Millennials, those born from 1981 to the early 2000s, are a lucky bunch. Not only did they see what the baby boomers and Gen-X generation went through, they are also tech-savvy and eager to improve themselves. Before they dominate the future workplace, though, many of them can look back and recall some things they wish they had known earlier. Here are five lessons millennials had to learn the hard way:
1. Busy work is not hard work.
There are millennials who think that accomplishing all the tasks lined up each day, for months on end, and ticked off like a to-do list, entitles them to a reward or promotion. There is a sense of entitlement, even when all the work accomplished is simply what is expected of them. Real hard work that most higher-ups will notice requires critical thinking, a macro view of things, and rigorous analysis, tough thinking that lead to resolution of issues and problems.
2. Keep networking.
Millennials may be swept in a whirl of activities — with friends, co-workers, family. Some of them may prefer to mingle only with their own circle of friends and workmates. In the real world, though, you never know who will be lending you huge support when you least expect it. We live in an interconnected world, so before you unfriend a seemingly boring friend or pompous high school buddy on Facebook, think again. They may open up opportunities you never knew existed.
3. Time is wealth.
Most millennials had things handed to them by their parents. They grew up with modern technology like smartphones and apps. Hence, they tend to rely on these things a lot and just hop from one activity to the next, or from one job to another, especially if they do not find instant gratification. They end up missing out on things they could have focused on, like mapping out a solid career path. Making utmost use of time is one of the lessons millennials had to learn the hard way.
4. Value good mentors.
As they assume roles and take on responsibilities or try out their skills in new work environments, millennials – like the baby boomers and Gen-Xers – may find fantastic mentors along the way. Some may think that mentors are fixated in their work styles and thinking, but one or two of them can possibly change the course of their careers.
5. Do not settle in your comfort zone.
If you have become stagnant or have become too lazy to move, you miss out on “new cheese” as what Spencer Johnson pointed out in his book Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life. “Life moves on and so should we,” he said. Those are just five lessons millennials had to learn the hard way.
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