Millennials ‘Get It’ – I know, I am One

Last week Forbes published an article entitled, “Twenty Things Twenty Year Olds Don’t Get,” or as I saw it, yet another Millennial bashing article. These article are really starting to get old, just like the authors who pen them. If I have to read another article about how much I suck, I might as well just start sucking at my job on purpose. (Ok – I wouldn’t do that, but I could…)

I’m 24. In the past three years of working professionally I’ve picked up a few things. This may come as a surprise, but just because I have headphones in my ears doesn’t mean I’m not listening to everything going on around me.

I’ve written this response for all Millennials, to let Millennial bashing authors know, WE GET IT, you don’t like us. Too bad you desperately need us to success, so maybe it’s time to listen to us for a change and play nice?

Check out the original article here.

 

Time is Not a Limitless Commodity – You may not be able to get a moment back, but you can re-watch and relive it online as many times as you want.  Enjoy the shares and the RTs of life. That tweet won’t last forever…oh wait…yes it will.

You’re Talented, But Talent is Overrated – If I weren’t talented in the first place, why would you hire me? Clearly someone forgot that sometimes, especially in marketing, you don’t get positive results. Whatever happened to being action-oriented or results oriented? Results can be good or they could be bad, it’s what you do with said results that make or break your career.

We’re More Productive in the Morning – You can’t be productive in the morning if you’re not a morning person. Everyone functions differently. In order to get the most productivity out of your day, you need to follow the ebbs and flows of your personal work cycle. For someone fresh out of college, it may take a year or two to detox from college life and settle into a professional groove. Personally – I can’t get anything done before I clear out my email and sometimes I hit my strides at the end of the day or in the middle! It depends on the day, seriously. Just because I didn’t build a viral marketing campaign before 11, doesn’t mean I’m not one of your most productive employees.

Social Media is Not a Career –

What’s my job title you ask?

–That would be Social Media Strategist.

What do I do all day?

–MARKETING.

My title may not contain the word ‘social media’ in the future but that doesn’t mean the same principles apply. I’m certainly not learning useless skills or building a fake resume. If my days writing on Live Journal taught me anything, it was how to blog, an extremely useful skill that has served me well over the years. Labels and names change, skills remain. I hope to continue learning useful skills and like the rest of my generation, remain flexible and adapt with evolving technology.

Pick Up the Phone – Stop hiding behind my computer? My computer is the most powerful connector I own! In front of my computer I literally have access to the entire globe. A phone is only as good as the phone numbers you have access too. Sometimes it takes a more gentle approach to get someone’s attention. You can’t ‘bulldoze your way through life.

Be the First In & Last to Leave ­– Didn’t we already talk about the fact that we’re apparently more productive in the morning? Ok so please restate why I should burn myself out by staying in the office until the janitor leaves if I’m not actually doing anything worthwhile. Doh

Don’t Wait to Be Told What to Do – I make my own to do list at work and I keep and set my own meeting schedules, rarely does anyone actually “give me something to do.” Sometimes I don’t know how to do something because I’ve never done it (I’m awesome, but I will admit I have my limits.) What’s a better way to learn than doing? Sometimes you need to give us something to do so we will continue to learn and build new skills. Would it hurt to sit down and help your employees find a direction?

Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes – I can’t argue with this point. Own up people.

You Should Be Getting Your Butt Kicked – If you constantly berate me and push me down, I will hate you, worse, I will resent you and then I will quit. This isn’t the 1960’s where people stay at the same company for 50 years. Welcome to the digital age. You’re lucky if you get me for more than 2 years. If you make my life miserable, I’ll take my skills somewhere where I am appreciated. It’s that simple. You can absolutely push someone toward excellence without making them hate your guts.

A New Job a Year Isn’t a Good Thing ­­– See above point. Maybe we jump ship so often because you’re a terrible boss. Look in the mirror, would you work for you?

People Matter More Than Perks – People and culture are HUGE when selecting a job but as a boss, you need to remember that facilitating a fun work environment fosters creativity. Nothing kills creative thinking more than forcing someone to crank out work all day every day. This is basically what you just said to us, “Here is your cubical, don’t move until you’ve come up with meaning of life — slave. “

Map Effort to Your Professional Gain – Life sucks, we get it. At 24 I have no idea where I’ll be in 10 years but I have an idea where I’d like to end up. As an older and presumably wiser being, I might have some questions about career trajectory. Do you have a second to talk about it or are you too busy fielding cold phone calls?

Speak Up, Not Out – I spent four years in a sorority, once I graduated I thought I would officially be past the drama. Newsflash: high school never ends; drama lives on forever, no matter how old you are. We’re only going to speak up if we feel comfortable. As the newest kids on the block, we’re broke and we can’t afford to lose this gig. Be open with us and we’ll be open with you, as the senior, you set the tone.

You HAVE to Build Your Technical Chops – Another fair point. The learning process should never end. Can we go back to those benefits that don’t matter? Let’s talk about your professional development and training program.

Both the Size and Quality of Your Network Matter – I’m just going to relate this to social media marketing, would you rather have quality followers or quantity? Quality always beats quality. True personal relationships will get you places in life – some guy you met once at a networking function probably won’t. (But really – you should network, just don’t be that annoying serial networker)

You Need At Least 3 Professional Mentors – I haven’t even found one yet, let alone three. Does this mean I’m failing professionally? Nope, just means the right one hasn’t come along yet. In the meantime, there are a plethora of resources and great advice to be found on the Internet. Read it – it’s free.

Pick an Idol & Act “As If” – If you fake your way through life and act like a know-it-all, everyone will think you’re a douche bag. Sometimes being silent and listening will serve you well. Be the office sponge, learn from everyone, take the good and the bad and be your own person. Be you – everyone else is taken.

Read More Books, Fewer Tweets/Texts – I’m pretty sure I saw this article in a tweet, clicked the tweet, and then read all the way through. Millennials consume more information than any other generation before us, with a plethora of knowledge; we have to pick and choose what interests us. Be interesting and we’ll dig in. – I’ll take your book a month and raise you a book a week. Actually I’m reading three books right now – I got all my recommendations from Twitter.

Spend 25% Less Than You Make – Easier said than done. Maybe if I was building my marketing career in bumblefucknowhere and not in the most powerful city in the world, Washington DC. If you’re passionate about your career, you’ll make the budget work.

Your Reputation is Priceless, Don’t Damage It – Today more than ever it’s easier to take a nose dive online. Everyone screws up once in a while, a bad tweet or unflattering facebook photo isn’t going to kill you. Recover gracefully and continue to add value where you can online. Be SOCIAL, it’s a social world out there people, join the conversation.

Millennials are a force to be reckoned  with and I think this is unsettling to the older generations. If you embrace our diversity, and support a flexible work- life balance we’ll be your best employees. Continue to push us down and we’ll exercise our 1st amendment rights all over the Internet.

So–are you with us, or against us? Your social security depends on it!

 

Comments

  1. This is a great post. Alex, thank you for standing up for millenials! We are human too.

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