Millennials have a few habits that employers find infuriating. If you’re part of the generation born between 1981 to 1997, you may be found guilty of these, and you may want to keep them in mind in the workplace or when applying for a job.
Millennials are fans of the quick fix. We love finding ways to get more done in less time. Better yet, we like winning – AKA: instant gratification. According to Inc, a common complaint is our tendency to chase small wins instead of working on long-term goals.
Millennials exist in a constant buzz of technological distraction, thinking we can make up for this with superb multi-tasking skills. But the truth is, you aren’t fooling your boss and your productivity might be suffering. Spreading yourself too thin with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram open might (probably is) be detracting from the quality of your work. Fellow Millennial, Tom Sullivan, agrees, ‘[We] are constantly communicating with people all of the time. When we’re at work we always have our email inbox open and are [regularly] getting notifications that take us away from what we’re doing [currently].’
Millennials struggle to grasp and adhere to traditional working hours and acceptable forms of communication, favouring freelance hours, as to us everything is about efficient time and convenience. Millennials don’t see a problem in messaging their boss or manager after hours. Even worse, we prefer to Facebook message or send a WhatsApp text – something that your superior might find inappropriate. It’s best to follow your boss/colleague’s lead. Alternatively, observe office culture when communicating to see what the accepted form of communication is. When in doubt, an email never hurt anybody.
YOU USED TO CALL ME ON MY CELL PHONE
Not quite. The mention of a phone call has most Millennials hyperventilating, but a big part of business communication is still done on the phone. Being confident talking on the phone makes a world of a difference in networking and forming professional relationships, and shows your interest much more than a follow-up email or a ‘?’ text. Pick up your cellphone – we know you’re already on it anyway – and make that call. Even better – set a time to meet for a face-to-face chat – it’s much easier to communicate clearly and is a great way to focus on a specific purpose. And furthermore, it shows your level of investment.
WHY CAN’T WE BE FRIENDS?
According to Forbes, we may be guilty of being too familiar with superiors in the workplace. While Millennials tend to prefer more relaxed work environments and reject strict hierarchy in the traditional workplace, this can lead to a ‘friend-first-and-manager-second’ scenario. This can result in awkward situations and misguided expectations between superiors and employees. Unless you’re working in a tight-knit environment where hugs and crude jokes are de rigueur, forming overly-casual relationships with your employee or superior might get messy.
ONE MORE TIME
Perhaps it’s the habitual multi-tasking or our desire for instant results – whatever the case, it means that we tend to scroll past the fine print. According to Jeremy Schmidt of RentCollegePads.com, ‘We’ve had many issues with Millennials applying for jobs without reading [the job descriptions]. We’ve had them requesting more information on our apartment listings, even though the information they were requesting was right before their eyes.’ Eek. You are definitely less likely to get that job or raise if your boss has to remind, or repeat things to, you.
THEY HATE US BECAUSE THEY AIN’T US
Millennials are known to be touchy, a common complaint being our inability to take constructive criticism. This could be down to the deep pressure that we feel to succeed (thanks to the startup wunderkid phenomena) or trying not to appear incompetent by being over-confident. One boss told Inc, ‘We Millennials can be very confident, which can be electric and motivating to those around us [but] it’s okay to be uncertain, and it’s better to be honest about it rather than exude false certainty.’ There is no harm in asking a question – it shows willingness to learn and grow as an employee.
There are, of course, perks to being a Millennial. One being having invaluable insight into other Millennials, considering our generation has an estimated $200 billion in annual buying power and plays an integral role in influencing trends and spending habits. According to Forbes, other positive traits include ‘an open mind, intense ambition, and a desire to collaborate with peers’. So while it’s important to keep the above in mind when starting out in your career or applying for a job, remember: you do you, boo.
By Zoya Pon