Ok you’ve graduated college. Awesome. You networked the hell out of every person you possibly know. Great job. Now you’ve bagged your first job out of college and you want to hit the ground running, make connections, and of course make that cash money.
Although you may have gotten the job, you need to keep it–your student loans and bar tabs aren’t going to pay themselves after all. Well getting through college is one thing, but now you’re in the big leagues, and your bad habits don’t always carry over nicely from college. It always astonishes me how recent college graduates act a fool in the work place.
You’re obviously competent enough to get the job, so try to avoid the common millennial blunders that not only make you look immature, but also could threaten your career.
Here are five easy things to avoid to make sure you don’t land yourself in hot water:
1) You come in obviously hungover and/or smell like someone doused you in a handle of gin.
We will start with the obvious. We all have those rough nights, but that shouldn’t translate to you being an unproductive mess the next day. Although it may seem like a given, it always astounds me to watch my peers fall asleep in meetings or have obviously not showered from the night before. Being the “party college guy” on the floor is not the reputation you want. I promise. Do you think “hangover guy” is going to get the promotion? If good judgement isn’t your thing, I recommend coffee. Lot’s and lots of coffee.
2) You have the stereotypical millennial attitude.
I fully acknowledge that the older people in the office may stigmatize recent college graduates as lazy, cocky, or entitled. But please, for the love of God, don’t prove them right. You’re twenty something, and you may have to start your career doing tasks that are not so great. Doing things well the first time and having a positive attitude may lead your boss to believe that he/she can trust you with more important and fun work. Most of the people around you have worked their asses off to get where they are. Remember that.
3) You don’t know when to ask for help.
This goes both ways people–be resourceful but don’t get overzealous. You don’t know how to do something? Can you find the answer on Google? Yes? So why the hell are you asking me? We hired you to take some of the work not hold your hand. Of course the opposite side of this is thinking you can figure things out on your own and causing delays because you’re in over your head. This ultimately leads to disappointment, embarrassment, and will cause questions that you don’t want to have to answer. Don’t be that person that derails a deadline because of your pride. Raise your hand when you actually need help.
4) You’re just plain doing stuff you know you shouldn’t be doing.
Okay. I have my phone on my desk, and yes, I sometimes text or maybe even throw a snapchat in there every now and again, but I am not missing deadlines or constantly asked where my work is. There is nothing worse than always being caught texting when you have a deadline or being known as the person who watches Lost at their desk. If you have to minimize your window when someone walks up, you’re probably not doing what they’re paying you to do.
5) You bring too much of your personal life to work
There is nothing wrong with getting to know your co-workers. In fact, a lot of career development happens through networking with your peers and co-workers. However, don’t be the person that is constantly talking on the phone about their weekend or telling unsuspecting people about your problems with your significant other. It makes people uncomfortable and makes you seem unprofessional. Be personable while striking a balance with being professional.
All this stuff may seem intuitive, but all of these examples are things that really happen at work with people of our generation. This is list certainly isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a good place to start.
What are some other things that millennials can easily avoid to start out on the right foot in the work place?