to go above and beyond to get the job done. Take the initiative to seek out problems and implement solutions. At work, it is better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission – but this is one tip that we DON’T advise applying to your dating life!
- Don’t be a clingy stalker. When it comes to dating, there is a fine line between showing interest and being a stalker. Similarly, there is a fine line between keeping your manager posted on projects and driving them absolutely nuts with questions, e-mails, phone calls, and multiple daily updates. Your manager is busy and has a life of her own. Your job is to be as self-sufficient as possible. Stay out of your manager’s hair and be resourceful to figure it out and make decisions.
- Don’t tell them what you think they want to hear. Just like a smart date, managers can see through your answers that are too good to be true. Your date won’t buy the fact that for fun you save baby whales from haphazard environments or your tacky pick up lines, just like your manager won’t buy your elaborated project updates or tired excuses.
- Don’t be selfish. The common perception among managers is that Millennials are self-centered and entitled. To combat this perception, stop thinking “What’s in it for me?” and start asking yourself what you can do for the company. Nobody wants to date a selfish person, and no one wants to work with one either. In a relationship and at work, you’ll get out of it what you put into it.
- Pay attention to detail. When you’re courting someone, it’s the little things that count. Remembering conversational details on a date can score major points, and attention to detail at work is a non-negotiable. Executing flawless work will help build your reputation as an independent and accountable professional.
- Think outside the box. Your date will only be impressed with your routine dinner and a movie date night for so long. Eventually you have to up your game and try new things. The same is true at work. Keep your manager guessing by being strategic with your projects. Take a new approach. Try new things. Offer new ideas. Monotony won’t progress a relationship, and status quo won’t yield a promotion.
- Under promise, over deliver. It is always better to exceed expectations than not to be able to meet them. Everyone loves to be surprised by an over-the-top gesture by a date, and managers love to be surprised by over-the-top efforts at work. Surprise your manager by meeting deadlines a day early or putting in the time to take your assignment from “just okay” to “WOW!”
- Communicate. Communication is the hallmark of any successful relationship, including your working relationships. Say exactly what you mean: clearly, quickly and persuasively. For Millennials, growing up in a world of e-mails/texting/Facebook/Tweeting has plagued your ability to have face-to-face conversations, resulting in over relying on technology – or worse, hiding behind technology. Figure out how your boss likes to communicate and do it her way.
- Trust. In a relationship and in your career, you are putting a great deal of trust in your employer, and they are putting a great deal of trust in you. You can’t grow without the trust of the person you are dating, and you can’t grow at work without the trust of your manager. Being flaky with a date will negate trust, and producing poor work will violate the trust of your manager. If your manager doesn’t trust you, you will be micromanaged and potentially miss out on great opportunities. Treat every task you are given (projects, presentations, even internal e-mails) as though the CEO will be receiving it. Triple check everything so that your boss can trust your competence and ability to do great work. Do what you say you are going to do, and more.