Your generational traits are actually professional superpowers
If you were born between 1981 and 1996, congratulations! You're officially a millennial. Welcome to the club - close the door and take a seat. We have a lot to talk about today because, as you might have already noticed, our generation doesn't always have the best reputation. However, the marvelous millennial traits we've been gifted with might just be our superpowers. Let's take a look at what these characteristics are and why they matter.
Millennials have a bad reputation
Millennials get a bad rap - and not just in passing comment either. Mainstream media outlets are quick to share their utter underwhelm with the generation with the whole world.
This is by no means a new trend. An entire decade ago, Time Magazine went in hard, calling millennials “lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents." The article served up the generation's high levels of narcissistic traits, their desire to be promoted every two years, and many of them still living at home, as evidence for this headline. Okay, we see your point. But the story hardly starts and ends there, does it now?
For one thing, rising rent costs and outlandish mortgage rates have made it harder than ever for young people to live independently from their families. So, we can strike that one off the list of sins millennials have supposedly committed. And, undefendable narcissism aside, lusting after regular promotions is hardly a bad thing. We are the generation who grew up being told we could do anything, be anyone… So, what does the world expect of us? While millennials no doubt have their pitfalls, we also have a whole load to offer.
Top millennial characteristics
We've delved briefly into the negative connotations of being a millennial. But it's not all doom and gloom. Let's look at the best millennial characteristics and why they will help you to get ahead in the working world. Here are 11 examples you may not have considered.
1. Creative and original
One of the great criticisms of millennials is that they were told to “follow their dreams,” leading to a laziness epidemic. That's not strictly true. In fact, chasing our passions has made us a truly creative bunch. That could mean knowing how to design a poster, writing a snappy social media caption, or the wild ability to be able to think outside of the box.
“Jen, can you show me how to make this into a PDF?” Yes, in offices around the country, millennials are the go-to tech support. Whether it's converting files, showing you how to share your screen, or making a video, this generation has it down. The reason is simple. Millennials grew up at the peak of the tech-boom, integrating new advancements into their everyday lives. Thanks to MySpace, many of them learned basic HTML as teenagers.
3. Open to change
Growing up in a fast-paced world has its advantages. The working world has changed rapidly since many of us entered it and that has meant we've had to change with it. While that's a challenge, it has taught us to move with the tides, rather than against them.
Let's turn the term “snowflake” on its head. Yes, millennials are sensitive, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. One of the biggest millennial characteristics is being ethical. Research shows that the generation has a strong moral compass that guides many of their decisions - both as consumers and workers. This trait can be a huge advantage in a professional setting, as managers can learn from millennial team members.
Curiosity might have killed the cat, but it makes millennials who they are. In the workplace, this can mean asking the right questions or thinking of alternative processes. Rather than sticking to the rulebook, millennials are likely to look for new ways of getting big results.
Striving for promotions means one thing - millennials are ambitious. Workers from this generation want to climb the career ladder. That means that we look for opportunities that can help us to advance and are oftentimes willing to put in the hard work to get there.
7. Ready to learn
Every day is a school day, or so the old saying goes. Since millennials are known for job-hopping, it's important they learn skills for each role. Whether it's taking an evening class, having a mentor, or learning by doing, this generation is all about education.
If you're a millennial and you're always on the hunt for knowledge, shout about this trait. Letting a hiring manager know that you care about learning new things is certain to work in your favor. It means that you'll grow with the business - acquiring new talents along the way - which makes you a great investment for the hiring manager.
8. Relationship oriented
Relationships matter in the workplace - more than many realize. Perhaps one of the biggest strengths of millennials is the ability to bring people together. That means working to build strong relationships with coworkers, managers, and even clients.
As we've already covered, millennials' jobs change quickly and they have to learn a whole load of skills. So it should come as no surprise that this generation is excellent at multitasking, too. Combining the abilities that we have comes naturally to many of us. Whether it's working on multiple projects at once or using many pieces of software, we have the ability to take to it with ease. That can be a huge bonus in any workplace.
10. Desire for meaningful work
When experts look at millennials' behavior, one thing is for certain. This generation craves meaningful work. Most people who fall into this generation don't simply want a job to pay the bills - they are looking for a career on which they can build. That's great news for managers, as they have the chance to hire people who truly care about the work they do.
Millennials will seek out opportunities that align with their values. That may mean working for a charitable organization, looking for a job that fuels their passions, or making a difference in the workplace. While every millennial's personality is different, this common trait sets us apart from previous generations, many of which saw a job as only that.
The internet has transformed the way that we engage with the world. One of the biggest advantages to being a tech-savvy generation is having your finger on the pulse. Thanks to your smartphone and social media, you know about the news as and when it happens. Staying ahead of the latest trends and keeping up with global developments is never a bad thing. It means you're in the know and ready to adapt your work-style to match the trends.
As with every generation, being a millennial is a mixed bag of traits. However, the characteristics of this generation makes them innovative and smart workers. If you're a millennial and you're searching for your next job, highlight these millennial characteristics on your resume and during the interview process. You might just find that they are your secret weapons!
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