Being a millennial in ANY office space can be intimidating. Do I say good morning to everyone? How awkward is this conversation I’m having by the water cooler? Does everyone think I’m ‘young and dumb’? Will every mistake I make be blamed on my age?
Just thinking about it is enough to give anyone anxiety. Of course, I’ll give you a few tips (and funny gifs) to lighten the load.
1. Communicate how it will benefit the organization (not just your department):
If you’re willing to bring ideas to the table (or bring the whole table), you should analyze how the organization will benefit from it. Sometimes if the group is stuck in traditional ways, showing them the benefit of your strategy to the organization will give you a better chance of succeeding.
2. Shaking your fear of interpersonal relationships:
I’m an introvert at heart, but working in communications leaves no room for me to be an introvert at work. I have to open my mouth, get to know my coworkers, communicate about projects/assignments, and an endless list of more things. How to break that barrier? Go out to lunch with that coworker, get someone’s input on a personal project, participate in occasional small talk (it helps). Learning your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your coworkers, will benefit your work life vastly. You can only maneuver what you’ve mastered!
3. Clearly defining projects + deadlines:
When you’re multi-talented in the workplace you may get pulled in many directions. This can result in projects piling up. This is not intimidating if you know what they entail and when they’re due. I’ve had experience with taking on design projects and never asking expectations or due dates. This resulted in tons of frustration and pressure between management and I. Currently, I don’t touch a project until I have resources + expectations + a deadline. With guidelines put in place, you can effectively create.
4. Speaking up:
If you’re apart of an organization that asks for your feedback, GIVE IT! When I began my postgraduate career, I would die inside anytime I was expected to give my opinion. Now, if I feel as though I’m not given the proper resources or I’m running into walls trying to do what’s expected of me, I speak up. A quick chat with your manager/supervisor/mentor can make all the difference. Maybe they didn’t know of your current issue and can easily resolve it. See how speaking up (professionally and appropriately) can help you breathe a little?
As a millennial, what are some ways you’ve learned to navigate the office space? As a seasoned professional, what can us as millennials do better?