How Millennials Can Use Their Bad Rap To Get Ahead In The Workplace

by Sara Uzer
Lauren Naefe

As a Millennial, it is impossible to steer clear of the negative stereotypes about our generation. In addition to being entitled, we are perceived as lazy, narcissistic and broke. The list just goes on and on.

While we can also be regarded as entrepreneurial for having fresh ideas, it can be difficult for us to shine light on these positive attributes due to the way older generations look down upon us. I have read articles and seen videos where Millennials will decide to bravely speak out against the backlash. They will make an effort to set themselves apart by positioning themselves as leaders, hard workers, etc.

That's great and all, but we need to spend less time trying to disprove these labels, and more on owning up to these characteristics, while simultaneously showing that we can be valuable employees. Let me first say I don't consider my work attitude to be miles ahead of everyone else. I have definitely gotten upset over not receiving more praise for my work, and I have proven other Millennial stereotypes true.

I work in social media, and I'm a perfect example of the fact our generation is obsessed with documenting our every move. Let's be honest here: You probably put more effort into what goes into your Snapchat story than on the actual night itself. But how can we put this sense of constant interaction to good use?

Are you a serial tweeter? Instead of stalking Justin Bieber's account to uncover the latest news on his love life, maybe you can pay more attention to what's trending on Twitter and how you can place your brand into the conversation.

I know this example is specific to PR, and it won't apply to everyone. However, it is critical to simply hone in on our Millennial tendencies and use them productively.

Then, there's the complaining. We all do it. We bitch and moan about having to stay late or being chosen for the tedious administrative tasks because we are at the bottom of the totem pole. But that's just it: We are at the bottom. So, let's stop acting like we deserve more because we honestly don't.

None of us would ever admit we think we're entitled to special treatment, but our actions say otherwise. It's time to face the facts: We don't deserve a shiny gold star for what we do. Your boss really doesn't owe you anything.

The good news is, because you are the bottom of the hierarchy, you have way more opportunities to show off what you can contribute. Since you're a newbie, you are given some leeway and are allowed a few mistakes. Truth be told, nobody expects a whole lot from you.

Here is where we should go above and beyond not to get a promotion (although that's always an added perk), but to show how serious you are about your role. Young people often don't stick with their first jobs for very long, and your employer knows that.

However, it's important not to be obvious about the fact that this job is just a stepping stone for you. Treat it like it's your dream job by volunteering to do more when you can. Speak up and share your opinion in a meeting, or propose new ideas when appropriate.

We can't change the way society perceives our generation to be as a whole, but we can always change the way we are seen as an employee. Now, go ahead and share this article on your social media channels. That's a true Millennial move right there.