How to get yourself taken seriously as a Millennial?
Millennials tend to get a bad rap; they are often seen as being lazy or entitled, of always complaining. However, what most people don’t realize is that they are not lazy or complaining. Instead, they are questioning how things have always been done. They don’t shy away from hard work, in fact due to the economy being what it is they’ve had to work harder than the previous generations did. Instead of slogging away going hard work, they believe that there has to be a smarter way to do it. They believe in smart work, not just in hard work.
However, due to this the older generations typically see Millennials as being unwilling to work, of always pointing out errors even when they don’t exist. They want Millennials to stay in the box they have been assigned, but Millennials believe in breaking boundaries and getting things done, rather than just continue to do things how they have been done. This is why Millennials are generally accepted as one of the most creative generations, as well as one of the most promising ones, especially when it comes to business ownership. Millennials have launched the most startups than any other generations, and are expected to help in the creation of more jobs as well.
Despite of all of this, Millennials tend to not get taken seriously, especially when it comes to work. They are often looked down upon and their ideas are not given any serious thought. It is believe that just because they are young, that they don’t know what they are talking about, or that they must be busy scrolling through social media rather than actually developing any ideas or projects worth following up on.
In order to counter all of these stereotypes, here are some ways in which Millennials can get the respect they deserve:
1. Know what you are talking about
Sadly, you could be talking about a new product or development in your industry, while your manager would be talking over you about what he had for dinner yesterday, yet chances are that he would be getting more attention than you. While it isn’t fair, one way to counteract that is to know what you are talking about. Know your industry and your work, because people will be quick to point out your mistakes and errors, no matter how minor, yet will not be willing to point out the errors of an older manager, who may not know squat to begin with. You have to be good enough that they do not get that chance.
2. Speak up
Just knowing things is not enough; other people have to you that you know then as well, otherwise how will they know that they are supposed to be awed by your superior intellect and admire it. How will they know that you know? Well, because you are going to tell them. Tell them, talk up in meetings, and in front of the leadership. Support you points with fact. Let them know about your ideas and then tell them why they are important, and why they should be implemented. If they don’t listen, tell them again. If they still don’t listen, tell them again. Tell them as many times as it is necessary, and as many times as it takes them to finally wake up and listen.
3. Actions speak louder than words
Sadly, speaking up is not enough. You also have to show them that your ideas are good, that they should be implemented, and that you actually know what they are talking about. They say actions speak louder than words, and it’s true. They may be able to ignore your words, but they cannot ignore hard proof of your actions. So show them why you should be listened to, why you need to be heard, and why your ideas should be implemented, and how it will actually benefit the company.
4. Charge ahead
It is easy to ignore a subordinate, someone who they think is not important, or someone who stands in the corners during meetings. It is harder to ignore a leader. A leader is someone who takes charge, who speaks up, who demands attention through their words and actions. Lead by example and people will follow. Show them your value and the values of you words and ideas. Be someone that they cannot ignore.
Just speaking up is not enough, you should also learn to listen. Listen of other people, listen to other’s ideas, learn from them, improve your knowledge, and become better. They say that only a fool believes he or she knows it all, especially when armed with limited experience. So don’t be that person. Keep learning, and the easiest way to learn is from people around you. Also, people are far more likely to take a manager seriously if he or she listens to and heeds advice.
6. Believe in yourself
There will be many people telling you that you are not enough or that you know nothing, but there will be very few telling you that you are and that you have value. There is one major person who you need to hear this from, and that is you. You are the only one who can believe in yourself truly and completely. So, don’t doubt yourself. Believe in yourself and others will as well.
7. Work hard
There are no shortcuts in life. In order for you to prove that you are a person to be acknowledged, you have to do the work. You need to prove that you are someone they can depend on, and not just someone who talks big. You need to show that you are not afraid to actually do the hard work. And it is this hard work that will be acknowledged, and will eventually lead to you being acknowledged.
8. Support each other
Let’s be honest, getting support from a Gen X is not an easy task. They will look down upon you no matter what, but do you know what’s not hard? Supporting each other; after all only other Millennials will get what you are going through, they know what it’s like. So it is easy to empathize. It is also easy to band together to prove to the world that their image of Millennials is not the correct one. Band together to hit that project out of the ballpark. Show them that not only you are capable, but that you will crush. Only all of you together can help change their mind.