Money Matters

4 Habits Every Millennial Should Bring To Work


There’s a lot of information online about millennials. Some of it is anecdotal, some of it is statistical. Yet if you look at the authors writing on it, you won’t find many millennials. In fact, many of those who are commentating on this topic and passing on wisdom to young people are often much older than those in the demographic. In order to give helpful advice to young working people, from young working people, I asked several millennial employees one question: “What would you say to a room full of 1000 of your peers?”

Here’s what they said:

Communicate value to people

“Send a handwritten ‘Thank You’ note in the mail to someone who helped you get to where you are today,” says Samantha, a marketing manager at one of the world’s largest tech firms. While digital dominates much of our communication, there is still a place for handwritten notes. She goes on to say, “Send an email to someone at your current company who you look up to but have been too afraid to contact. Ask them if they’d be willing to chat about how they got to where they are.”

Being proactive in communication, whether in handwritten notes or emailing someone above you, demonstrates a desire to grow and learn as an employee. Even in today’s digital workplace, handwritten notes are able to communicate value to others in a way not repeatable in other forms of communication. One HR executive told me he attributes some of his rapid growth in his company to reaching out to those above him in the company. “When you go to a company and you see someone doing what you want to do or leading in a way you want to lead, go have lunch with them,” he says. And one of the biggest ways they can help an employee? “They’ll help you navigate office politics,” he told me.

Seek the good of your company 

“If we are good to the company, the company will be good to you; sometimes there’s too much of ‘what’s in it for me.’ If you are really helping the company succeed, it will unlock opportunities to succeed,” says Matt Fischer, President & CTO of Bullhorn. Fischer started as an intern at Bullhorn, and by remembering this advice from his dad, he sought to make the company better every day. He is now the President & CTO of this growing tech firm.

What Fischer says points to a challenge within the millennial generation: the “What’s in it for me?” mindset. When Time Magazine called millennials the “Me Me Me Generation” on a 2013 cover, they attempted to illustrate a sense of entitlement that young people bring to work. While this stereotype may have some truth, millennial employees can change this perception by working for the good of their company every day. Working for the good of the company seeks to advance the mission and vision of the company above the employee’s mission and vision.

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