The past few months I have been taking a course for high potential women in the workplace. The course helps you develop a growth plan, and cultivate everything around your personal brand. This class got me thinking about what mistakes millenials (and really anyone new to the working world) make in the workplace.
5 Mistakes Millennials Make in the Workplace
1)Exclamation points & emojis
We live in the era of texting, Whatsapp, Facebook messaging… And everything is on the go. A statement without an emoji or exclamation point can come across as being upset or angry. Of course that desire to throw in all sorts of exclamation points and emojis is only normal. You want to show people you’re excited to work…right?! But the question becomes– have you seen an executive throw around emojis and exclamation points? Not in official emails.
Tip: Save the “millenial speak” for the casual emails to the coworkers you already know, and avoid it when you’re emailing new people or upper management.
2)QTIP – quit taking things personally.
You take things personally when your idea isn’t selected. I think we’ve all been there before. I’ve had many a friend open up to me about the disappointment they feel when their project isn’t liked by upper management. I’ve also witnessed situations where people get extremely protective over “their” projects. The reality is, most of the time it’s not a personal attack on you. Maybe someone had a better idea. Maybe there wasn’t enough budget. Maybe you’re needed to focus on different tasks and need to relinquish your old one. When you start to take it personally, everything can feel as if you have a target on your back.
3)Talking tasks/ activities and not results
While building my resumé in college, one of the biggest tips the career counselors shared was the importance of quantifying your experiences. So you photo copied 1,000 pages during your summer internship. So what? Talk results, not tasks. Those 1,000 pages might have been part of the executive team’s off-site, allowing them to build the next year’s operations plan. Those are the results. It sounds so much more important.
Same in the workplace. I keep track of every project/task I work on and the results. That way when our multi-year check in roles around, I have something interesting and meaningful to share with my manager.
4)Not thinking big picture / strategically
When you’re new to a company, this mistake can be easy to make. You’re busy trying to learn the ropes of your role and it can feel like there is 0 time to think big picture. But pay attention at those All Hands with executive level management – they’ll share their goals for the year. Try to align your goals with theirs. As the saying goes, try to look at the whole forest, not just one tree.
Most people receive 100+ emails a day. They don’t have time to read one that drags on for what feels like a 3 hour movie. Here’s my trick for writing concise emails. Start a draft (don’t put the person’s email) and write everything you want to say. Then it’s time to go back and edit. Bolding and italicizing should be your best friend when used in moderation. They break up text and highlight important elements. Also, don’t be afraid to have a header for each section. IE: Purpose, Request, etc.
What other tips would you have for millenials in the workplace?