Millennials, How to Get Your Work Noticed

Millennials, to do great work you are at a slight disadvantage.Millennials, How to Get Your Work Noticed image spotlight youngguy700x300 300x128Millennials, How to Get Your Work Noticed

Too many older coworkers rely on stereotypes of you and your generation. Many see you as a threat to the bedrock on which their careers were fashioned.

Unfortunately the threat creates a barrier for you to do great work. “Experts also expect that constantly connected teens and young adults will thirst for instant gratification and often make quick, shallow choices.” With conclusions like the aforementioned from the reputable Pew Research Center, you’ll need to work hard to get your work noticed for what it is.

Though despite the annoyance of such speculative predictions, the realities are what they are. Millennials, you’ll need to work hard to defy stereotypes and pithy predictions about who you are, and what you are or aren’t capable of doing.

Fair? Nope. It is, however, what many of us who have gone before you also have had to endure. Admittedly, you have some tall walls to scale.

So, from a Gen X’er leader and manager and a believer that we all should get to do meaningful work, I share with you some ways to get your work noticed in today’s chaotic, noisy workplace.

In the spirit of full disclosure, some of the ideas below are riffs off what Seth Godin recently shared to an auditorium of students.

Get Clear on Purpose

Godin’s most important message is to be clear on how your work can benefit your boss. Why is the work important to the team’s purpose? To the organization’s “Why”.

Know this and your actions and insights standout.

Be a Truth-Teller

Your work makes a difference for other coworkers or directly for the customer. To water down your ideas or feedback ultimately is cheating someone out of making well-informed decisions.

Be the one known for making a difference through your honesty.

Master the Art of Balance

The trick to being a truth-teller is providing input that doesn’t jeopardize another person’s integrity and humility. Be thoughtful. Be genuine.

Think about how your words will be experienced by others.

Raise Your Hand Often

Rarely do the best projects go to the newbie. But raise your hand to help, to show you want to learn. Raise your hand after you are told no. And do it again. And again. Be relentless in your desire to learn and show what you’ve got.

Meaningful work does not go to the passive employee.

Share the Spotlight

The second most important point Godin makes is to share the spotlight with your boss or your team. You may have been the one who nailed the presentation, or won the new account. Never are such accomplishments done solo.

Explain how the team worked together to achieve such great outcomes.

Surround Yourself with Doers of Good

Perhaps a bit cheesy in title, but be associated with employees who are known to do great works. Those who complain about disadvantages or inequities hinder their own career growth.

Meaningful work is born from the belief in possibilities. Find those who get this and befriend them. Learn from them. Help them. Be one of them.

Establish Connections

Building on the item above, make sure you have lunch or interview managers and doers of good about their work habits. Unearth their wisdoms. Share your ideas and your aspirations.

Business has always been built on relationships. Establishing connections is essential for building and nurturing relationships.

As for Boomers and Gen X’ers who will undoubtedly tell me, “this applies to us, too.” You’re right. I’ll add, however, that we owe it to our younger coworkers. We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. It’s time to pay it forward.

2013/05 Seth Godin | Backwards from CreativeMornings on Vimeo.

Image credit: peshkova / 123RF Stock Photo

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