Working As An A-Typical Millennial With A Gen X and Baby Boomer Executive Team

Google the term Millennials in the workplace, and you will quickly see over 1.4 million results. With the majority of these articles attacking millennials and their entitlement attitude, it leads those who may not fit the mold of a millennial while being a millennial frustrated. Frustrated with Gen Xer's and Baby Boomers who are currently in executive positions always mistaking your drive and ambition as an entitlement and not wanting to put the work in to succeed, here are some ways you can effectively change the conversation. 

1. Be Blunt - A common mistake in the millennial mold is not communicating bluntly enough for your bosses to understand a clear path of what you want to achieve. Often Millennials think that they are giving enough signs that someone will understand where they are going. Perception is one of the biggest killers of people's goals, thoughts, and actions. If you are not clear, you leave the door open to speculation. Which, is where Millennials get into trouble. 

2. Understand Boundaries - The workplace is still just that, it is work. A job no matter what your title and duties may be is just that a job. It is a place that you made a commitment to enter, complete our tasks, help innovate, and engage with your co-workers. Millennials do not always have a good sense of boundaries. For example, sick days should be used for sick days. Calling in should be for emergencies. Set professional boundaries based on the company you work for's policy and procedures, then stick with them. This will start to show over time your commitment and help those above you realize you may not fit in the mold society created for you. 

3. Ask For Feedback - While it may be easy to hope for good reviews on a project you're working on, that isn't how the world's current superiors are wired. Asking for feedback once you've completed or you are at a tipping point is not a bad thing. Be clear that you are seeking their comments, not looking for them to complete your project for you. They have a lot to offer regarding knowledge and experience that Millennials can compartmentalize and use throughout the rest of their career. It's human nature to want to be noticed and have the efforts of your hard work lauded. It is also up to you to approach this in a professional and non-threatening manner.  

It is crucial and important to remember that just as you are looking for openness and understanding with your work values, generations before you are asking the same thing. There is a lot we can all learn from each other which helps created a more rounded work life. If you ask them to understand where you are coming from when you ask for feedback consistently, look for new opportunities to grow, and have your voice heard at the table. You, in turn, need to dive into how Gen X and Baby Boomers look at society too. 


CareerMeghan Bailey